Red Treds Dark Photo-Fairytale: Emma Joanne

Posted in - Blog on May 14th 2015 5 Comments

Red Treds Dark Photo-Fairytale: Emma Joanne


Final Degree Major Project

BA HONS Photography

For my Final Major Degree Project, I have created a Photo Story of images in the outlandish style of American Surrealist Photographer,

David La Chapelle

Posing more questions than answers, La Chapelle’s work is bold and surreal, crossing controversial boundaries, whilst challenging traditions and beliefs.
My Photo story, entitled

‘The Red Treds’ (A Modern Dark Photo-Fairytale) is an ‘Urban Surrealist’ adaptation,

on ‘The Red Shoes’ story, a quintessential European folktale by Hans Christian Andersen, published in 1845.


Portraying a moral tale based upon the idea of temptation and eventual redemption & 
the protagonist's desire for a pair of shoes, which leads to the consequences of her temptation..

Note: Scroll through the images below or click on any to watch a slideshow…

The Red Treds… because twisted Fairytales are rarely predictable…

In my own adaptation of The Red Shoes Story I have approached certain issues that I feel passionate about and have tried to convey these feelings as subtle nuances throughout the seriesThis curated selection of 20 images is from the complete series of 61 images shot over 7 separate scenes, which have been made into a story-book with selected text from the original story.

Scene 1: The Lost Self (1-3.jpg)

Karen kneels at the altar beneath the Good Angel, praying for redemption to find her True Self.

Scene 2: The Solitary Self (4-6.jpg)

Karen walks through the grapevine of Framed Feminists, as if she is contemplating her own purpose in life and the burden this places on her. Watched by her lover – the Wood-cutter, (metaphor – Fear) she discovers the ‘Red (ballet) Shoes.’

She places them on her feet and begins to dance, but still she has not found her True Self.

Scene 3: The Realization of the Self (7-9.jpg)

Karen meets her alter-ego in Polly (metaphor – True Self) who liberates her from the constrictions of the Red (ballet) Shoes (metaphor – Bad Relationship) introducing Karen to ‘The Red Treds,’ a more comfortable, practical and fashionable shoe. They face one another as a mirror image, as Polly represents Karen’s true self.

Scene 4: The True Self (10-15.jpg)

Watched by the Good Angel, Karen dons the Red Treds and at last she is free to dance in the style she chooses.

Scene 5: The Possessive Self (16-18.jpg)

Encapsulated by the spell of the Red Treds, leaves Karen open to the evil that resides, represented by the appearance of the Bad Angel / metaphor – conscience) who stirs up the dark spirits and conjures the impending storm. In the background lurks her lover, who will do anything he can to stem the freedom she displays when she dances.

Scene 6: The Slaying of the Self (19.jpg)

Karen lies slain by The Woodcutter, who in doing so slays her True self.

Scene 7: Epilogue (20.jpg)

The characters together.


Models / Performers: Sophie Duniam (Leading lady) / Polly Duniam (Twin/Alter Ego / Yolanda Carella (Angel) / Elijah Locke (Woodcutter)

Clothing & Accessories: Curve Couture / Future Folklore / We Creatures

Hair & Make-up: Heba Prieto Nogal

Styling: Emma Joanne & My Bad Sister

Photography: Emma Joanne



As of now (5) people have had something to say...

  • Alex Cook - Reply

    May 14, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Emma,

    These are absolutely stunning images. Hope it all goes well and they get the recognition and praise they deserve.


  • Mark Packham - Reply

    May 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Exceptional work Emma. This is absolutely fantastic. You are an inspirational character that has an impressive ability to capture an image in the most magnificent way. Please let me know when you exhibit again.

  • Les Whittle - Reply

    May 15, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Emma, fantastic photo’ interpretation of a super story, well told and brilliantly illustrated with a set of exceptional and inspirational prints that were not only great to look at but also very thought provoking. From a professional viewpoint I found that the showing was very well presented.
    You have a great future ahead of you Emma and I’m looking forward to seeing much more of your work.

  • Andy Dunham - Reply

    May 15, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Amazing work Emma, truly stunning pictures and a great adaptation of the tale.
    Looking forward to seeing more.

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