Dance of Love

“Our love is pastured, such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues drawn
But it’s always darkest before the dawn

And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a fine romance but it’s left me so undone
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out,
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off.”

Ceremonials, Shake it Out – Florence



Dance of Love from story of eve on Vimeo.

Featured: Bash Magazine

I’ve been hoping to photograph a ballet dancer for a while now. I’ve always enjoyed the black and white portraits that Annie Leibovitz took of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Darci Kistler and others.  It’s great when you can finally put all the elements in place and just experiment with light and movement. Alise found the perfect feathery ballet style gowns from Trash Couture. When she produced the black dress, we knew we had to play on  the Black Swan theme a little and have our dancer make a transformation.  It was a joy to play in shadows of Gosford and to explore cinematic elements of movement and drama in a much darker way than I normally would. To step out of the comfort zone! In the words of Cate Blanchett, to not be afraid to “fail gloriously.”  Thanks to the very talented team and our wonderful dancer Hannah, for bringing this to life. Don’t forget to watch the beautifully moving film at the end by Story of Eve. It’s worth it.

Location: Gosford Castle, Photographer: Paula O’Hara, Styling, florals & Props: Alise Taggart, Cinematographer: Story of Eve, Dancer/Model: Hannah Blevins, Makeup: Jennifer Ireland, Hair: Kathy Fitzsimmons, Bridal Dresses: Trash Couture Lace & tulle dress: Maria lluisa Rabell

  • Charlotte said:

    Just... I'm speechless and in love.

  • Hannah said:

    This is just incredible. The bare back shot - simply wow.

  • Sona said:

    Wow! This is sooo pretty:)) I love love love everything about it, but the b&w photo with the bare back is beautiful... as she's missing is wings to look like a fallen angel doesn't she?

    Oh and I also really love all the b&w photos at the end in the black dress.... beautiful!!!! Well done everyone:)

  • Emma said:

    Just pure pure magic Paula! Well done team :) Also love the film Michael, quite spooky with the music!

  • Lou said:

    absolutely stunning images Paula! wow

  • Jade said:

    As a big fan of your work and a lover of ballet (still put on the pointe shoes once a week for class myself!) this just awe inspiring. Just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Love your white swan/black swan interpretation. Amazing video too - brought tears to my eyes.

  • admin said:

    Thanks everyone. Appreciate your feedback :) It was so enjoyable to do this!