Something Sinister about Apples

romantic scene with candles and an apple with a red velvet backdropThe plan was to put together some Valentine's Day themed stock images. I started out with the cliché  tapered candles and champagne glasses. Got some decent shots... then I got bored with that.

Time for my favorite step in my creative process: the scavenger hunt! I especially like to do this for still life photos, and it just gets me thinking outside the box. This is the part where I literally wander around my house, up in the attic, in the garage, everywhere, and I just look at stuff. I start with a mood and/or theme in mind, as well as a color palette. In this case it was romantic but dark and moody, with silver, black, and crimson red. I still wanted to use these candles, and the velvet red backdrop that I had set up. I also knew the candle holders had this matching silver pedestal that may come in handy.

The hunt started in my room because it has the most "junk." For shots with smaller props like this, I like to look at through my accessories (scarves, costume jewelry, etc). These pearls just shouted "romance" to me so I scooped them up and walked around the rest house with them (You'll see these pearls in a lot of my shots, they're just so timeless and versatile). I think I had a few other things in my hands too, but I don't remember what. So I just continue on, holding up the stuff next to other stuff, until I come up with an idea.

I stepped into the kitchen and my eyes landed directly on a bag of apples! My husband was at the kitchen table at his laptop, and I immediately started chattering away (probably incoherently) about apples. I probably said something along the lines of "That would change the whole intention! There's just something sinister about apples when you put them in a romantic setting. They're just the right size to put on that pedestal... So many layers of cultural interpretations! Obviously the 'original sin' angle, then there are the poisoned apples in the fairy tales..." So to see it from his perspective... I think he had no idea why I'm suddenly taking an interest in apples, especially when I've been known to say "Apples? meh... I could take 'em or leave 'em." He knows my quirks though, and I think he figured it out as I started inspecting every last one of them to determine which one was perfect. (I don't mean flawless. I mean the right flaws... perfect.) I had 5 or 6 of them laid out on the counter in some sort of tournament, turning them around to reveal the best angle of each one. The "winner" was the obvious choice from the start. Its lopsidedness made it easy to tilt towards the camera to reveal it's stem. At that angle, the gradient from red to yellow would be visible as well. And, as fortune would have it he wasn't all bruised up either!

So, now I'm inspired for real this time. I'm imagining a devilish plot from the world of fairy tales, where an evil queen is planning to tempt her husband with a poisoned apple under the guise of a romantic gesture, in an attempt to seize the throne for herself!! As a symbol of her resentment, she places the apple atop the pearls he had given her. He would no doubt interpret this as nothing more than a sentimental decoration. As he opens the door to the chamber, the quick draft of air blows candle as an eerie premonition...

Okay, okay... I know... That is not the kind of story that sells Valentine's day candy. However... It's the kind of story that makes me want to take more pictures and make up more wild stories.