Today, many photographers opt to forego realism for aesthetics more fantastic in nature. Though the fairytales and folklore that inspire them are centuries-old, many of these photographers seek to modernize them through their whimsical work.
Here, we present and explore a striking selection of fairytale-inspired photography. Each unique series showcases the photographer's artistic approach to both the craft itself and to the storybook tales they seek to reinterpret.
Each magic photo in this selection of series offers an enchanting look at age-old allegories.
Grimm Compact by Laura Zalenga
Inspired by the classic stories of the Grimm Brothers, this striking series by photographer Laura Zalenga presents the tales' key moments from a unique perspective—literally. Minimalist in composition and cropped in a creative way, each image offers a one-of-a-kind interpretation of a well-known story, “giving it a new twist and really reducing it to the very minimum.”
Plein Air by Margarita Kareva
Aptly named for its outdoor settings, Plein Air by Margarita Kareva brings Russian folklore to life. On top of beautiful backdrops, Kareva employs surreal props, ornate costumes, and even live animals in order to capture the mystery and magic of each traditional tale.
Wonderland by Kirsty Mitchell
Much like Alice's trip down the rabbit hole, Wonderland by Kirsty Mitchell takes viewers on a magical and mesmerizing journey into the obscure. Described by the photographer as a “storybook without words,” the series employs striking visuals that both tell a story and capture Mitchell's fascination with the fantastic.
Autumn and Winter by Alexandra Bochkareva
In her enchanting series, Autumn and Winter, photographer Alexandra Bochkareva orchestrates dreamy scenes that appear to be straight from a storybook. Featuring two red-haired models and Alice, a color-coordinated fox, the images draw parallels between Bochkareva's subjects and their natural surroundings.
Wearable Art by Rachel Sigmon
Specializing in “wearable art,” Rachel Sigmon designs, creates, and photographs dazzling headdresses. Each whimsical work of art is inspired by Elysian fantasy and fairytales—an aesthetic influence that is also evident in the magical makeup and captivating costumes worn by Sigmon's models.