A fairy photo-shoot is great alternative to the traditional studio portrait.  A Fairy portrait is truly unique, timeless and elegant and will delight you and your family for many years to come.

What are Fairies?  Sometimes the term fairy is used to describe any magical or enchanted creature that includes goblins, elves, gnomes or sprites.

The Victorian and Edwardian eras saw an increase in the interest in fairies in literature and art and the Celtic Revival viewed them as part of our cultural heritage.

Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers.

The concept of fairies with wings were common in Victorian and later artworks, but are actually very rare in earlier folklore.  Fairies today are often depicted with insect style wings or butterfly wings to create grace and beauty.  Images we are all familiar with from children’s story books.

What Inspires Fairies in Photography Today?  My interest in photographing fairy portraits came from reading about the Cottingley Fairies.  These were a series of 5 fascinating photographs taken by cousins, Elsie Wright, aged 16 and Francis Griffiths, aged 9, in 1917.  The photographs came to the attention of the eminent Sherlock Holmes writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who used them to illustrate an article on fairies for a 1920 edition of The Strand Magazine.

At the time public reaction to the photographs varied, some believing they were actually real fairies and others saw them as complete fake, which they later turned out to be.  In later life the girls admitted the photographs were creations of their childhood imaginations.  They were produced using cardboard cut outs from children’s books to create the fantasy of fairies.  A fantastic idea for the times, which captured the imagination of many and continues to this day.

Artist Sophie Gengembre Anderson, dated 1869 - Source Wikipedia

In addition, the world of art, particularly from the Victorian era, was noted for its fairy paintings.  Some notable Victorian painters being Richard Dadd, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Joseph Noel Paton, John Anster Fitzgerald and Daniel Maclise.

There are two notable works of art that I find particularly inspirational.  The first, by the French-born British artist who specialised in genre painting of children was Sophie Gengembre Anderson (1823 –1903).  Her portrait of a fairy dated 1869 is titled, “Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Things”, reportedly from a poem by Charles Ede.

This is a magical painting and the influence can be seen in some of my own photographs.




Artist Luis Ricardo Falero, dated 1888 - Source Wikipedia

The second is by the Spanish artist, Luis Ricardo Falero, who painted a classic representation of a small fairy with butterfly wings in 1888.  This interpretation of a fairy is commonly used in contemporary images.

What happens on a Fairy Photoshoot with Stephen Bruce Photography?   Today, in my studio I try to recreate some of the magic and mystery of the enchanted fairies of a bygone era, inspired by these Victorian artists.  I create timeless works of art of this enchanted make-believe world of fantasy and imagination.

The costumes are really a key part of creating a fairy portrait.  All of the costumes are beautifully made by hand with matching flower crowns.  I attach fairy wings to bring the fairy effect to life.  The whole look has a dreamlike quality with fairy dust appearing in the picture as if by magic.

Once a child is dressed they pose on a beautifully created studio set. The sets I create have branches and trees, creepers, plants and forest flowers, providing a realistic and magical setting. The photoshoots are fun and interactive, with the dressing up and posing which makes this form of portrait photography a unique experience for girls aged 4 to 9 years. This is not to say older children or adults could not also enjoy the experience.  Boys can be photographed dressed as elves or wizards.


At Stephen Bruce Photography a Fairy Photo-shoot costs – £100.  Our photoshoot includes:

  • The photo-shoot session of 1 hours
  • The time and creativity of the photographer
  • The use of studio props, dresses, headbands and other accessories
  • All the post production editing of your photographs
  • A private on-line gallery to view your completed digital photographs
  • A downloadable collection of 4 + high resolution colour photographs and black and white copies plus a bonus set of low resolution photographs for direct use on social media

We also offer the opportunity to turn your favourite fairy portrait into a really special and exclusive work of art by investing in any of the following products:

  • A single high quality 10”x 8” print for £20
  • A beautifully mounted and framed 10”x 10” print in a 16”x 16” frame – starting prices from £170

A stunning canvas wrap (a variety of sizes and shapes), prices from £250

If you are inspired by these beautiful and timeless images then call Stephen Bruce Photography to check availability and to book your fairy photoshoot now: 07973863916

Come Fairies
take me of
this dull world
For I would ride with you
upon the wind
and dance upon
the mountains

W D Yeats

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