Calypso Mahieu makes photos with a bag of rubbish and makes it look attractive. The ECAL graduate has an enviable ability to transform the simplest of objects into something charming — and when models and cinema settings are involved it just becomes next level.

For instance, there is one image of Calypso’s which is literally just a hallway but looks magical through a clever use of light. This is her secret weapon, Calypso explains, as she believes that everything depends on lighting within the field of photography. “It can destroy or make a picture sublime very easily.” Born in Paris, and “half Parisian, half Provencale,” the photographer’s light inspiration develops from alternative sources: “Cinema light, romantic ‘South of France’ sunset light, or even desk lamp lighting,” are all sources of inspiration for the photographer.

Introduced to the medium by women’s magazines, Calypso’s attraction to photography came from a fascination of “the bodies, the light, the attitudes, rather than fashion itself,” she says. This is obvious in her portfolio, where female figures feature heavily with elegance, covered with a gloss which the light bounces off. Calypso applies a similar approach when she is photographing still life too, such as glass perfume bottles whizzing through the air or carefully placed on a rock.

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