Lighting Our Desires: Fine Art Photography With Formento & Formento
Some visual art can be hard to untangle. So it comes as a shock when confronted with images that look like someone read your mind. Husband and wife duo, Formento & Formento have a knack for reaching into the dark and vulnerable spaces where we wrestle with ourselves and bringing our struggles out into the light.
On the surface, their exotic photographs are as meticulously produced as they are provocative, and at first feel far removed from our everyday selves. But beyond the intimate scenes are tones that touch all of us: of love and loss, lust and longing. These are the things we don’t talk about because they are too painful, too shameful, too honest. Now, we need not say anything. We just need to look, feel and forgive ourselves. Here, we chat to the artistic team BJ and Richeille Formento about their process.
Q: How did your work process start together?
BJ: Richeille hired me to shoot a few assignments for her in Florida in 2005. We had great chemistry and really connected. We sang, we danced and watched the moonrise over Miami. To love photography is one thing. To fall in love while creating photographs is a whole other thing. I believe beauty is what happens when people who care about each other make things together.
Richeille: We met 17 years ago and the creative spirit constantly flows through us. BJ does most of the photography and lighting and I concentrate on styling, hair and make-up and art direction. From working in the commercial world, we’re able to bring the glamour of hair and make-up, and the timelessness of styling to our personal work with precision.
Q: It must take a lot of trust to share the ideas that culminate in these images — how has this developed?
BJ ~ In some ways, when an artist is working, that is all there is. I like to say Richeille is in the detail and I’m in the atmosphere.
Richeille ~ Luckily we love the same things, and we respect each other’s vision and want each other to succeed. Our positions on shoots then become second nature. We wear the necessary hats and never see it as stepping on each other’s toes, because we have the same goal.