Italian-born Jessy Raso picked up her first Polaroid camera in a local charity shop 4 years ago with just the coins in her pocket. At the time Jessy was studying Art & Design and found herself falling in love with instant photography, often spending late nights in the darkroom at college. A few years later she went on to study Fashion Photography at the University of Salford. For every project set Jessy would make a point of shooting instant film alongside her digital images, finding that the results from her Polaroid camera had an extra essence of beauty that couldn’t be achieved on digital. In her ‘Everything’s Rosy’ series, Jessy focuses on the femininity and symbolism behind the color pink.
“My Polaroid camera never fails to surprise me, even when it fails altogether the film blurs and marbles and makes beautiful shapes and patterns… there’s just something so magic about that. The initial ideas and concepts for my work often revolve around emotions, either something closely connected to how I feel at that very moment in time, or an emotion I can relate to from the past. I’m also deeply drawn to color, which plays a big part in that for me. I’ve never before paid much attention to pink, but for unexplainable reasons I had the urge to explore it. I started by looking into the psychological aspects of the color, and found that overall it represents compassion, nurturing and romance. It’s a sign that gives hope, a positive and inspiring warmth, drawing in comforting feelings, and the overwhelming feeling that everything will be ok, or as I like to say rosy.
Pink is the color of feminism, and with the emotions and sensitivity of a woman, it shows tenderness, kindness and empathy.
Pink can indicate the need for acceptance, support and unconditional love; it can be a sign of an over-emotional or physically weak person. It has a sense of immaturity, silliness and the naivety of a child, or a grown up abandoning all adult responsibilities. Adopting the divine meaning behind it I went on to use each aspect as inspiration for my fashion styling, my choice in models, and the make up. I have never been somebody that likes to use agency models, I find that I’m much more comfortable using stunning people I already know. I also felt they would link into this project perfectly, as I wanted a close connection with the girls I would be shooting. I gave myself a short amount of time to finish the project, so all of the pictures were taken in the space of a month and never to far from my new home in east London. Frankie was the first from the series, most obviously picked due to her short pink hair, but more profoundly because of her warmth and her inevitable way of making me smile. I wanted to give each girl a style that suited them, some being slightly sporty, and others girlier. I dressed Frankie in baby pink Nikes and vintage Esprit jacket, giving her a loud east London look.
Elly’s images are about bringing out the inner child and naivety that is closely linked to wearing pink. Here sprouted the idea of painting pink rosy cheeks on her face to give her a doll-like blush, and dressing her in an oversized faux fur pink jacket by Field of Ponies, to bring in the softness and nestling insecurities of children. On the opposite spectrum, pink is also a sexual and sensitive color. Holly’s images were all about exploring nudity and the female form: styled in a latex bra, bubble wrap skirt, leaving her love heart chest tattoo exposed, her misshaped nipple and underwear visible through the garments. Lastly I shot Anna; with her I wanted to convey unconditional love, but showing it in an unconventional way. I thought about the ways we show our love for one another; kissing was the first thing to come to mind. As love is not a physical thing, and kisses are invisible, the closest way of expressing this feeling was by leaving my mark on Anna, covering her face in lipstick kisses and reassurance before the shoots were taken. Photographing girls that are not used to having the camera placed in front of them will always be something that excites me. The reaction when shooting inexperienced models on digital has a certain falsity to it, but as soon as an instant camera in pulled out, I look through the viewfinder and see that person relax and become themselves again. I wouldn’t have shot this project in any other way, I wanted that underlying feeling that we are all reassured when told Everything’s Rosy.”