June 27, 2009

The photographic illusionist

When one watches a talented magician’s act, though you are keenly aware that what you’re observing is, at its root, skilled deception, it rarely matters, for you are engaged in the entertainment and sense of awe that comes with viewing a master at work. The enjoyment and wonder that stems from being a part of the audience sweeps you up and sets your imagination a flutter, as you try to decipher the secrets behind what you’ve just witnessed.

This very feeling is what resonated through me the moment I discovered the incredible creations of a Ukrainian gentleman who goes by the moniker Retroatelier. At the heart of this fellow’s sublime work is re-enactment style photography. However his shots are blended with an unparalleled sense of post-production artistry that turns historical themed photos into pieces so astoundingly beautiful and attentive to detail that one cannot help feel as though you’re staring through the looking glass of time, observing not so much a photograph, but an actual moment from the distant, mysterious past.

{The images above are but a small sampling of the stunning, origional photos displayed on Retroatelier’s website, which I truly recommend you visit.}

Retroatelier succeeds in marrying the most modern of techniques with the epitome of well-crafted historical settings and perfectly costumed models. His work embodies elegance, grandeur and markedly great skill. With a camera, props, period clothing and computer retouching work, he brings to life history with the sort of sophisticated aplomb that makes it seem as though doing so is the easiest thing in the world.

As though he was a magician performing under a stage name, I can find little information about this incredible artist (beyond his website and other online haunts such as Model Mayhem and LiveJournal), yet I really do not feel as though I need to know more. I love that these remarkable nouveau-vintage pieces were crafted by someone who leaves you enthralled, impressed, and deeply eager to see what incredible feats he has up his sleeve – or perhaps more aptly, up his lens.


  1. They are totally beautiful, I will have to use one or two sometime. Gorgeous post as usual dear!xx

  2. OMY WOW!!! what a BRILLIANT idea, these are gorgeous! in fact I've been wantintg to do a pin-up style photo shoot & found a local photography biz that does pin-up shots, but these are far more superior! thank you for sharing I want to go to the actual site..I'm off to look now! teeheheheh. p.s. thanks for adding my button to your blog :) & so glad you enjoy yours to! have a wonderful saturday filled with surprises & wonder!

  3. wow thats great congrats to her! I hope you are having a wonderful saturday! I added your fab button to my blog :) XOXO

  4. How would one go about commissioning him? Beautiful work!

  5. Stunning pics! That is a true artist

  6. What extraordinarily beautiful images!
    Lovely post!

  7. If anyone knows of a photographer in Los Angeles who can do this I am in need of him/her!

  8. Oh. My. Gosh. These are to die for! I really can't put into words how amazing these photographs are.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Stunning. I am glad I wasn't the only one who thought it would be fun to pose for him. I cant wait to go through his website right now.

  10. Those are some incredibly beautiful photos. I loved them all. Thanks for posting them. I hope you had a great weekend. Cheers!

  11. @ Moonspinner, thank you so much, sweet soul! By all means do use as many as you fancy, I think these beauties are too amazing not be shared! :)

    @ GypsyFox, that is really awesome! I know how to do (some of) the styling side of things, but would love to find someone who could shot vintage style photos of me in my neck of the woods, too. If you have old school photos taken, I would absolutely adore seeing them! (Thank you so very much, darling, for adding my button to your blog!)

    @ Sher, I swear I had that thought too! He appears to be located in the Ukraine, so it might involve a trip to Europe (but my stars, could you think a of a cooler reason to travel to Europe? :D)

    @ Amanda & Maggi, I absolutely agree, he is a superb artist! Thank you for your comments, lovely ladies!

    @ Nora, thank you very much, sweet dears! It would be so fun if you could pose for him with Lola in the shot, I think she'd make a marvelous vintage puppy :D

    @ Hala, I'm not familiar with one, but I'd venture to guess that with Hollywood nearby, you might be able to find someone who specializes in period style photography. If I hear of/come across anyone who fits this bill in LA, I'll contact you for sure.

    @ Diana, my absolute pleasure, honey! I honestly don't think I've ever seen a historical re-enactment photographer whose work I loved more.

    @ The Glamourous Housewife, I think it would be utterly amazing to pose for him, too! I'm now secretly dreaming of somehow doing it one day.

    @ Keith, thank you very much, the joy was all mine! Photos this amazing are too awesome not to shared with one and all! I had a lovely weekend, thank you, Keith. I hope yours was terrific as well.

    @ Trains and Sewing Machines, they most certainly are! So much beauty and inspiration, it almost boggles the mind :)

    Thank you dearly everyone for your fantastic comments! I always love reading your thoughts.

    I hope you each have a beautiful and serene week,
    ♥ Jessica

  12. Thank you so much for the link.
    This website is so amazing and beautiful !!