I took this picture during a workshop on psychology in portraiture in Tokyo for a Hasselblad event. I had a turn divided into two photographic sessions. In the early morning I made a simpler set and in the afternoon a more complex lighting set.
Ana is the model who lives in Tokyo but she is Russian. I did not know her. I looked at her and I imagined how I would portray her. After a while I had a vision. So I asked the stylist to find me some black toule, flowers and a black dress. I shot a simple portait in the morning and I asked to print me a 20x30 image and I left it on the table. In the afternoon I turned Ana into the Corpse Bride character by Tim Burton. She was excited, she had tears in her eyes as she told me: how do you know? I love this movie I always wanted to make a part of that character. Then I took her to the set, I grabbed the shot done in the morning and I tear the picture in half before her eyes. I approached her and ask to keep it in half of her face. She couldn’t understand what I was doing. I heard behind me a chorus of "ooooooooohs", the Japanese in the room (there were 70 participants) were astounded. And so I created one of the most famous shots around the world. Maybe people do not know who I am, but wherever I go, people know this photo to the point of even publishing it in books without my knowledge.
It’s nice to be able to inspire people. Much less nice when you’re not given the credits.
Am I fool as every time something inspires me, I say who is the author, or is the world that is all upside down ?!