English Fine Art photographer Stephanie Pearl (@stephaniepearlphotography) creates surreal, otherworldly scenes within her work. Stephanie's work explores themes of "the lure of wildlife, environmentalism, a collapsing society and people's innate call for escapism." Her work is dark yet soft, as are many of the creatures invented and featured in her series Fragile Beasts. The work is created under her direction, utilizing a team of costume designers, makeup artists, models, and occasionally set and prop designers. Stephanie begins creating these evocative worlds and creatures by sketching out her ideas. Working with other industry creatives provides more time for her to visualize details of each creative shoot she plans, photographs and directs.
Fragile Beasts has been in the works for over two years and is ongoing. The images contain both organic and manmade objects that interact with its subject to convey a mood, a story, or an idea. Stephanie's subjects are mainly femme and non binary folks. Through Fragile Beasts, Stephanie aims to personify Earth's creatures, or parts of them. Her objective is that viewing these images will not only bring people closer to nature but also develop an emotional connection to the environment. The series features humanoid, alien-like creatures to shed light on issues such as overfishing, invasive species, and issues leading to environmental destruction. Stephanie aims to enthrall viewers with a dreamy world that is both tangible yet melancholy, while providing viewers a space for reflection.
Throughout the series, color is an essential part of the message of each image. When beginning work on this series, the first sets of images were much simpler in regards to production. At that time, Stephanie was doing the work on her own, creating blood or skin for her creatures. Since branching out and working with a team of creative individuals, she has been able to feature parasitic fungi, jellyfish and dying corals among other things in her work. Adding the use of body paint and prosthetics to the process and the partnership with other creators allows Stephanie the ability to create anything she dreams up.
Her work has been featured in several magazines and online publications. She resides in London and works as an insect scientist in addition to her photography, where she combines her two passions.