Amanda Conley Photography | Metamorphosis of Medusa

Metamorphosis of Medusa

April 15, 2016  •  1 Comment

Here is a shoot I have been waiting awhile to share. A lot of work went into the pre-production for the shoot. For those who are new to the blog I thought I would introduce myself a little bit, and explain the idea behind this concept. 

I live to create. I grew up creating from a very young age, being influenced by nature, fashion, and a very artistically talented mother. I explored mediums such as drawing, painting, pottery, sewing, choreography, and dance. All of these things eventually led me to the path I am currently on.

After graduating with a degree in Dance Choreography, I started a family and found my time limited. I needed to create to feel like myself. I picked up a camera 3 years ago and I haven’t put it down. I started taking anything that came in the door. Although this was great practice, I quickly learned it wasn’t for me. I limited what sessions I took with my business, and began focusing on creating more artistic shoots. The inspiration comes from many places such as; quotes, songs, books, myths, nature, fables, or even things as small as color. I have an idea journal that I am constantly filling the pages of, pouring out the ideas before the next one fills my mind. I plan out everything before I even start executing the shoot. I think of costuming, makeup, hair, model, location, framing, editing, etc. I write all of these things down, and write down or attach anything I feel will help or relate to the idea.

This particular idea came about after thinking about how we really only hear one side of the story for many mythical creatures. Medusa in this case, is always portrayed as a horrible monster destroying anyone in her path. I couldn’t help but wonder how she got this way. After researching I learned she was only turned to a monster after being caught having a love affair with the brother of Athena (the goddess of war.) I decided maybe there should be more to the story, besides anger. Here is story I came up with:

Medusa, became pregnant from this affair. She was then sent away by Athena to a remote island to live out her life as a monster. She grew more pregnant, and more alone. Although she was sad to be sent away she held onto the hope that this child she carried was the last piece of her love she would ever have. She delivered in the cave, alone, and upon looking at her child for the first time, it turned to stone. After realizing the extent of her curse she went through all of the stages of grief. She would forever be alone. She killed her own child. After some time she emerged from the cave, and decided that if this was to be her destiny, there was no use fighting it anymore. She gave into the monster letting it consume her. At this point I put in snake contacts to try to show that transition, as well as a wardrobe change. She decided that if this was her life, she was going to be good at it.

I made this entire costume. I made the headdress and necklace. I used hoses, and painted each one for the snakes. Later we brought in real snakes into the studio to have her hold and move around.

Overall, photography is not just a job for me. It is a passion. An art form. A way to tell my stories. I am a storyteller and an artist. This model is amazing and I really enjoyed working with her.

Model: Holli Bunderson

Makeup/ costuming: Amanda Conley

Snakes: Oliver Bunderson



Pat Wood(non-registered)
Great job Holli, Mike says thumbs up. You are my beautiful child and I love you so much and I'm so proud of you.
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