Photographed for the Personal Portfolio module, 1st year Jennifer Woolnough-Rai, creatively styled portrait series ‘Diary of a Dandy; delusions of grandeur’.

This is the story of a Dandy. A project that was shot, edited and produced for the Personal Portfolio module whilst in lockdown. I used only natural light for the entire project. The shoots themselves could only be done in the house and the garden. Editing post-production has been  used to create drama.  

A Dandy, historically, is a man or woman who places particular importance upon physical appearance and leisurely hobbies. However, I strongly feel that they are also around us today. I am sure that if you think really hard you will have met, or know one. I tried to capture the attitude and nonchalance of the sub-culture in the clothing and stance of the model. 

Dandies have “No profession other than elegance, and no status but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own person.” They aspire to be sublime without interruption in a declaration of self fashioning, and must live and sleep before a mirror, apparently. 

There is a point, however, when my Dandy realises that this existence is shallow, and the illusion shatters. His world starts to unravel. This is where I have used photoshop to give the impression of his world disintegrating. 

My interest and specialisation is the human condition. I have tried to use the genre of stylised portraiture in this series to create the personality of the subject. I have also used still life elements along with the portraits to capture the essence of what a Dandy is.  

I wanted to be able to look back on this project in the future to remind us of the difficult times we are experiencing, and to remind myself that you can still be creative with what you have at hand. 

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