The images look like they are old photographs perhaps discovered in a long-forgotten place. The antique look of the photographs adds to the Wonderland quality and the model pulls of the Mad Hatter stunningly.
The Mad Hatter traipsing through the estuary at Ayum Creek is captured on film by Sooke freelance photographer Katie Bennett.
“It started with my concept,” said Bennett. “I wanted to work with a creative team on this.”
She thought the timing was perfect as the Sooke Harbour Players were mounting their production of Alice in Wonderland.
Bennett, at 25, is a self-taught photographer who created the storyboard of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party because she needed to do a creative project to “keep me sane.”
“Storyboards are something I really enjoy doing, “said Bennett. “I’ve done family collages, I enjoy bringing the creativity into it.”
When she stumbled across the Ayum Creek clearing she found it to be a magical place and the ideas started stirring around in her head. She met her model Daniel Corbett through a on-line modeling group.
“I knew right away I wanted him for the Mad Hatter,” she said. “It was a quick bond.”
She also chose Kristen Grant from Urbanheart for the body painting and has two assistants who helped her schlep the props to Ayum Creek.
As a freelance photographer Bennett finds it unreliable income-wise but she can’t stay away from it. She graduated from Edward Milne community school where she said they had a good art program and she spent two years studying film photography. As soon as she graduated she bought a camera and headed out into the broader world. She travelled to Australia and spent time in Banff and Tofino taking nature shots. She would like to go back to school and perhaps take some business courses to help her market herself.
She thinks stylized wedding photography with a special twist would be fun.
“Just not the average point and shoot,” she said, although she wouldn’t turn those down.
For the past two years Bennett has been organizing the Vancouver Island Artist Fest, a mixed festival with music, art, and vendors. The first took place at Centennial Square in Victoria and the second at Honeymoon Bay because she wanted to be somewhere more natural. This year she hopes to find a spot for the festival in the Sooke/Metchosin area.
For more information on Katie Bennett and her work, go to: