When Rachel Atlas approached me for a shoot I knew we had to do something badass together! When I was doing my research I found Edinburgh Insect and Butterfly World. I looked at what creatures they had and I knew I had to try my chances and contact them. The permission was granted and we started to plan the shoot.
Originally, I only wanted to shoot with a millipede. Its form, its look are both magnificent and terrifying. I was enormously scared of it but I knew that as a photographer I’m responsible for everything that happens on my set and so if the model dropped the creature I was supposed to catch it. Therefore, before the shoot I pushed myself into holding it. I can’t compare the feel of these legs on your skin to anything else, it’s like they actually get under your skin. I’m not sure I can describe it as a pleasant feeling, more like a small amount of electricity. Kevin, the staff, was really helpful.
Half an hour later I was already cheerfully chatting with Rachel and putting my hand right into the box full of millipedes to choose the biggest ones. My fear was gone just like that! I couldn’t believe that only an hour ago I almost fainted at the sight of this creature! When you just do what you must the fear gives up and bothers you no longer.
After we did portraits with the millipede, Kevin asked us whether we also wanted some snakes and tarantulas. Although I’m scared of them too, somehow after holding the millipede nothing was scary anymore. I felt like I just had no strength to be scared left. Empty Darja, fearless :) So we changed the clothes and improvised some more!
Here’s what we got! Thank you so much, Edinburgh Insect and Butterfly World!