Kirsty Mitchell began her photography series "Wonderland" in 2009 after the death of her mother in November of 2008. The project was originally conceived of as a coping exercise (simply something to do take Kirsty's mind off her mother's passing) and it would serve as a kind of homage to her mother, Maureen. Maureen had been an English teacher and loved storybooks and fairy tales alike. Kirsten envisioned a photo series in which she would create an unexplained storybook; she had no idea how the project would grow into something much bigger. The original plan entailed a few shoots over the course of a summer, but it eventually evolved into a five year project. In the video below, you will get a behind the scenes look at the shoot 'She'll Wait For You In The Shadows Of Summer.' 

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Seeing behind the scenes of this shoot perfectly illustrates the level of intense dedication and hard work that Kirsty puts into each of her shoots. Makeup, body painting, and attaching costumes are all lengthy processes day-of, but Kirsty prepares for months to get each of these elements absolutely perfect. In a blog post on her website, she explains that some of the characters she imagines can require up to a year of planning and five months to physically create. Alongside hair and makeup artist Elbie Van Eeden, Kirsty is creating an entire alternate world for each of her characters. With roots in fashion design, costume design/creation, and art history, Kirsty brings an almost unparalleled creative eye to her photography; she's not so much a photographer trying to make sense of the image before her, but rather an artist creating an imaginary world that can only be captured and represented through a lens.