Northamptonshire Portrait Photographer: Vintage Elegance with a twist!

Sep 24,2013

This post is something a little different to my other posts; whilst I usually write about my photography and what I’ve been photographing in and around Northamptonshire, this post is about another creative soul I’ve met along my photography journey {I’ve been meeting quite a few of them recently} 🙂

Aasen was kind enough to let me use his studio, Deathhouse in Northamptonshire {I’ll come to the name later!} for one of my recent creative photography shoots. Do you remember my post Vintage Elegance Part 1 of 3? Well, this shoot was also done in his magnificent studio {with the same magnificent team;)}

Aasen Stephenson started life as a mechanic.  Although his day job was fixing cars, he spent all his free time painting and drawing, using anything around him that could be used to unleash his artistic flair. He didn’t need expensive canvases or paints but instead he would use whatever was readily available {and usually within eye shot!}.

Whilst still exploring his artistic direction, Aasen didn’t try to sell his work;  in fact he used to leave it outside his house with a sign saying ‘free to a good home’ – he got pleasure out of seeing the pleasure other people got from his work. For Aasen, art should be available to everyone.

Aasen’s artistic passion kept growing and as time went on he knew he had to follow this dream; to do something he truly loved and that made him feel complete. He knew what he wanted to do, but didn’t know how he could turn this passion into a full time job.

Aasen was a great follower of the punk band Distillers {you should Google them – they’ve got some good tunes ;)} and felt inspired by the band and their music. He decided he would use the name Death House, after the song Sing Sing Death House, as his artistic signature. This is when Deathhouse was born!

Aasen’s Philosophy is simple – you don’t need money to create something artistically beautiful.  He recalls being at his most creative when he didn’t have lots of money; ‘You view everything around you in a different light – you see its potential’.  It was during this time that he started to develop his style and his unique work. Aasen told me about a time he’d received an electric bill – he remembers looking at it thinking he had no idea how he was going to pay it; he had no money. Then he saw the envelope that it had come in; using only that and his blade, he created a beautiful cutting of the lyrics to PS I love You by the Beetles. He then sold it for the price of the bill and also got four more commissions from it!

Aasen always strives to create something unique for his customers and his work was, and still is very much driven by them. He told me about a time he spent hours masking a large boat with tape to create a stencil, designing intricate patterns he would then spray paint. Using this technique made sure that his designs were a one off; something unique.

All of Aasens work is beautifully hand crafted using only a blade. The simplicity of a small metal object used to create huge masterpieces – leather dresses used on the catwalk of London Fashion week, unique designs decorating Zizzi Tops amplifier and the gothic inspired, hand stencilled design for the prestigious shoe makers Jeffy West boots and shoes.

So, what does this had to do with photography? Well, as well as sharing the same artistic passion as Aasen {that burns deep within our belly} we share the same philosophy. We live in a world surrounded by natural beauty and amazing natural light – it’s free, we don’t pay for it. I don’t feel the need to use expensive studios with expensive backdrops and lighting – I use what’s around me and see its potential for creating a beautiful, one off photography image, something beautiful and unique that will be treasured for years to come.

Below are a few photos of Aasen at work in his Northamptonshire studio, Deathhouse. We were also fortunate enough to be able to include one of Aasen’s pieces in our photo shoot…

Thanks again Aasen Stephenson for not only letting us use your studio and beautiful necklace but also for taking the time out to tell me about your inspirational journey.

Artist: Aasen Stephenson

Hair: Hair by Shelley

Makeup: Chloe Woodgate

Comments

  • Katie Julia November 6, 2013

    Beautiful images Danni as always x

  • jonathan August 14, 2015

    totally amazing , inspiring & uplifting

    • admin August 14, 2015

      Why thank you Jonathan 🙂

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