Pixie – Kunekune pig wearing a fake diamanté watch around her neck.
In 1995 Rachael’s had her first big breakthrough when she entered an image of a pig wearing a watch in a competition for professional New Zealand photographers. The only stipulation was that the image included a watch or clock face. "The pig was a Kunekune called Pixie," says Rachael. "And the watch was made out of an old alarm clock, an ancient leather belt, massive fake diamantes and modelling clay fastened round Pixie's chubby neck." The prize was a set of studio lights. Rachael, who just returned from London, broke and hoping to set up business on her own, desperately needed those lights. "And I won!" says Rachael. This same image also went on to win a Gold Award at New Zealand and the Australian Professional Photography Awards.
Pixie was an adorable Pig, she was quite large and not the prettiest, but her personality shone through. Rachael set up a background in the barn at the farm where Pixie lived and encouraged Pixie onto the backdrop using copious loaves of bread. When Pixie sat down, she was so chubby that her back legs disappeared underneath her tummy, so Rachael had to reach in and gently pull one of her back legs out from underneath her so she didn’t look like she had any back legs! Pixie was happy to sit with the fake watch around her neck for as long as someone kept feeding her slices of bread and the occasional banana, one very happy and well feed pig!
Pixie was Photographed by Rachael using her 4x5 inch Toyo View Camera with Pos/Neg B&W Polaroid Film, using a large Octo Elinchrom Softbox Studio Flash.
* This image is from Rachael’s earlier work, which were all photographed using a Large Format 4x5 inch Film Camera, and occasionally an 8x10 inch Polaroid Camera. Rachael used a very shallow depth of field when photographing with film cameras, this gives these images a softer more painterly quality when printed, the prints still look stunning in all sizes and make magnificent Art pieces, they just don’t appear quite as crisp as an image created on a digital camera.
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