Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Brave Cosplay Take on "Brave" (Yup, That's A Real Bear!)

The internet has been wowed this last week (at time of writing) with Jessica Chastain's new Merida look (courtesy of Annie Leibovitz for Disney Parks) but before then there was a different Brave photoshoot, with a very different Merida (and a very brave model), and it's currently going viral in English speaking countries now that Chinese and Japanese cosplay sites have spread the word.
While it's a little difficult to see Pixar's Merida in these shots, they were inspired by the fairy tale movie. In fact the model is a Russian cosplayer named, Tina Rybakova, who invited/collaborated with Dasha Kond on this project. I'm sharing this shoot particularly because I noticed that there's a whole lot of fairy tale folk who ADORE the theme of women and bears in myth and fairy tales. It turns out too, that this photographer has a strong fairy tale sensibility in setting up her photos, particularly in showing animal-human connections.
The photos are from Moscow-based fashion photographer Dasha Kond, who often uses real animals in shoots, whether they are wolves, camels, horses, snakes, and more.

Russian photographer Dasha Kond* does a lot of work with trained animals (I can't find very much info at all on the animals sorry - I wish I could, to be sure they were being taken care of properly) but it's clear to see she has a strong sense of myth and story when she shoots people with animals in particular. Though all her photography is excellent, there's something special about how she shoots different species together, implying both have a story to tell.

I have fond SO MANY beautiful images I simply can't add them all here but below the jump is a collection of my favorites so far (I've run out of time trying to see every photo, there are so many!) You can see the 2 300, or so, more photos HERE.

In the meantime, jump on over and take a look at the other fairy tale-ish images. I included some that are most definitely fairy tale but without an animal but it's clear the magical human/animal connection is what inspires most of the photography.

Oh and yes, there are more 'girls and their bears' images too.
✒ ✒ Click the "Read more" link below for MANY more fairy tale like images with animals c/- Dash Kond ✒ ✒
Ready to scroll?
Here come the beautiful tales-caught-in-images (I included just a few without animals that caught my eye as well but most of these 'stories' are companion stories):
Are you as stunned as I was? Beautiful, yes, but prolifically so! And this is just a very small selection too.

I think the girl with the basket and the bear might be my absolute favorite set of pics but I love the girl and the ostrich as well.

We live in a rich time to be able to see and share these, be inspired and catch a glimpse of a little magic that actually exists in our world today.

Dasha Kond's official website is HERE but seems to be best contacted personally via HERE.

*Russian photography is getting a lot of attention at the moment. And some of the best illustrative art has come out of Russia for a long time as well. Makes me want to visit more than ever.


  1. Wow, I am in so much awe! The beauty is completely original and captured perfectly. Love it! Happy Wednesday!

    A Silver Snapshot

  2. This is actually REALLY horrible, and I can pretty much promise you these animals are NOT being treated well. Anyone using animals as props like this is in it for the money, not the animal's wellbeing. It comes with all kinds of abusive practices. Even if the photographer is not a part of it herself, wherever she's getting the animals from most certainly is. I mean you can clearly see the bear has no teeth (ripping them out is common to make them "safe") and there are photos with tiger cubs on their site (tigers are overbred to produce cubs, which are then taken way too early, are often drugged, are left with compromised immune systems and often die from illness, and those that make it to adulthood are sold off either for parts or to shoddy locations that don't treat them right in order to make room for new, more profitable, more easily managed cubs). There's no reason for people to exploit animals like this and invade their space for the sake of a "cool" photo. Great photos of these animals can be taken of them alone while they live happily in suitable environments, and photoshop is a wonderful thing if you want to pair models with animals.

    1. Wow... would have never noticed the fact the bear was toothless if you hadn't pointed it out!