Photo Shoots – Independent Connecticut photographer Melissa Morris of MCM Photography has always been one of the many photographers that I know that always keeps herself busy with new work that she always brings to the public’s attention later. I always find sometime to discover some of the things she has going on because throughout the few years I’ve known her I have never had a hard time finding a story. That has inspired me to dig into the life of Melissa again to find out some of the things she has worked on since we last talked and she filled me in on more than enough to write a story.
It turns out Melissa Morris was working on a series that came after Willie Coleman of Fuzion Dark magazine request after he received photos from the photo shoot she did with Austin Ielpi and Antonia Dufort. She explained how it later became more shoots that also involved models Lydia Bast and Rayne Meadows.
“About a year or so ago I really wanted to push the limits of my photography in a way I had not done and one that would make people stand up and take notice. With the ever increasing drug trade and its spiraling out of control I felt what a better way to bring this issue to light than with my art. I wanted to give it my own unique perspective so as the self proclaimed ” Glitter Queen” I wanted to combine both into a hard hitting look into the realities of drug addiction using glitter as my drug medium. I wanted to get people talking, and to get them to think, to feel something when they saw it. I had a few people in mine and when I approached them with this concept they all jumped on board to help me bring this to realization. The first time I did it, I had models Austin Ielpi and Antonia Dufort, together as a strung out junkie couple, we used party type syringes filled with glitter and some hard hitting shots were taken. They immediately went for publication in Fuzion dark magazine and the publisher, Willie Coleman wanted more, begged for more, so it quickly became a series. Upon posting on Facebook it received feedback of the not so good variety and so much good, even from former junkies, now in recovery who thanked us for doing this. So, I wanted to go deeper, so fr the next installment, I had models Tenshii Tushii and Antonia Dufort again as sexy strung out models, who were being injected/forced by their tattooed pusher, who was portrayed by my former tattoo artist. Again, another publication with Fuzion dark and again more were asked for, to dig deeper, show it more raw. So, after some time to gather my thoughts, I assembled this third installment, with Models Lydia Bast and Rayne Meadows, as again strung out addicts, the kicker this time was using real (blunt tipped) hypodermic needles to show the injections. This last group again portrayed the slow fall and the desperation and depravity one can succumb to when under the spell of drugs. These are currently awaiting publication and I am already working on a fourth installment for the magazine. I plan to make this next one even darker than my others by adding more players and working on a more destructive concept.”
The pictures were also praised by Rayne Meadows and Lydia Blast who also shared their thoughts with their pairs after sharing the photos to people they know on their social media pages.
“I am so proud and excited to share a preview for this powerful and gorgeous set I shot for publication after the boudoir marathon a few weeks ago. This is the third installment my amazing friend Melissa has done of this concept, and the first one I was blessed enough to be able to participate in. The image below is part of a very heavy series of photos concentrated on the topic of addiction, that brings to light the glamorization of one of the world’s most common deadly diseases. Melissa, Danii, and myself all put such heart, soul, and emotion into this set. We hope to bring out the same in you when it hits shelves.
“I think we really created something truly incredible here and I am so excited and proud to share this teaser image with you. Melissa has been working on a powerful series that brings to light the glamorization of one of the deadliest diseases and this is the third installment. We truly gave this our all. Emotionally, physically, Spiritually. We hope it evokes in you the emotion it did in us. Nothing is ever worth throwing your life away. No matter how beautiful and glamorous it may seem. If you are struggling, 211 can help you find the resources to get back on the feet. I love you. It’s never too late to start your road to recovery.”
Melissa Morris sent me some of the pictures to share after I told her I was interested in piecing together a story about it for our readers to read. Although it took longer than expected to put the story out, I’m glad I was able to finish what I started and share these photos on the website for you all to see. You could follow all of their pages by clicking their social media links next to their names below!
Antonia Dufort: Instagram
Lydia Bast: Instagram
Rayne Meadows: Instagram
Tenshii Tushii: Instagram
Austin Ielpi: Instagram