Did you have a favorite Disney princess when you were a child? Maybe you dressed up like her for Halloween or watched your favorite Disney movie over and over (and over). You may have even wanted to be that princess, because princesses live happily ever after, right?
Wrong. At least if you're photographer Dina Goldstein. Dina sees things in a bit of a different light, and created her "Fallen Princesses" display to give viewers a look into her world of happily never after.
Dina notes that the inspiration for the series came from real-life events. “My daughter was very small and getting into the whole Disney princesses culture, and at the same time my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer (she’s totally fine now). I started to think: what if these princesses had to deal with cancer, or financial discourse, or any of the real-life problems people have to go through?”
So, Dina took a different approach to her photography. She let herself dream up how a story might have gone after the Disney movie ended, and put princesses in situations that you could see them logically ending up in.
Dina's "Fallen Princesses" collection forces us to come to terms with the reality of life, and how the fairy tales that we grew up with are just that: fairy tales. The metaphors that these photos evoke make you think seriously about the world we live in.
Creating the "Fallen Princesses" photos wasn't easy, as they combine complex costumes, settings, and even aspects of fantasy. But Dina, an experienced photographer with a background in editorial and documentary photography, was up to the task.
As Dina created her photo series, she faced a number of challenges, including a limited budget. Dina had to plan out her photographs carefully, and the Little Mermaid photo is actually a composite of multiple shots.
Part of what makes Dina's photos come together is that she has a backstory for each. Dina told The Daily Beast that Belle "was always the most beautiful girl in the village and her whole life people paid attention to her beauty. Then, she ends up being a pawn for her beauty, and living in a cold castle, very isolated from the rest of the world. All she has is her beauty to fall back on. Of course, we all eventually start to age and lose that, and Belle is struggling to deal with it."
Dina sources many of her ideas from her life and everyday surroundings. “We have this area in Vancouver called Hastings East, and demographically, it’s one of the most marginal three blocks in Canada. It’s a crazy, crazy area. In my story, Cinderella is having trouble conceiving, and she’s tried in-vitro treatments and everything, and now, she’s learned that she will probablynever conceive. So she’s hitting the bottle.”
If you love Dina's Fallen Princesses series, then be sure to check out her other photography. Dina's other series are also satirical takes on modern life, and are sure to open your eyes and deliver a good dose of shock.