Photos of Surreal Worlds Created on a Small Table

hooded person in icy scene

Cera Hensley is a San Francisco Bay Area photographer. Her formal education was obtained at the Academy of Art University. She has been into freelance photography since 2010. Her trademark style is out of this world. She creates surreal fantasy places to photograph, while using mundane, ordinary objects. Her work area is an incredibly small 3foot by 3foot table. What she comes up with are dream like images that belong in some fantasy world, complete with human models in them.

person in water scene and two boulders

The scenes, although strange and very un-earth like, look credible enough to exist somewhere in another reality or dimension. Cera asks all of us to take a peek at her world:

“I invite you into my imagination, a temporary escape from reality…. A world, here nor there, that is full of questions, observations and wonder.”

“This is part of a body of work that explores an area of personal psychology in the human search for purpose. Feelings of solitude, wonder, longing to belonging are exposed in the situations I create.” Says Cera on her Here Nor There project.

person posing next to tree

She does an incredible job at creating what her mind’s eye sees. She goes thru a pre-visualization phase, and then builds the landscape on her tiny 3×3 foot stage. After this, she poses her models separately to fit into these miniature sets, which will come to life in the final product. She further shares her creative process:

“It is all hands-on, building from my imagination with various materials like paper mâché, tree branches, baby powder, clay, cotton, etc. After constructing the landscape, I photograph it as a still-life, paying attention to lighting, composition, story and mood. To evoke thoughts, give scale and life to my creations, I photograph real people with the same lighting then montage them into the landscape image.”

person in the middle of green foliage

Here Nor There and Mime Adventures are among her projects that showcase her singular, inimitable style of miniature set building with surprisingly simple materials, while Community Tree shows how she directs and shoots her models, posed against a seamless white that she integrates into the pictures later. Her work, a unique visual experience, has to be seen, so go over to her website.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.