Enchanted Living: How would you describe yourselves and the photos you take?
Bren & Pip: We would describe ourselves as storytellers through the lens. We usually discover a piece of art, a movie still, or a fairy tale that becomes our reference or theme and create the shoot around that idea. For example, the idea for our witch shoot was centered on a cauldron we bought at an antique auction. Our incredible mom, Kris, is our photographer. We give her our ideas, share a vision, and she captures it. We’re so lucky to have her!
Being based in Florida poses a challenge during location scouting as it doesn’t always match our desired aesthetic. But Pip adds in the moody warmth we love through her editing. Together, we make up stories that transport our audience to whimsical locations, creating a visual journey that invites them to explore the realms of imagination and fantasy.
EL: How would you describe your signature style?
B&P: We create photos with a painterly quality. Warm romanticism is what we like to call it. Our style captures the essence of bygone eras, enchanting fairy tales, and mythical realms. We’re drawn to the darker and more gothic aspects of these, infusing our images with a sense of romance and whimsy. We were also influenced by films growing up—Ever After, The Secret Garden, Little Women, and the little-known TV movie The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns. Additionally, art—particularly Pre-Raphaelite artist John William Waterhouse—plays a significant role in shaping our style, and fairy books from our youth, including the picture book Fairy Dreams by Carol McLean-Carr. We strongly believed in fairies as children, and we think that has inspired us now in our thirties, capturing that whimsy we felt then and re-creating this for little Bren and Pip.
EL: What about witches appeals to you?
B&P: Our great-great-grandmother Myrtle was a medicine woman in remote West Virginia. She would traipse through the surrounding woods of the Appalachian Mountains to forage for herbs and concoct medicinal remedies for the impoverished people in her community. We like to think of her as a wise herbalist who used her skills to help others, and we take inspiration from that, knowing we have that ancestry. We like to connect with nature, be it walking in the woods to see if we can spot wild horses or admiring the stars and a beautiful full moon. Witches have appeal in that they have a fierce feminine energy. The power they possess is palpable and inspiring, especially in this modern world where magic seems to have fled. It is intriguing to bring that magnetism to life through photography.
EL: Can you talk about your interest in history?
B&P: Specific elements within history fascinate us. The Victorian Era is our niche. Daguerreotypes and tintypes, memento mori, the elaborate fashions, chatelaines, the architecture and art, poetry, and literature, cemeteries, and more are some of our interests. Naturally, antiques give us life! We like to surround ourselves with old things and curiosities. While collecting, we will see a Victorian brooch or boots, even an antique gown, and we know we have to capture it in a shoot. Each piece we collect seems to have a story, and it’s beautiful to be able to give it life again through our photography. Because of this love of history and antiques, we’ve opened our own store online, Bren & Pip Vintage and Antiques. We thought there was no better way to share our love for all things old than to offer a curated variety of clothing, accessories, and miscellany.
EL: How do you stay enchanted?
B&P: We are inspired by the words of Elsie de Wolfe: “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful—that will be my life.” We both struggle with chronic illness, so that can sometimes be difficult. For us, dressing up in beautiful dresses for a seaside photoshoot or forest frolic can bring magic to the everyday. We can be pirates, or mermaids, or fairies by the simple act of executing an idea through photography. That to us is enchanting, and our art is a reflection of our desire to see the beauty in the world. We believe that sometimes as we grow up, the childlike magic of life fades, leaving us with a sense of monotony. Through our art, we seek to capture that sense of wonder and share it with others. Our intention is to also create a safe space where everyone feels welcome and to spread positivity, inclusivity, whimsy, and beauty. We want our art to serve as a reminder to never lose the sense of adventure and to find joy in the simple pleasures of life.
EL: Would you say there’s a special enchantment that comes from being twins?
B&P: Absolutely! The lifelong bond between twins is truly special and beyond compare. It is magical how connected we have always felt. All of our interests are aligned. Our passions, aspirations, and goals are the same. We’ll sometimes be thinking the same completely random thing, and we’ll look at each other with wide eyes and say, “Spooky.” There is without a doubt magic in that!