The Black Dahlia

10:01 AM Pastel Lemon 3 Comments

The Black Dahlia project was the first project that I broke myself from the usual stuff I do in photography. Idea was trying to capture the private moment of a rather unique woman, behind her closed doors.

Sometimes I felt that we may all put up a glamour smile when we are out facing people, in both work and social environment, but life is always far from perfect. This makes me want to capture the downs and loneliness when nobody is around you, when you could be yourself and not care to show what you really feel. To show this, my target was to create a series of images that look like film stills, as if you were there watching her behind an invisible cloth.

The Black Dahlia, is a name from both the novel and the movie, telling the tragic story of Elizabeth Short, who was an aspiring actress in the 1940s and was brutally murdered at a very young age. This case remained the most notorious unsolved murder in California history.

Elizabeth Short
The Black Dahlia was a name created by the media at that time to represent her, because of her radiant black hair.
The tragic of her death still caused countless of speculations then and now.

The reason I chose the Black Dahlia as my subject, because she represents a mixture of complex feelings to me. She was glamour and beautiful, but unlike someone such as Marilyn Monroe, she was famous for the wrong reason when her body was found brutally mutilated in the street.

She was this young girl who dreamt to be an Hollywood actress, one of the tragic was she never made it. The other was she engaged once to a fighter jet pilot, but was killed on his return. Abide all these and led a poor life, she maintained a positive thinking and uplifting image to people who knew her. She had a dream to keep her going on. On a personal level, I feel very strong for what she had hoped for in life, and feel sorry that she never had the chance to make any of her dreams come true, all that was because her life is too short-lived.

On a metaphor level, she's in many of us. We have dreams, but often reality comes and killed it. To remind myself life is too short, and to treasure any opportunity I might and will have in life, its logic to bring her "back to life", as if she's still here living among all of us.

Many thanks for:
Model: Shireen Ashton
MUA: Kate Rose


  1. Excellent photos Bernie!
    Love the lighting. Great colours too.

  2. Thanks Jon :D
    I'm happy that you like them :D xx