Here are some the beautiful photographs by the artist Paolo Ventura.
I came across his work today and absolutely fell in love with his pictures. He works in a similar way to many illustrators and painters. That is, he sketches his ideas out first in drawings and watercolors. From there he then gets his models and sets, but his models are not real people. They are instead small dolls and action figures and his backgrounds and sets are constructed miniatures which some people might call maquettes but pushed to more of a finish.
He also tells a very personal story which I really like as well. The mood he creates is quite extraordinary and moving. If a painter could get this kind of emotion and story telling in their work it would be something. I see this kind of thing I'm talking about in many great illustrations of the golden age and sometimes in illustrators and artists of the present time, but not always. I think it is maybe the most important thing, more important than just technique which should just be a given.
I tip my hat to Paolo Ventura! He is incredible!
some more links to Paolo Ventura's work: