The story of Red Hellyda is a passionate pictorial from celebrated photographer Stoney Darkstone. It was originally published for HUF Magazine and now The Fashion Photograph breaks the process down for all of us to see. Stoney was kind enough to give us some thoughts behind his creation. Enjoy his beautiful work again!

When we asked Stoney if there was any one thing he wanted the viewer to recognize about his work, he said , “I try to be expressive. Really though, any mean can be derived by the viewer. Different images mean different things to each person and that’s how I like to keep my work”

Who is Stoney Darkstone?

Stoney Darkstone is a fashion photographer based in the UK. His specialties include fashion, conceptual and editorial imagery, as well as stunning beauty work for cosmetic brands.

His work had been published in magazines including Schon!, Lucy's, Ellements, Jute, Solis, HUF, Kaltblut, PIE, No3 Magazine NY, Feroce, Volition, FRUK, Dreamingless, deVoir, Vigore, Editorial, What A Fashion and Neverland. Now he is featured on The Fashion Photograph too!

Which Camera did you use?

I used the only available camera to me at the time, it was the Canon 5D. We shot much of this on the 35mm and beautiful 85mm portrait lens. The wide images were photographed with the Canon 24-70L Series lens.

Concept of the Photo Shoot

The concept of this photo shoot, Red Hellyda (name of the model) was to create a series of stunning images that not only work for fashion, but also create beautiful images to fit the pages of Huff Magazine. It had to both look fashion forward but also look great on the pages of a magazine.

And I wanted to make sure that it was open enough that viewers could interpret what they saw, what it might mean to them.

Visually, I want the reds to stand out. That was the biggest color and then of course contrast that to the blue sky. It was an environmental color block! I think that I came across great!

Advice to new photographers

If I could give one piece of advice to newer photographers, it would be to start out by renting lenses (borrowing also counts). Rent and play with different camera and other gear, then consider investing in one that is great for you.

Biggest Obstacle

The biggest obstacle for the Red Hellyda shoot was the wind! It an on-going battle with the smoke component of the shoot. We had red smoke going and to keep it in the shot, it took a lot of effort. At the same time the smoke added extra movement that we did not anticipate. That made parts of the shoot much easier to photograph, and with a fantastic team it worked out well.

What was your light source and how closer were the images to the original mood board?

I used natural light for this photo shoot. We didn’t really use strobes or anything, just the natural sun. It worked out great!

How close were the images you sent to the mood boards?

Unlike most photographers, I don't really like mood boards. I tend to just use them for the team to get my creative vision out and communicate with them on style. I don't like shooting to a board and If ind it somewhat restrictive. The way that I do it allows the shoot to develop over the span of the day on its own.

What attracted you to the model?

The model was perfect for the shoot. Hellyda is just a fantastic energy and so creative in her own right. And that face! She was the one that I wanted for the shoot and the images turned out great because of her and the team, which is all listed below.

Team Credits

Photography / Art Direction – Stoney Darkstone @stoney_darkstone
Model – Hellyda @hellyda_ for Nevs Models @nevsmodels
Wardrobe Stylist – Chloe, BottleBlonde
Styling @bottleblondestyling
Wardrobe Assistants - Samantha @ samantha_maexo & Imogen
MUA – Penny Grimley @pennygrimleymua
Nails – Yasmin @yasminelwakil
Hair - Kate @hair_by_kateb
Assistants - Damien Hayes & Sammi Fierce


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