The seven deadly sins are a list of sins grounded in the Christian tradition that underlie all vices. They are sometimes called the cardinals sins or capital vices. The sins are pride, envy, gluttony, lust, wrath, sloth and greed. Each is associated with imagery that you can use to set up a photo shoot that explores the seven sins from an artistic standpoint.
Pride is the sin of an excessively high opinion of oneself, also known as vanity. It is sometimes symbolized by the color violet and has an association with horses. A pride image could be as simple as a perfectly groomed figure dressed in purple gazing into a mirror, or you can set up a more elaborate theme that references any of a number of well-known stories that tell a tale of pride. Narcissus is a hunter from Greek mythology who saw his beautiful reflection in a pool of water and remained there, transfixed by his own image, until he died.
Envy is the sin of desiring another's success, situation or possessions, also known as jealousy. Envy is generally associated with the color green. An envy scene can depict a character who simply covets something belonging to someone else, such as a love interest or an expensive car, or it can relate to a larger story that explores the sin of envy, such as Shakespeare's Othello.
Gluttony is the excessive desire to consume, particularly food and drink. A pig is a common symbol of gluttony. Set a scene with a character surrounded by images of luxury -- food, opulent textiles and large serving bowls and platters. Grapes and wine or chocolate convey the message of gluttony in a traditional way, while junk food puts it in a more modern context.
Lust speaks to uncontrollable desires, mainly in a sexual context but it also has connections to appetite and passion in general. It can be placed in the context of lust for power or other desires. The colors orange and red and flames signify burning desires. An image that is blatantly suggestive without the softness of romance portrays the sin of lust, as opposed to the concept of love. Apple and serpent imagery from the Bible's story of Adam and Eve's original sin is sometimes linked with the sin of lust.
Wrath refers to anger, fury and refusal of love. The color red typically represents wrath. Intense red and black makeup, a harsh landscape, fire and a war-like figure or scene help convey wrath. Your imagery should be sharp and angular, even violent as in the war theme.
Sloth is the sin of avoiding work and effort. A very cool gray or blue color palette gives the impression of motionlessness. A figure in a state of decay or wasting away may be covered with cobwebs. Alternatively, you could choose to portray a model dressed and posed like a porcelain doll, bright and shiny but never used. Washington Irving's ''Rip Van Winkle'' famously tells the story of a lazy man who sleeps for 20 years and awakens to find that he has slept through the American Revolution.
Greed is the sin of obsession with material belongings, especially at the expense of others. A model dressed opulently and ignoring a beggar is a straightforward, blunt image. Many stories throughout history have explored the sin of greed and selfishness and could be used as a basis for a photo shoot, such as the Greek myth of King Midas. Everything King Midas touched turned to gold; when he turned his food and drink and even his child into gold, he found his greed had been a curse.
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