The series presents front and profile portraits of mainly female characters, their faces painted and adorned with ornaments, exuding an atmosphere which is both mystical and fantastic. Immersed in an ambiance that is extremely somber, the photographs – some of which are printed on Duratrans and therefore backlit – come literally out of the dark. To complement the set design and accompany the visitor in a global sensory experience, Stella & Claudel developed a specific soundtrack for the exhibition and asked Annick Menardo (perfumer at Firmenich) to create an olfactory ambiance inspired by their photos. In ten days, just over 600 visitors visited the exhibition. In 2008, Stella Cadente met Florian Claudel during a fashion shoot. The meeting of these two individuals is primarily a human experience, based on shared values and a shared vision of photography. They chose to work together because they wanted to combine their talents and sensitivities, which are complementary rather than similar, and therefore create a unique and original body of photographic work. As they themselves explain: "Creating as a duo brings the richness of otherness, but also certain constraints that drive us to surpass ourselves". United by a quest for authenticity and sincerity in the creation of images, as in their everyday lives, their work strives in particular towards finding a certain simplicity in the photographic process. In the series "Light of the First Day," for example, they chose to light the subjects using only candles, and then chose not to digitally enhance the images, in order preserve the imperfect beauty of the models. In the work of Stella & Claudel, one can also see the systematic pursuit of a certain form of incongruity linked to a taste for confrontation, or contradiction. This may be between the substance and form, or within the subject itself, its treatment. Here, the candle lighting, to achieve a chiaroscuro, illustrates a confrontation that is fundamental to the art of photography, and valued by Stella & Claudel, the use of darkness to reveal the light. Similarly, the extreme sophistication of the trappings of the subjects expressed through raw primary materials, such as leather, metal, feather or fur, reveals another contradiction. Beauty here becomes primitive, ancestral and eternal and it is this paradox that gives strength and character to the subjects.