Photographer Beth Garrabrant recently opened up about working with Taylor Swift on the now-iconic black and white photo series for Folklore and how the whole photoshoot came together.

Speaking with i-d, Beth recalled getting that very first phone call from Taylor. She said,

“I was at my studio in Austin when my phone rang. I work in an old 1940s house that was converted into artist studios, it sits on about seven acres of land, and I was taking a walk around the property with our neighbor’s dog Jolene when I got the call. One week later I was in the woods with Taylor.”

folklore photoshoot taylor swift
Credit: Beth Garrabrant

Beth added that Taylor already had a clear vision of what she wanted the album to look like.

“From the very beginning, Taylor had a clear idea of what she wanted for the album’s visuals. We looked at Surrealist work, imagery that toyed with human scale in nature. We also looked at early autochromes, ambrotypes, and photo storybooks from the 1940s.”

Although Beth typically shoots in color, she said that Taylor “envisioned the series in black and white.”

The resulting imagery features Taylor enjoying the solitude of the woods while wearing cardigans, oversized plaid blazers, and rugby shirts in the heat of the summer.

folklore photoshoot taylor swift mad woman
Credit: Beth Garrabrant

The photo series and accompanying fashion have since inspired an expanded interest in the cottagecore trend, which takes inspiration from a traditionally feminine aesthetic. It’s a nostalgic take on simpler times, particularly in a natural setting.

Despite the trend being a tad, ahem, colonialist, people of color have found a way to reinvent the trend and adapt it to make space for themselves.

You can currently stream Folklore on Spotify and watch the music video for “Cardigan” here.

To see more of Beth’s photography, check our her portfolio here.


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Categories: Music