Winter Sun (Publication)

A test shoot that I captured last year has been published on Sticks & Stones online! Jonny Harris from GTR and I braved the winter cold to capture some images around the arts centre. I love playing with light and shadow, so this time of year is one of my favourite times to shoot. Jonny was amazing to work with, really relaxed but also open to trying anything. A lot of models feel awkward contorting their bodies into strange poses, or trying potentially unflattering expressions, but Jonny actually initiated the slightly ‘odd’ feel to the shoot.

Here are the images that made it into the online feature

And here are some more shots that didn’t make the cut…

(The first one is probably my favourite!)170630 Jonathon Harris 171 R170630 Jonathon Harris 106 R

170630 Jonathon Harris 003 R

Check out the full editorial in all its website-ey glory here: Sticks and Stones.

Johnny is represented by GTR Global.

Human Canvas

170501 Chervil Tan 070 R

Something that often raises its head in my mind is the topic of personal insecurity. Not in the financial or physical sense, but more in the way of a mindset or mentality. Being a photographer, my work is a visual medium, and therefore every job has infinite possible resolutions and outcomes (rather than one ‘correct’ answer). That makes it highly subjective, and very open to interpretation. I think that many artists are a little insecure about their work deep down, and I am not a stranger to doubting my own abilities or artistic vision. So when someone approaches me with praise for my style, I get very very excited (if not a little “aww shucks” esque.)

One such kind soul was Alex Nixon, a student studying makeup. Alex had seen my work online and asked me to document one of her projects, which involved body painting. She sent me some references, and noted that she wanted to create a piece that was inspired by Chinese and Japanese traditional paintings. This was, of course, right up my alley, so I agreed straight away. We organised a date and time, as well as a gorgeous model – Chervil Tan from Vivien’s.

On shoot day, Alex pre-painted Chervil’s back before arriving at the studio. The references she sent me had been quite well-lit, with a pale grey background, so that is what I started off with. I wanted to ensure that I documented Alex’s work clearly, so that you could see the brushstrokes and fine details.

But after that, I wanted to have some fun of my own.

I thought that the concept and subject would really suit some darker, more moody lighting. So once we had the lighter shots captured, I changed the lighting to something more directional, to really accentuate texture and form. I love the way that the light falls on the body (in the image above), as the physical 3D nature of the back and shoulders blends with the painted landscape. I was also careful to keep the face in shadow, so that the emphasis was still on the painting, and the image had a sense of anonymity about it.

170501 Chervil Tan 123 R

Of course, I took some portraits as well, and some shots to show the makeup on Chervil’s face (not just her back!) How gorgeous is the kimono? Alex whipped it up herself the night before. So much skill! The colours were also really gorgeous, especially against the hues of the cheeks.

I wanted to capture a quiet, almost still mood for these images, and I think they came out well. Alex was absolutely stoked with the shots, which I was really pleased about. All the best with the folio Alex!

170501 Chervil Tan 116 R

“Changes” Editorial

It seems like a long time ago that I worked on this collaboration with Marlene Olsson and Erin Tunn, but its finally allowed to be shown to the world. We photographed this collaborative piece around the time when David Bowie passed away, so there was a little bit of an influence in that respect. We also had no stylist on the day, as our scheduled stylist unfortunately fell ill. So the styling was all up to me, and therefore ended up featuring such designer garments as a vintage kimono (inside out), and a queen size bed sheet. Going to be all the rage next season, I hear.

Read about the shoot in an earlier blog post here.

Steph Doran
HMUA: Marlene Olsson
Model: Erin @ GTR Global
Assistant: Josephine Tut

2016-03-02 Erin Test 0772016-03-02 Erin Test 2442016-03-02 Erin Test 0962016-03-02 Erin Test 3852016-03-02 Erin Test 3182016-03-02 Erin Test 328 v2ml2016-03-02 Erin Test 3462016-03-02 Erin Test 309

Touring The Port With Peggy

2016-02-19 Peggy Test 071_1

Sometimes I love shooting really really loosely with no plan at all. A lot of time time I am working in the studio with lots of pre-production, planning, and conceptualising. I’ll make mood boards, work with a stylist to match outfits to concepts, or have my models sit through 3 hours of hair and makeup.

But sometimes I like to be spontaneous and go into a shoot with no plan. Particularly for tests. I like reacting to my surroundings and working with what I have got. I think that this kind of shooting keeps me on my toes.

Last week I invited Peggy Ford from GTR to test with me in Port Melbourne. We had worked together before, and I really loved Peggy’s energy and persona. Plus she lived nearby, so a casual shoot was easy to organise. We had no hair and makeup, and no stylist. Literally Peggy, myself, and a camera. Peggy did her own hair and makeup, which was natural and clean. I wanted to focus more on her, and her expressions.

So we got in my tiny car and drove around Port Melbourne, jumping out and taking a few snaps as we arrived at locations that caught our eye. It was a really overcast day, which I quite liked because the light was even and flattering.

At one stage we stumbled upon an abandoned indoor swimming pool- so of course we ventured inside. There were some shattered windows that let in the most gorgeous light, which provided an interesting contrast to the almost apocalyptic background. The water in the pool was bright green- it looked like it had been sitting there a while. So we were very conscious of not falling in!

2016-02-19 Peggy Test 229_1

The final shots of the day were taken on the beach. I usually don’t like shooting models on the beach, because I feel like it can look quite typical or overdone. But I loved the soft light and washed out tones that the weather gave us. Teamed with a light blue sweater, the mood of these images was very light and natural. I was really happy with how the whole shoot came out.

In total, we spent about and hour and a half shooting and driving around. Peggy was brilliant in front of the camera, and so diverse, so we were able to shoot really quickly. Plus I enjoy a fast paced shoot as I think it keeps the energy of everyone involved on a high level, and also stops the shoot becoming a drag. I like to think that if I’ve got the shot- move on. If I haven’t got the shot and it’s not working- move on.

I’m really looking forward to my next test shoot.

Published In Solstice UK

Very excited to see my work published in issue 3 of Solstice magazine in the UK. This series is called ‘Colour Is Cure,’ and features some stunning Antidote activewear made by Aussie designer Lara Ulasowski.

MODEL || Peggy Ford @ Scene
HMUA || Jyoti Chandra
ASSIST || Bella Plush

If you want to hold my work in your hands, the MagCloud link for purchasing the issue is here