fashion photographer

Testing with Mikio in Kyoto

It has been ages since I did a test shoot, as I’ve been busy moving countries! But I finally got the chance to do an un-structured, freestyle shoot with Mikio, a model that I met in Tokyo. He was in Kyoto for a trip, so we decided to meet up and do a test shoot for his book.

One thing that I really love about Japan is the light. Photographers, you will understand. The quality of the light here is beautiful, its much softer and hazier than Melbourne, which has a very hard, intense kind of light. I feel very inspired shooting in Japan.

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We shot these images at a university campus in Kyoto (I pretended to be an exchange student so that we could get free parking.) It was surprisingly diverse with many different textures and areas to explore, and a lot of the buildings were brand new, with gorgeous architecture. I really wanted this shoot to be about Mikio, and not about the location, which is why I opted for simple backgrounds. I also didn’t want it to be stereotypically ‘Japanese,’ which is why we didn’t shoot at a shrine or other similar structure.

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Japanese folios are so different from those in Melbourne. They really lean towards the smiley, happy, commercial look, whereas in Melbourne it is all about looking serious and slightly pissed off or bored. The contrast is really interesting. So I tried to include some more serious expressions in Mikio’s shots, so balance out his very ‘happy’ images. We got a few smiley ones in there too though, to keep his agent happy! Thanks Mikio for a great first shoot in Kyoto!

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Richie @GTR

I love working with models on more than one occasion, because it means that the initial ‘awkward’ phase is already broken down. If I’ve shot a model before, and get to work with them again, we already have an established level of rapport, and that makes the second shoot even more fun! After photographing Richie Barron in the studio a few months back, I worked with him again (literally the next day) on location. I think we got some pretty decent shots!170630 Richard Barron 029 R

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Johnny Harris also came along to play for a while, and we worked on some doubles images. I think these two work really well together, and they are both such lovely guys! Thank you GTR Global for putting me in touch with such fantastic talent!

2x Japanophiles

If you have even a slight interest in Japan or Japanese culture, you and I will get on just fine. Those that know me know that I can talk about Japan endlessly for hours, and rejoice in re-living the noise the 7/11 ATM makes when it gives you cash, or the way the trains line up at EXACTLY (like, to the millimetre) where they are supposed to stop on at the platform. There are other people in this world that share the same fascination with Japan as I do, and apparently we are called “Japanophiles.”

So when GTR sent me a fellow Japanophile model to photograph, the stars aligned.

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I actually didn’t know that Shaun Ripper was as obsessed with Japan as me until I met him on shoot day. I chose to photograph him in a local park in Prahran, because it offered lots of textures and different pockets of light to explore. But once we got talking and worked out that we were both Japan heads, there was no stopping us.

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It was actually supposed to storm and pour with rain on this day, but the weather held out and we actually got some fantastic afternoon light. The dark storm clouds also coloured the sky and stopped everything from just being blown out white. Thanks meteorology.

After the shoot, and bonding over ramen stories and a fellow love of J-vloggers, Shaun and I parted ways. I knew that I was moving to Japan, so I suggested that if Shaun ever came over to visit, we should do a shoot together again. (Spoiler alert: I’m writing this literally 5 months after I shot it, and we did end up doing a test in Tokyo. Stay tuned for that post!)

シャウンくん、ありがとうございますね!

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Shaun is represented by GTR International

One Of The Boys

It is now the end of winter (well, almost), but an editorial that I shot at the start of the season has just been released. I’m proud to announce that I’ve been published in The Model Magazine, from the US. My most recent editorial, One Of The Boys can be found in both the print and online magazine, and you can even buy it! (Check out the August 2017 edition.) Here is the online teaser featuring my work.

I was working with models from GTR Global, who were amazing as per usual. Keegan I had worked with before, but Lorenzo was a new face. It was really different working with two models at the same time, but I really enjoyed it. Having two people to pose opened up more possibilities for composition and variation. I think Keegan and Lorenzo looked really good together.

I wanted to shoot at an athletics track, as I’d recently stumbled across one by accident and liked the graphic lines and bold red colour of the track. With that in mind, I got a bunch of ‘sporty’ casual wear from Myer and H&M to dress the boys in.

It was, as per usual, a really cold day in the middle of winter, so I was glad that I wasn’t having to get changed every few minutes, and got to stay snug inside my coat (sorry boys.) I had hoped to catch some golden winter light, but the clouds had other ideas. But one of the skills of a photographer is being able to adapt and “make it work” in any scenario, so that’s what I tried to do.

One thing that I noticed whilst shooting was the change in the way that Keegan worked in front of the camera. Having shot with him before, I couldn’t help but compare his current on-camera presence with that of our last shoot. I noticed that he had improved a lot since the time before, and seemed a lot more comfortable in front of the lens. That was really nice to observe. It really like working with talent on multiple occasions, so see how they progress, but also because it’s just nice to work with good people again.

Thank you Keegan and Lorenzo for being great models.

MODELS: Keegan Venturato @ GTR and Scene // Lorenzo Sandy @ GTR and Chadwick

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Shadow Play @ Testing Grounds

Melbourne’s winter light is one of my favourite things to experiment with when it comes to model test shoots. Having such short days, and having the sun at such a low position in the sky really allows you to play with light and shadow. There is also a kind of haze that falls upon the city, giving everything a glow that is hard to put into words. You also don’t have to wait as long for the golden hour.

The downside is, its heckin’ cold!

It’s been a while since I tested with a female model, so I was excited to shoot with Annabelle Curtain from GTR. I absolutely went to town on the styling, sourcing lots of shiny things, pinks, skirts, and metallics- things that just aren’t in the menswear ranges this season. I wanted to shoot at Testing Grounds in Southbank, because I walk past it on an almost daily basis, but had never stepped foot inside. I love the textures of the concrete in there, as well as the pink and mint colour palette. I knew there were also lots of interesting areas and different pockets of texture to work with.

It had rained the day before, so the ground was still wet. This also added some reflection to a few shots, which I really loved. I was so excited to shoot a few jackets that I got from Nana Judy- nothing is better in a photo shoot than an overdose of sequins. Nothing.

I think the garments went really well with the location, as I had a rough colour palette in mind when I was sourcing everything. Annabelle was great to work with too. She took direction well, and didn’t complain about the winter cold at all, despite having the beginnings of a cold. What a trooper.

Thanks for a fun shoot Belle! x

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Ichiko | 衣知子

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this yet! Here are some shots I took of Ichiko in Tokyo last year. Ichiko is signed with Folio Management in Azabujuban, and she was great fun to work with! We shot in the streets surrounding the agency office, exploring the different textures that Tokyo’s suburban landscape has to offer.

お昨年、私は衣知子さんの写真を撮りました。衣知子さんはフォリオ マネジメントのモデルです。写真撮影とても楽しかったです。会社の近くところに撮りました。私たちは日本語だけが話しました。ちょっとチャレンジでしたけど良かった。どうもありがとう衣知子さん!!

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We conducted the whole shoot in Japanese, and Ichiko was really easy to photograph. She didn’t need any warming up and was able to give off a range of expressions with ease. She also moved so well, creating great shaped with her body. I have to say I was really jealous of her hair- why can’t my hair grow that long!

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We shot for about an hour before returning to the warmth of the Folio office. I love shooting in Tokyo and never tire of the landscape. I just feel very inspired by what is around me- probably because it isn’t the same as Melbourne. The light in Japan is also different; there is just something about it that excites me visually. On the day that Ichiko and I worked together, it was overcast and kind of dull, but that didn’t stop us.

Thank you so much Ichiko for being an amazing model <3

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Ichiko is represented by Folio Management Tokyo

Yuki | ゆうき

東京の麻布十番でフォリオ マネジメントのゆうきさんの写真を撮りました。とても楽しかったです。私たちは日本語だけか話しました。私はちょっとへんな日本語を話しますからおもしろかった。10月から東京に住めます。それからもう一度ふぉりフォリオ マネジメントのモデルと会いたいです。^ー^

(english)↓

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Anyone who knows me knows that I frequently travel to Japan. I’ve only just started shooting there recently though. (Models and test shoots I mean- obviously I’ve taken my camera there to capture the country many times!)

In March I returned to Tokyo to do some testing with Folio Management models. I had done a few test shoots late last year, and when the agency heard that I was back in town, they asked if I could photograph a few of their girls. One of those faces was the beautiful Yuki. She arrived at the office with her little baby in tow, so the other office staff got to care for him whilst we went out shooting.

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The shoot didn’t take long at all, as I work pretty quickly in order to keep the pace and enthusiasm up. It was pretty chilly out in the streets if Azabujuban, but I felt fine as I had just spend two weeks up in the snowy northern part of the country. Compared to the -10C I had been in, Tokyo felt like summer. But I think Yuki was pleased to get her coat back on between shots.

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I didn’t speak English the whole time, which was pretty fun! My Japanese is mostly self-taught, so I speak a little bit strangely sometimes (well, I think so.) But I managed to communicate easily and even learned some new words (mostly how to describe facial expressions, which is obviously handy when working in portraiture!)

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Thanks Yuki and FOLIO for working with me in Tokyo. Looking forward to October when I will be back for more!

Yuki is represented by Folio Management Tokyo