fresh face

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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Stunning Dayana

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Can we just pause a moment and look at how beautiful this girl is?

I might have a new model crush haha. A while ago now, I did a test with Jimmy Ford, and his girlfriend Dayana came along too. She had only been signed to GTR a few days before, and this was to be her second shoot. As usual, I spent some time at H&M gathering garments for the shoot, but this time I decided to get a hair and makeup artist on board too, to add that extra polish to the images. Que my go-to MUA and super-bro Jyoti Chandra.

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I photographed Jimmy whilst Jyoti worked on Dayana’s makeup. Then we got shooting. Dayana was fantastic, especially for being inexperienced. She wasn’t stiff, and kept moving, experimenting with poses and expressions. We worked through the outfits really quickly, continuing to change garments and lighting.

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I will not be surprised if this face becomes world-famous one day. Dayana was really fun to work with, and I was overwhelmed with how many great frames I had to choose from. Good luck in your career Dayana!

Oh and don’t forget to check out some more of Jyoti’s work too. Clicky click.

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XY: Blake

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Last week, Blake from the newly founded XY Management visited my studio for a test shoot. XY, despite being quite small, have a great range of talent on their books, so I was excited to begin working with some of the boys. As the name may suggest, they only represent males.

As this was my first test with the agency, I thought I would do a range of lighting setups in the studio, as well as a few natural light shots outside, to give diversity to Blake’s book.

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Blake was very serious, but could definitely do the ‘smouldering model look’ well. He mentioned that he was always asked to do a serious expression in front of the camera, so it came naturally. Getting a few lighter, more ‘smiley’ expressions out of him was a challenge, but we managed a few.

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It was one of those horribly hot, still Melbourne days, but we did go outside for a few moments to snap some shots in the sunshine. Full marks to Blake who even wore long sleeves for the shots. What a trooper. Thanks Marta from XY for organising the shoot, and Blake for making it down to the studio.

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Dodging Puddles

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So much testing lately! But it keeps me on my toes so that’s a good thing. A few agencies have been keeping me busy with model portfolio updates, and I really enjoy working with different talent. I also love getting out on location to shoot- it gets me away from the studio and the computer for a while. Those who know me will also know that I hate looking at screens (yup, I’m in the wrong industry, I know!), but unfortunately there is so much back end and admin work when you freelance, that spending a long time in front of my computer is inevitable. So as I was saying, I embrace the opportunity to work with a model on location, especially if the natural light it working in my favour. Whilst I love my flash, sometimes I just want to streamline the process and not have to worry about positioning the light or deciding how I want to blend it with the ambient. It’s faster just to spin myself or my subject around, or find a great patch of golden sunlight to work with.

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For this reason, I have been getting back to using natural light when doing test shoots on location. Aside from being quicker, I also allows me to work solo and not have to worry about an assistant or bringing a huge pile of gear. It also keeps me reactive, as I have to find the best light around, no matter what the weather is doing.

Shooting with Chloe, recently signed with GTR, provided a lighting challenge for me. We had planned to shoot on a Sunday, as Chloe is still studying, but the weather wasn’t looking the driest.. Huge clouds hung in the sky, and it would occasionally pour with rain. Still, I met Chloe and her mum at the meeting spot and hoped that the rain would hold off.

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As you can probably see from the shots, the rain did subside, and the clouds acted as a huge softbox, which actually worked in our favour. I was really impressed with how Chloe moved, especially being so young. She didn’t need any warming up and just got straight into it. She seemed really aware of her body and the shapes she could make, and took direction well too.

I styled the shoot myself (something I have recently started doing, and that I am loving!) and I loved the colour palette of the garments I had chosen. I think they suited Chloe well too. The tough bit was not keeping everything, as some of the pieces were super cute (I’m looking at you blue and white shorts…)

When we were shooting our last shot, a friendly walker stopped to comment that “the model had arrived” (referring to himself.) I played along, asking him to get in the shot and pose, which he completely didn’t expect. I think he loved it though. Haha.

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Thanks Chloe for a fabulous shoot, looking forward to working with you again soon!

Chloe is represented by GTR.

 

Fresh Face: Sam Kieseker

 

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I always love working with new faces, especially when there isn’t an elaborate concept behind the shoot. I find that this really allows me to develop the expressions of the talent, and get them feeling more comfortable in front of the camera. Because there is no background or context, the model’s ability to emote and have something going on in their eyes is really important.

A few weeks ago, I had Sam come in to the studio for some new folio images. He had recently been signed with GTR, and was even off to Hong Kong the following week. Sam was a little nervous at first, but really enthusiastic and willing to try anything I threw at him. He took direction well, which I think is particularly important for new faces.

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As the shoot developed, Sam became more comfortable in front of the camera and relaxed a lot. This meant that I was able to capture a range of emotions, both light and serious, which added extra diversity to his book.

A quick venture outside the studio ended the shoot- I never tire of the textures and shades of the walls nearby the studio, but I think I’m going to have to come up with some new locations soon so that my folio doesn’t look too repetitive!

Thanks Sam for coming down to the studio, and best of luck in HK!

Sam is represented by Greg Tyshing.

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Jamie x Summer

I love testing with new faces, and so when Jamie approached me on instagram suggesting we do a shoot, I jumped at the chance. I have recently been enjoying the fluidity of shooting outdoors on location, and using the natural light around me. It’s a great change from being in the studio and having to tweat light until I am competely satisfied with it, and it keeps me on my toes in terms of observation.

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I had one of my favourite and most trusted makeup artists, Jyoti,  on board. Luckily, she is also a stylist, so I didn’t have to worry about wardrobe. Sometimes I can get by and put looks together, but often I am just bluffing and a proper stylist can get the job done much quicker.

I’m not incredibly fashionable myself. Haha.

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Jamie was fabulous to work with, I can’t beleive she’s only just finished high school. We shot really fast, as she didn’t need to warm up at all and just got straight into delivering brialliant frames. She was able to emote really well, as was so in tune with her body shapes and positions, so the shoot flew by.

We also snuck in some winter looks at the end- can you tell it was actually really warm weather?


Photographer: Steph Doran
Model: Jamie Fowler @ Brazen
HMUA/ Stylist: Jyoti Chandra

Olivia Visits The Studio

I have been working with a few actors and actresses recently to capture natural, honest portraits of them for their CVs. The latest talent to enter my studio was Olivia, who was great fun to photograph. I really wanted to capture her friendly, cheerful nature, so there was a lot of smiling going on (some of it prompted by my terrible jokes.) All the best for the auditions Olivia!

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