melbourne model

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!

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Richie @ GTR

Working with some northern talent this week, Richie Barron was in Melbourne, so we organised a studio shoot for him. Having come all the way from Queensland, Richie found Melbourne pretty cold and wet, but luckily the studio has heating :)

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Richie is represented by GTR Global

Johnny x COOLS in the Studio

Testing with Johnny in the studio, with funky garments by Barney Cools. I love their simple designs (I am particularly in love with one jumper that I wish they made in a girl’s size!) Thanks Johnny for coming down to the studio to test!

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Johnny is represented by GTR Global.
Garments by Barney Cools.

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

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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Human Canvas

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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.

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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!

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The Worst Time Of Day To Take A Photo

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Sometimes spontaneity is best. I was talking with one of my best friends (who also happens to be my go-to talented makeup artist and stylist) Jyoti Chandra, and we decided we should do a random test shoot. We had no model, but Jyoti got in touch with a girl that she had worked with before, Jasmine, and we organised a spur of the moment shoot.

Because of everyone’s availabilities at short notice, we ended up planning the shoot for 11am in the middle of summer. Two things that we failed to consider; a) it’s darn hot at 11am, especially when the temperature was set to hit 30. And b) hard summer light isn’t the most flattering when it’s right above your head.

Time to problem solve!

After getting ready in Jyoti’s apartment, I brought the Profoto B2 kit on location with me to try to add some light into the deep shadows that the sun was giving us. Unfortunately, that particular kit isn’t powerful enough to overpower such strong sunlight. So I had to change tact. Instead, I worked with pockets of shade, keeping Jas a little more evenly-lit, and avoiding the horrible shadows that were otherwise forming under her eyes.

The shoot was over in about an hour, as Jas had to go to work. But as she was leaving, she put her glasses on and I knew I had to get a shot of her with them (because they were super cute glasses!) This ended up being my favourite shot of the day, I think because of the colour in the background, and the side light (which was just the apartment door being slightly open; so complicated!) Thanks team for a great shoot!

MODEL: Jasmine Geen
HMUA / STYLIST: Jyoti Chandra

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