port melbourne

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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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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Mini Road Trip With Jeremy

I’m really enjoying doing a lot more testing lately, especially on location. Here are a few snaps from a last minute shoot with Jeremy Anderson from GTR. I initially wanted to drive down to Werribee for this, but we only got as far as Altona before I wanted to stop and shoot. Sometimes I just like to drive around and jump out when a spot catches my eye.170127-jeremy-anderson-207-r


I took the Profoto kit out with me, but I actually just ended up using completely natural light. When shooting tests without an assistnat, I find it faster, and this keeps the pace of the session nice and snappy.


This shot of Jeremy under the bridge was my favourite of the shoot. I love capturing interesting pockets of light and this one was a great find! Thanks Jeremy for being a great model, and MYER for the clothing.


Touring The Port With Peggy

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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!

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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.