portfolio shoot

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

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

Johnny is represented by GTR Global.

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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.

170729 Shaun Ripper 198 R

170729 Shaun Ripper 130 R

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.

170729 Shaun Ripper 101 R

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!

170729 Shaun Ripper 242 R

Shaun is represented by GTR International

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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XY: Blake

170222 Blake XY 158 R

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.

170222 Blake XY 083 R

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.

170222 Blake XY 120 R

 

 

 

Fresh Face: Sam Kieseker

 

170212 Sam Kieseker 073 R

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.

170212 Sam Kieseker 013 R

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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.

170212 Sam Kieseker 133 R

 

Testing With Marlon

On a cold, wet, miserable day, I had a shoot scheduled with Marlon, a new recruit signed with GTR. Poor Marlon is from the more northern shores of Australia, and was down in Melbourne for only a few days, so the cold was probably a shock to the system. In any case, he was such a trooper, and a pleasure to shoot. I’d photographed his sister earlier in the year, and his father is an ex model too, so it must run in the family!

This was Marlon’s first test, but you wouldn’t know it by watching him. He moved really well, and wasn’t afraid to try out a few different poses and techniques. He also took direction well, which can be hard for newer models.

We both ended up getting really soggy by the end of the shoot, but the overcast weather created excellent light for photographing, and so I was pleased with the results. Marlon’s new agent was also thrilled, instantly sharing the images all over social media. I don’t think this is the last time I’ll see Marlon- if he wants to continue modelling I have no doubt he will go places!

160705 Marlon De Koster 174

^ My favourite image from the shoot – the colour of Marlon’s eyes really shines here.

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!

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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.