portrait shoot

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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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.

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.

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

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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Finally Getting To Work With Jimmy

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I’ve been meaning to work with James Ford for a while now, but our schedules have never aligned and he is often out of the country. But last week I had the pleasure of having him come into the studio for a test shoot. I’ve worked with Jimmy’s sister Peggy a few times, and we had spoken via social media, but it was great to finally be able to meet in the flesh.

I could tell right from the beginning that Jimmy was a seasoned professional. He knew his poses, had great expressions, and got straight into it without needing to warm up at all. The frame above on the right was literally the second frame I took all day.

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I got all of my garments from H&M this time, so we had a few different outfits to work with. I find it hard to source quirky, interesting pieces for males, as there seems to be a lot less available (on the mainstream market) than for females. Luckily Jimmy’s strong expressions and great posing easily carried the frames. Because of this, the shoot was over really quickly. Thanks Jimmy for finally getting in front of my camera, and good luck in Asia!

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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