What do you do?
I’m a fashion and celebrity photographer that splits his time between the Australian and US market.
Why do you do what you do?
I’ve always been a daydreamer, so becoming a conceptual photographer created a way for me to make a living from channelling my imagination and breathing it into reality.
Where do you do it?
I’m a gun for hire, meaning that I create wherever I am and wherever I’m paid to be. I’ve shot in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia. I’ve let go of any traditional ideas of where my life will take me, which makes the present more enjoyable.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m writing to you from Los Angeles. I’m on an editorial assignment shooting a cover and main fashion story for a new print magazine called Tangent. I’ll be here for another three days before flying back to Australia, then I’m working with Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter Langley Fox, who is an illustrator as well as a popular model.
What’s it like being the Australian Editor of Black Magazine?
I love Black magazine. It’s one of the very last true independent magazine channels for original fashion and creativity in the Australasian market, which is difficult to find these days as everyone is fighting for advertising dollars and sacrificing artistic exploration or integrity to appease their backers. My editors have always given me the room to explore my aesthetic as well as bringing in contributors who are producing fresh content that doesn’t look like everyone else’s. I’m a big champion of the publication and if you love magazines, you need to hunt it down and purchase a copy!
Elaborate on the latest issue’s cover and why you chose the feature the designers you did?
That shoot was a spontaneous moment after our Australian editorial team had been covering Sydney fashion week. I’ve shot Marthe Wiggers before for Black Magazine – I think she has an incredible look and will have an exciting future in the business – so our Australian fashion editor Sarah Birchley chose some of her favourite looks from the new collections and we decided to pull together the shoot with her at the end of the week. The flowers were a last minute idea when I saw which dresses had arrived. Whilst Marthe was in hair and makeup, I took iPhone snaps and walked to a local florist and chose a flower to represent each design. Gemma Elaine created the beautiful makeup and the extraordinary hand crafted wig was hand cut by Iggy Rosales the night before the shoot (he was up until 4am cutting). Subconsciously the hair looked like a flower itself, and although it was a quick shoot, I love the final result. I think the shoot is a good example of the power of simplicity when the elements are crafted very carefully.
What’s it like working with Kimbra?
I was a fan before I worked with her so it’s always exciting having so much music to draw from, in terms of creating a visual world. I think we have a healthy relationship where we challenge each other to think in new ways and I feel very honoured to have witnessed her journey and been allowed access into her adventures. I have tremendous respect for her as an artist and a human being. I would highly recommend purchasing the album ‘The Golden Echo’ from iTunes and having a listen on an excellent set of headphones. It really is an extraordinary piece of work. I think both of us share the journey of dancing between the commercial realities of our industries and the artistic pursuit of possibility that our creative-selves strive for.
Who’s your model muse and why?
I don’t think I have one particular model muse. If you look at the girls I’ve worked with in the past, I’m always looking for someone with incredibly distinctive features who omits a strong emotion in her photos. I’m lucky because I’ve now worked with so many of my favourite models, which seemed impossible to me when I was first starting out my career. I like strong women with strong personalities, who have conviction and passion. Coming from a family of five sisters meant that I was always comfortable with strong female role models and it feels very natural to me. I’m not interested in creating imagery where women are sexual objects or victims. I think at times sexuality can be a theme in my pictures, but the woman always feels powerful.
What’s your guilty fashion pleasure?
Going shopping just for myself. I’m surrounded by luxury fashion so much in my day-to-day activities that I feel like I get my fashion fix from the shoots alone. So when I take time out with friends or by myself to go purchase a beautiful pair of shoes or a beautiful outfit, that feels like something special just for me, no one else.
Is Tyra Banks really that fierce?
I didn’t know what to expect but I found her to be charming, lovely and down to earth. She was incredibly approachable to everyone on set (the Tyra Banks for Black Magazine shoot) and she was passionate about getting the best image possible. After the whole experience I have an incredible respect for her as a human being (particularly after our interview) and for me, she has become a symbol of determination and not to take what everyone tells you to heart. If you look at her personal story outside of the chaos of the top model franchise, you really see someone who has constantly broken boundaries and forged her own future. I respect her.
Photo credits: Image borrowed courtesy of Black Magazine
Photography: THOM KERR
Styling: SARAH BIRCHLEY
Beauty: GEMMA ELAINE
Hair: IGGY ROSALES
Model: MARTHE WIGGERS (IMG)