Boho Fashion Photography : Tree of Life Campaign Shoots

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I’ve had a fantastic time shooting these two campaigns for Australian bohemian fashion brand Tree of Life.  The campaign above is titled Gyspy Wanderer.  I’m in love with the styling, which in a way, bridges my fashion images with my travel photos from around the world, through the inclusion of vintage Afghani accessories, and the “Gypsy Wanderer” theme that somewhat represents my life pre-Sydney.

Below is a photo of one of my posters in the shop window of Tree of Life at Bondi Junction, followed by photos from the shoot.  This campaign was “Midnight Garden”.  While planning and shooting the images I took inspiration from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I have loved ever since I studied it in high school.  You can see additional images from these shoots on my Facebook and Instagram, over the coming week.

Tree of Life Australia

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Posted in Ethical Photography, Fashion, portrait Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Opening Night at Pachamama Exbhibition

We had an amazing turn out to the opening night of Pachamama Exhibition on Thursday, 26 June.  Art lovers from all over Sydney came to view images of indigenous peoples of Latin America, by five photographers including me.  Each photographer’s set of images illustrated a theme relating to the people’s relationship with Pachamama:

 

Tradition by Alicia Fox

Displacement by Rodrigo Llauro & Natalia Cartney

Reconnection by Guillermo Rossi

Adaptation by Armando Vega

Relationship by Toril Pursell

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Me with my photo “Ashaninka Baby”. Photo by Shanks

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Some of my photos, each from the Amazon region of Peru

Latin musicians creating a wonderful atmosphere for Opening Night

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James showing where in the Amazon live the tribes we visited for the photographs

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An enthusiastic crowd

 

All photos were for sale, with a percentage going to NGOs assisting the people in the photographs.  Images (framed and unframed) are still available for purchase, so feel free to contact me if you are interested.

 

Below is a short excerpt from a call out by Survival International, an NGO working to protect isolated tribes in regions including the Amazon.  It explains why rapid action to help vulnerable tribes people is important.

 An alarming number of uncontacted Indians have been sighted fleeing Peru and entering Brazil.

Brazil’s Indian Affairs Department has warned that they face imminent “death” as they enter into the territory of other uncontacted tribes and settled communities. Rampant illegal logging in Peru is believed to be at the heart of this impending disaster.

There are only about 100 uncontacted tribes left in the world today. Introduced diseases are their biggest killer as they lack immunity to viruses such as influenza, measles and chicken pox. It is not unusual for tribes to be virtually wiped out after first contact.

The Panará people of Brazil, for example, were decimated when a highway was bulldozed through their land in the 1970s. Hundreds of road builders moved in, and with them came waves of deadly epidemics. Just 69 Panará survived, out of a population of around 400.

Aké, a Panará leader who survived, recalls this dark time: “We were in the village and everybody began to die. Some people went into the forest and more died there. We were ill and weak and couldn’t even bury our dead. They just lay rotting on the ground.”

Uncontacted tribes are some of the most vulnerable peoples on the planet and they urgently need your help.

We simply mustn’t allow another people to suffer the consequences of our unsustainable appetite for natural resources. Uncontacted tribes add enormously to the diversity of human life. To lose a tribe is to lose a language, knowledge of plants and animals and a view of life that is unique.

They will only survive if their land is mapped out and protected. Survival is campaigning for the Peruvian and Brazilian governments to implement these measures and to honor their promise to improve cross-border coordination to safeguard the tribes’ welfare.

Our recent success in having loggers evicted from the Awá’s land proves that, with enough pressure, we can stop these illegal activities.”

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Pachamama Photography Exhibition

Wikipedia: “Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. She is also known as the earth/time mother.  In Inca mythology, Mama Pacha or Pachamama is a fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting…She is also an ever present and independent deity who has her own self-sufficient and creative power to sustain life on this earth.”

I was thrilled to be invited to take part in Pachamama Photography Exhibition in Sydney. Opening this Thursday (26 June), the exhibition will run across the weekend in StirrUp Gallery, Marrickville.  This group exhibition will feature the work of 5 photographers, including me: images which explore the relationship between indigenous peoples in Latin America and Pachamama.

I’d love to see you there.  You can find the event details RIGHT HERE.

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Posted in Eco Photography, Humanitarian Photography, NGO photography, Peru, portrait, South America Photos, Travel Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , |

My Environmental Pledge

As Sustainably As Possibly (ASAP) invited me for an interview to share my story behind running an eco photography business.  I was the second to be interviewed for the Pledgecast series, following NSW Greens MP, John Kaye.  I felt quite honoured.

Through this short interview you can hear how travelling made me realise, in an unforgettable way, that how I live in Australia affects people all around the world.

As part of the interview, ASAP asked me to make an environmental pledge.  Fast fashion is a serious problem in today’s world, and working as a fashion photographer, this is something I am very conscious of.  Sustainable fashion expert, Lucy Siegle estimates that each year, 80 billion garments are produced throughout the world.  The conditions under which most of these are made are dangerous, both for garment factory workers and for our environment (during production and at the end of fast fashion’s short life when the clothing is sent to landfill).  

I pledged to stop buying new clothing and consumables.  Since I made the pledge, I have had a fantastic time discovering beautiful and unique clothes in second hand stores (from the Salvos to fancy vintage stores).  There are even websites dedicated to helping Australian’s buy and swap pre-loved fashion.  Buying second hand clothing is good for the conscience, the wallet and a wonderful way to find your own style.  

Posted in Eco Tips, Ethical Photography, Fashion, NGO photography, Travel Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reconciliation Week

Today is National Sorry Day.  This week is Reconciliation Week in Australia.  I show my respect for all those who have suffered and those who continue to heal as a result of our country’s past, and the continuing inequalities between black and white Australia.

Australia prides itself on being a place of fairness. But our government doesn’t always reflect the values of it’s citizens.  Our Constitution still does not recognise the first Australians, and it still allows the States to ban people from voting based on their race.  I was shocked and disturbed when I heard this.  I support changes to recognise Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our Constitution.

RECOGNISE (the people’s movement to recognise ATSI peoples in our Constitution) says that “National Sorry Day is a time to recognise and remember the trauma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities affected by the Stolen Generations policies.”  Please take a moment to visit the RECOGNISE website here.

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Photos I shot at Chill Island Festival, 2008.  

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Cocoze Photo Shoot & Interview : Eco Shoes

I love working with sustainable brands, creating beautiful images to help promote inspired and cutting edge products.  It’s important to me to see these positive grass-roots businesses prosper.  I recently had the pleasure of photographing for Cocoze Shoes, a fantastic new Canadian company making eco shoes from coconut fiber and natural rubber: an alternative to the highly disposable synthetic thong that we Australian’s love to wear.

 

Below  is a quick Q&A with Wayne Seto, Managing Partner at Cocoze Shoes.

 

What are the best 3 things about Cocoze Shoes?
There are so many good things about Cocoze Shoes that choosing only 3 things was difficult.  So I consulted the founder of Cocoze, Pierre Thomson, for his input.  In the end we both agreed upon the following, if it had to be only 3:
1) Our shoes at Cocoze naturally and gently exfoliate the soles of your feet, making your feet soft, healthy and beautiful.
2) Coconut fiber (coir) used to make our shoes is 100% natural, sustainable and biodegradable.  Thus good for people and good for the planet.
3) Cocoze Shoes are all hand made in Thailand in a small eco-friendly factory.  No chemicals, dyes or toxins are used in our production. Also, excess materials and trimmings are recycled resulting in a zero waste production process.

 

Where did you come up with the idea?
To be honest, the idea for a coconut fiber shoe happened purely by accident.  The idea was born in the backwoods wilderness of Nelson, British Columbia (Canada). Pierre (company founder) was living there about 3 years ago and was using coconut fiber as a growing medium for his home garden. Coconut fiber is used in the agricultural sector for its natural qualities such as being antibacterial, antifungal and having a neutral ph level. Also, coconut fiber has a natural rooting hormone that helps build soil and helps your garden grow.  During this time, Pierre got very interested in working with coconut fiber and started making other things with the fiber such as coffee cup sleeves, dish scrubbies and bath mats. One day, he happened to be standing bare feet on a sheet of coconut fiber and liked the way it felt. Cocoze Shoes was born from that very moment!  Like I said, the invention of the coconut fiber shoe was a bit of luck crossing over with a bit of inspiration at the right time.

 

Why is being environmentally sustainable important?
Everyone on this planet is a consumer of some sort in their daily lives.  While developing our shoes over the last 2-3 years, we’ve come to see that all our actions have an impact on nature and the world around us.  Natural resources are often finite and/or limited.  Working with coconut fiber had us look at the concept of waste in a much different way.  Much of the coconut fiber in source countries of Southeast Asia consider coconut fiber to be a waste product and is generally disposed of or burned (up to 75%).  Much of the world finds value in the coconut on the inside with the coconut water, milk and meat not realizing there is also great value in its rough exterior.  With the world’s resources often being finite, we’ve taken the mindset with our shoes of turning “waste to worth”.  We feel we have created the world’s most natural and eco-friendly sandal from a completely sustainable fiber.

 

Where can people find Cocoze shoes?
Currently, Cocoze Shoes are only available online at www.cocoze.com.  However, we are preparing to launch a crowd funding campaign via www.kickstarter.com to manufacture a 100% natural and biodegradable shoe/sandal using materials such as Hemp and Flax for the tops.  We are very excited about this and anyone can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for updates as to the date of the live launch.

 

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Carlie Ballard : Ethical Fashion Photo Shoot

Photo Shoot for Sustainable Fashion Label Carlie Ballard

 

Carlie Ballard is an inspiring, big-hearted lady who I have now had the pleasure of working with twice.  Her self titled fashion label harnesses the creative talents of artisans in developing countries, and fuses these with beautiful designs to create contemporary garments for the modern day wardrobe.

With a strong philosophy of mixing sustainable fabrics (including hand woven fabrics and organic cotton), fair labour practices and traditional techniques, Carlie Ballard creates garments with longevity and a touch of culture for the adventurer and dreamer in all of us.  The clothing is made in a small workshop in India, offering the dignity of employment, fair pay and excellent working conditions to a talented group of artisans. All of the profits from the workshop are dedicated to growing its capacity to employ, train and support the families of the women it has been established to assist.

Carlie is also a founding member of Clean Cut Fashion, a collective of sustainable fashion advocates, and is the curator of online store Indigo Bazaar,  a carefully curated selection of cutting edge brands from around the world which are at the forefront of the sustainability movement.

Below are images from my recent campaign shoot for Carlie Ballard, with Model, Olivia Pranic from Debut Management, and Hair & Make up by Michelle Mae.

 

Follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with my latest fashion photographs @AliciaFoxPhotography

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Caribbean Panama Portraits

Travel is like an intensified version of normal life.  We take ourselves out of our comfort zone to situations where the ups are higher and the downs take us deeper than we have ever been.  This is why we often return from travelling feeling like a new person:  so much more experienced, wiser and even enlightened.

 

After a year or so travelling through South America, I’d been confronted by many lows (and many more highs, thankfully).  One thing that irritated me was how long things took.  I’m pretty chilled out and enjoy taking my time, but on Latin American time things can be excruciatingly slow.  The border crossing from Colombia to Panama is one example of this.  The whole process of travelling by boat from port towns to port towns took days.  I understand that authorities in this Darien Gap region are wise to watch their ports for drug smugglers, but anyone who has spoken to locals knows that the authorities are aware of the traffickers and allow certain offenders to slip through the cracks.

 

On arriving to Panama, at the tiny village of Puerto Obaldia, the immigration officer sitting inside his sweltering hot cement block informed us that for no particular reason, it would take 4 hours to process our papers.  I decided to get my Taoist on and make the most of the situation.  A little girl sat outside the office.  She was the officer’s daughter.  We started chatting and soon two of her friends came to join us.  I gave them stickers and showed them through my Panama guide book – they were fascinated to see photos of their country, places they never knew existed.  They were adorable and I absolutely had to take their photographs.  They loved being in front of the camera and hours later when I needed a break, they didn’t want to stop posing for the camera.

 

I entered some photos of my amigas into a Unicef Panama photo competition.  I was one of the winners and was so happy to see my photo, captured thanks to a slow immigration officer, blown up in an exhibition in Panama City, helping raise awareness of children’s issues.

See behind the scenes photos on my Pinterest page

www.pinterest.com/aliciafoxphotog/photo-shoot-behind-the-scenes/

Posted in Central America, Humanitarian Photography, NGO photography, portrait, Travel Photography, Volunteering Latin America Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Indigo Bazaar Shoot – Ethical Fashion Photography

Indigo Bazaar is an ethical fashion company providing beautiful clothing that is made in a way that is good for the environment and for the garment workers and artisans who are part of the production.  As consumers become more aware of the dangerous and unfair working conditions involved with fast fashion, entrepreneurs like Carlie Ballard, founder of Indigo Bazaar, are providing alternatives for those of us who want to know that our clothing comes with good karma.

 

I photographed these natural portraits of Carlie wearing Indigo Bazaar, for her promotions and online profiles.  It was a wonderfully fun afternoon with Carlie and Make up Artist Emily, from LittleFox Makeup Artistry.  

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Tea Photography

After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.  My love for tea began on the beaches of Sri Lanka where I drank sweet, milky black tea because it was easier to come by than clean drinking water.  Living in Japan, I gained a deep respect for green tea and sacred Japanese tea traditions.  In Latin America, I learned about the medicinal benefits of an endless variety of herbal infusions.

I have a thing for tea.  Half of my kitchen shelves are allocated to food, the other half to teas and herbal “tea” blends.  I appreciate the variety of textures, tastes, colours and aromas, as well as the healing effects of each different blend.  So you can imagine how much fun I had photographing these images.  All blends were lovingly created  by Amber at T Totaler.

 

“Tea” includes black, green and white tea from the (Camellia sinensis) plant.  

“Herbal infusions” are beverages that are prepared by adding herbs to hot water, usually between 70-100 degrees celsius.  

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The Urban Ecoist Post #1: Food

Just because you live in Inner City Sydney, doesn’t mean you can’t live out your eco homesteading dreams.  I do my best to be as green as possible in every aspect of my life, from growing my own organic vegetables to living in a chemical free home.  I do what is best for our environment, which includes what is best for my own health.  After all, we humans are part of the eco system too.

The Kitchen

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1. Each Sunday I walk down to Addison Road Markets in Marrickille, to buy my chemical-free fruit and veges (my own garden is only 2 months old so just produces salad greens so far). I talk to the stall owners to find out about that week’s produce. The delicious, gluten free bread is freshly made by the lovely folks at Common Ground, a commune not far from Sydney.

2. My first crop of (giant) home grown mushrooms. They were the sweetest mushrooms I’ve ever eaten.

3. My seeds, nuts and dried foods come from Alfalfa House Co-op (Enmore), my favourite place to shop. The stock is as organic, local and ethically produced as possible.  I love the co-op so much that I volunteer there every week, helping out wherever necessary. I take my own jars and recycled paper bags to eliminate waste. I rarely go to a supermarket, because the amount of packaging of supermarket products is something I won’t support. Additionally, nearly anything in a packet contains harmful additives and preservatives.

 

 The Garden

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1 & 2.  Making seedling pots out of recycled newspaper, with Pot Makers

3 & 4.  Planting organic seeds in the morning sunshine

5.  James’s hardworking hands contrasting with the smoothness of a cherry tomato (featuring one of nature’s perfect patterns/sacred geometry)

I would love to hear your stories and tips for organic living.  Please contact me on any of my social networks.  I’m enjoying being part of the rapidly growing network of likeminded people – both locally in globally.

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Why be an “Eco Photographer”?

Being an Eco Photographer means reducing the environmental impact of every aspect of my business, and working with (i.e. producing photos for) clients that have a positive impact on the environment.  

 

I was trying to formulate an explanation as to why I’ve decided to be an “Eco Photographer” and what this actually means.  Then one day three things happened to me and I became so impassioned that I did what anyone would do… I got on my soapbox (i.e. my personal Facebook wall) and shared what I was feeling with my friends and family.  I received such an overwhelmingly supportive response that I decided to include my little story on this blog.  It gives you an idea of how I live my personal life, which crosses over into my business life.  So here it is:

 

I don’t often put unhappy things on Facebook but I feel the need to share this today  It has 3 parts, and hopefully is inspiring:
1. James came home and told me, with a smile, that he had a song stuck in his head all day, the song of some beautiful girls from the Ashaninka tribe we stayed with by Ene River, in the Amazon. Translated, the chorus goes: “Ene River, please take care of me”.
2. At my exhibition of Amazon photos on the weekend, a man came up to me and said, “Did you hear about the Amazonian tribe that can’t drink their water because the oil company poisoned it?”. I said, “Things like that happen all the time in the Amazon… It’s unbelievable!”
3. I went for a walk at lunch (in Sydney) and a man was blowing leaves around the road with a petrol powered leaf blower. He wasn’t actually moving the leaves anywhere in particular, just wasting petrol.I am as much to blame as anyone else for the poisoned water that is making my friends in the Amazon sick. We all use the oil that is being drilled, which is killing the fish, the animals and sometimes the children. Every day I will do what I can to stop supporting the companies that knowingly let this happen. I have given up plastic almost completely, I walk/ride nearly everywhere I go and I try my best in every other way to reduce plastic and petrol consumption. Sorry to be grim, but I just wanted to share this because most people that I talk to about what happens in the Amazon, have no idea. It’s not widely publicised.The good news is that every one of us can make a positive difference. Every time you spend money you endorse what that company is doing…so spend wisely xx  That’s all. Good night

 

(If you would like to hear the beautiful song about Ene River, it begins at 44 seconds in this movie)
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5 Tips For Being A More Eco Human/Photographer

1. Support local, small businesses.  This gives you a chance to meet the people whose company you are supporting, and find out how the products are made/grown.  Because it’s local you can walk there (or use less petrol to arrive there).
2.  Furnish your house/studio with recycled or upcycled  furniture.  It’s quite amazing what you can pick up at the op shop or market – people throw away some beautiful things.  In a place like Sydney or Melbourne it’s easy to find almost anything you need on the street side.  Each day I walk by anything from wide screen TVs to vintage furniture.
3.  Use chemical-free cleaning products.  With a few simple ingredients (bicarb soda, vinegar and eucalyptus oil) you can cover almost all of your cleaning needs.  Using these natural alternatives is also much better for your health.
4.  Go paper-free.  You can do almost everything online these days.
5.  Use a renewable energy plan or solar power.  

Posted in Eco Photography, Eco Tips, Ethical Photography, Humanitarian Photography, NGO photography, Peru, Photography Tips, portrait, South America Photos, Travel Photography, Volunteering Latin America, Wellness Photographer Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My Amazon Portraits Featured

My photos and I are being featured on fivepointfive.org and I think you should check it out, here.  You’ll gain an insight into my project Portraits of The Disappearing Amazon, a 3 month journey which will changed my life.  You can also get the background story on some of my favourite portraits from the project, and the beautiful people within them.

 

Five Point Five is about inspiring you to do those things that you will remember with satisfaction for the rest of your life.  They are all about travel, lifestyle and making a positive difference in the world – 3 things that are really important to me too.  The website offers information and mini documentaries on volunteering overseas, as well as travel resources and inspiration.  So go get inspired…

 

Portraits of the Disappearing Amazon by Alicia Fox

by Alicia Fox Photography

by Alicia Fox Photography

Posted in Central America, Humanitarian Photography, NGO photography, Peru, portrait, South America Photos, Travel Photography, Volunteering Latin America Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Surbala Fashion Shoot

Surbala is a resort wear label founded by Neha, a charming fashion designer from India.  Neha sources artisans from her home country, who handmake Surbala’s collections, employing traditional Indian techniques.  When I first met Neha to plan our fashion shoot, I could instantly see the great passion she has for her work, and through talking with her, it was obvious that she goes to great lengths to ensure that each Surbala piece is made with love and care.
I appreciate the way she works so much that I asked Neha to share a bit about Surbala, with my blog readers.
Sydney-Fashion-Photographer

Me: What does “Surbala” mean?

Neha: I came across the word Surbala when as a student, I first read acclaimed Indian poet Shri Makhan Lal Chaturvedi’s famous Hindi poem “Pushp ki Abhilasha“ (means the aspirations of a flower).  He mentions the word Surbala that refers to a beautiful woman.

In Hindi, technically SUR means a musical note & BALA means a young woman. The word Surbala stuck by me for a long time. And when I was thinking of naming my clothing label, I couldn’t think of more suitable name as I see my clients as beautiful and perfect ladies.

 

Me:  How do you choose and source your fabrics?

Neha:  Once I have researched and finalized the color palette & silhouettes for the next season, I plan a sourcing trip for 1-2 months where I source fabrics and develop the prints/textures/embroidery from scratch.

It’s a continuous process, taking anywhere from 15-25 days in developing a swatch of embroidery or a new pattern and creating it into a style.

Intrinsically I love traditional Indian textiles techniques and hand-woven fabrics, and I always try to support the artisans by incorporating beautiful handmade crafts in my collection.

 

Me:  Tell us about the artisans who make the fabrics & garments.

Neha:  Surbala tries to amalgamate traditional textiles from India eg. handmade fabrics like Handloom silks, chanderis etc and traditional printing techniques like Hand tie & Dye, Batik, Shibori, hand beading, applique, hand block printing from Rajasthan, Kantha etc along with modern printing  technique like digital prints etc. We source our artisans through organizations like DASTKAR which provide a platform for willing designers and businesses to meet and connect with talented artisans from all over India. (http://www.dastkar.org/organisationalmap.htm)

 

Me:  How are Surbala’s fabrics made?

Neha:  Base fabrics like cotton, laces etc. are sourced and then printing techniques or embroidery techniques are applied (hand block printing, hand beading, applique etc.). Many traditional techniques like DABU (resist hand block printing technique from Rajasthan) use natural dyes for printing. For my S/S 13 14 collection I have developed a range of hand-woven Chanderi (made of silk & cotton thread in warp & weft) kaftans.

 

Me:  What makes Surbala different from other brands?

Neha:  Surbala appeals to a target market of sensitive shoppers who appreciate the ethereal quality of handmade textiles.

We also try to give most affordable prices possible to our customer in Resortwear category as compared to our competitors.  We are currently working on an online format and cut down on the huge costs of rent etc. and hence can pass on the benefit to the customers & eventually pass it on the our artisans as well which makes each Surbala piece truly handmade with love!!!

 

Thanks Neha xx

 

www.surbala.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/SurbalaCaftans

http://www.youngrepublic.com/designer/surbala.html

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Hair Photo Shoot

I’m excited to put up these new photos from a recent hair shoot, with styling by KDelme Hairdressing.

 

Two weeks ago I was apartment hunting around Sydney.  As soon as I entered one in Petersham, I knew I had to have it, with this shoot in mind.  The wooden floorboards, ornate doorways and blank walls would make a perfect backdrop.

A week later the apartment was mine and I was doing this hair shoot with a really fun group of ladies.  We had a ball!!

 

Photography & Styling: Alicia Fox

Hair:  Kaarina Hamilton and Helen Billingham

Make Up: Alysha Maree

Models:  Stephanie Wicks and Elissa Laforce

Flower Crowns:  Bella Rowz

Clothing:  Surbala

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