Category Archives: portrait

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

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

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.  





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)

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.  

My Amazon Portraits Featured

My photos and I are being featured on 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

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.

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. (


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

Story of an NGO Photographer – An Excerpt From My Book

Working as an NGO photographer and documenting the work of not-for-profit organisations that are improving people’s lives, inspires me endlessly.  More than anything, it brings a sense of hope.  I have witnessed so many seemingly hopeless situations turned upside down, resulting in thriving human beings and optimistic communities, all thanks to the committed work of everyday people .  These people show me that any one of us can be a hero, a lifesaver, even an angel.

I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a book I am writing, about my three year journey through Latin America.  This passage describes an experience I had in Nicaragua, while working with the amazing grass roots organisation, Empowerment International.  The organisation was formed by an extraordinary North American woman Kathy, who couldn’t walk away from a community in need, so she moved to Nicaragua to work day and night to change their situation.

I volunteered with Empowerment, teaching photography classes to the children and creating a photo documentary of their projects.


On my first day volunteering with Empowerment, Anielka led me into the barrio of Villa de Esperanza, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Granada.  Many of the families there were surviving on less than two dollars a day, and the desperation was blatant.  The barrio was a single dirt street, deeply corroded by rain and grey water. 

As we walked, Anielka asked a young mother what she was up to, and the girl replied, “Cooking and cleaning, like always”.  Her shack was one tiny room surrounded by a small dirt yard.  I could see that even in the poorest areas of Nicaragua people are obsessive about hygiene and appearance.  Most people’s blocks of land were smaller than my parent’s barbeque patio, and majority of that land wasn’t even officially owned. 

The homes were even more piteous than those I’d visited with Opportunity International (another NGO I’d volunteered with), constructed of scraps of wood, metal, and cardboard.  The people we passed seemed fairly happy, but when Anielka stopped to talk, each person weighed her down with their worries.  None of the four women we were scheduled to visit was home.  The neighbours of each told us the women were busy dealing with some problem that had just arisen, involving either their children or abusive husband. 

We stopped outside a well-built wooden shack to talk to a girl bouncing a baby boy on her knee.  I guessed that it was her brother.  I was wrong.  She was older than she appeared, at eighteen years old, and her first child was born four years earlier.  The next home we stopped at was of a woman, about my age (of 28), who had nine kids.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted more.  On our way out of the barrio two pretty teenager girls with babies greeted Anielka and she introduced us.  The mothers smiled proudly as they talked about their babies, one of them giggled coyly behind her hand when she told me she had her first baby at thirteen. 

As life in the barrio presents the girls with little opportunity or hope, being mothers seems to be the best and often the only thing to which they can aspire.  Intoxicated with romance, they often fall pregnant in the hope that a baby will enkindle a commitment from their equally young boyfriend, even as they see families fall apart around them every day.  In Nicaragua the infamous Latino Machismo dictates that a manly man can get all the girls he wants and getting girls pregnant proves that he is a real man.  If your girl isn’t pregnant, there’s something wrong with you. 

If things continued on the same course, by the time the thirteen and fourteen year old mothers were my age they would be grandmothers.  With no jobs other than selling wild fruit for a few dollars a week, they would continue to live in overcrowded houses and perpetuate another generation of poverty, with a rapidly increasing number of sufferers. 

It was evident to me how important the work of Empowerment was to this community.  Poverty isn’t just about missing out on comforts and pleasures: it spawns powerlessness, breads domestic abuse and leads desperate people to criminality.  Through education, the cycle of poverty can be broken in a single generation, but you don’t just have to convince the children to go to school.  The hardest part can be convincing parents how important it is to allow the children to stop working in order to learn. 

Kathy looked heartbroken as she told me the story of one of her most successful student’s struggle.  With the support of Empowerment, the girl had completed primary school and high school.  Her mother was uneducated and became jealous of her daughter’s success.  The woman felt worthless in comparison and accused her daughter of thinking her mother wasn’t good enough and that was the reason she wanted a different, better life, and she expressed her feelings through abuse towards her daughter.  At times the abuse got so bad that the girl had to stay in the Empowerment office, where Kathy kept a bedroom for students from rural areas to sleep. 

The Empowerment staff spent time communicating with the mother about the importance of education and how it could make life better for the whole family.  Eventually she came to understand and the girl returned home, continuing on to University education.  It was one of the many struggles that I would hear about during my two weeks with Empowerment.  I was overwhelmed with the change that was happening everyday in the village, thanks to one human being’s commitment to help others. 

The following day there were three police cars blocking the muddy street into the barrio.  Heavily armed officers concealed by balaclavas scrutinized the home where four Empowerment kids lived.  Anielka explained to me that they were narcotics officers, and they wore balaclavas to hide their identities from criminals.  I followed her closely, not sure if I was allowed to watch the commotion and nervous that we might be about to get caught in the middle of shootout.  

It was all the barrio women could talk about that day.  Our home visits were enlivened with gossip amongst the mothers who were all relieved that the cops had finally busted the drug dealers.  Each one assured us that they didn’t inform the police, and that it could have been anyone because everybody knew those people were dealing.  They told us that buyers would turn up at all hours looking for the house where you could buy cocaine and marijuana.  The mothers hated their children being around that kind of activity.  The community was safer now, but Anielka was worried about what would happen to the kids now that their parents would be going to jail. 

Drugs were a big risk for kids in the barrio.  Cocaine was available on their doorstep for $1, money which they might steal or earn by selling fruit or sweets.  Glue was also easy to get and Anielka knew kids who were addicted to sniffing.  In that environment even the most promising kids were at risk.  Some of Empowerment’s most successful students were suffering anxiety and depression. 

When we returned to headquarters after the home visits, Kathy invited me into her office to talk about our plan for the rest of the week.  She looked worn out.  Two teenage girls were in the room sobbing.  They both had bandages around their wrists and were cradling each other.  I sat down in the spare chair and looked at Kathy, unsure what to do or say.   She told me in English what had happened, that the girls had slit each other’s wrists.  My heart broke at their desperate cry for help.  For Kathy, it was just another day. 



Anielka during one of our home visits in the barrio


A young mother


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

Portraits of The Disappearing Amazon


Dreams are worth chasing.


It was June 2012.  I had a dream to travel into the depths of the Amazon and photograph tribes that I’d heard may disappear within my lifetime.  If I didn’t follow my dream, perhaps no one would capture images of these people, whose cultures had fascinated me since I was a little girl.  Perhaps no one would create a visual memory of their traditional way of life for the future generations to remember and appreciate.


I had no contacts and no leads, but something within me told me I could do it, and that I had to do it.  I committed myself to the project and spent the following 2 months exploring the Amazon of Peru in search of tribes to photograph in their traditional dress to create a visual documentation of how life looks, or looked, for peoples whose traditional way of life is being slowly, or in many cases, rapidly forgotten.


I hope to return to the Amazon soon to continue encountering and photographing the vast and diverse tribal cultures that live within the mysterious jungle.  This project turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  Dreams are worth chasing.


Here is a tiny sample of the mountain of photographs I was fortunate to capture during my adventures.  I hope you enjoy them.  There are more on the way.


This elder woman from the Matses tribe is one of the last in her village to continue wearing facial piercings, a practice which she began as a young lady. The adornments originate from local palm trees, and the ink of her tattoo is made from the huito plant.


The feet of a Yagua elder. He has never worn shoes.


A young boy from the Bora tribe adorned with his tribe’s traditional face paint. In his village, traditional dress and body painting is now only worn on special occasions and for tourism.


This young Ashaninka girl lives deep within the Amazon. My camera may have been the first she ever saw. Her nose is pierced with cotton thread, with a jewel hanging. All women in the village paint their faces each morning, with red paint from the achote plant, in patterns which reflect the previous night dreams, their mood or simply to look beautiful.


Here are the first two behind the scenes videos shot by my assistant/partner James.  Check back here for additional videos in the coming months.



To see more of my humanitarian photographs and travel photographs, please visit  Thanks for visiting!




Las Cubanitas – Our Article in Surfgirl Magazine (UK)

This March, James and I met with Cuba’s female surfing population, all two of them.

Lorena is the only female bodyboarder in Cuba and Yaya is the only female stand-up surfer.  These passionate women inspired us to write their story about what it’s like to live and surf in a country where educated people live off government rations, surf shops don’t exist and waves go unexplored because people don’t have cars or gas to get to them.

Here’s the article from this months Surfgirl Magazine, available in The UK and Europe.




Cuba Travel Article in G Magazine

Photos by Alicia Fox

Words by James Galletly

Cuba may not be well known as an eco-travel destination, but its eco-credentials, like its musicians and cigars, are first class.


In 2006, the WWF’s Living Planet Report named Cuba the only nation on earth achieving sustainable development.  This big claim was based on Cubans having a high standard of living (assessed via levels of health, education and GDP) and at the same time maintaining a sustainable Ecological Footprint….



To view more of my published work please go to

Cuba Photo Essay

Cuba Pobre : Poor Cuba


Cubans showed me that in some ways their country is one of the richest places on Earth.  The music, the culture and the spirit of the people are so strong.  So alive!

But economically, many Cubans are struggling.  Even with food rations that the government provides for the population, people are struggling to survive on wages which average just $15 per month.


In March 2012 I shot a photo essay for Newsmax, documenting the poor side of Cuba.  Completing this assignment lead me to meet and spend time with some outstandingly wonderful human beings whose spirits actually shone stronger because of their hardships.  It lead me into buildings that were literally crumbling where families still lived and into a world where I got a brief sense of what life is like in a city where food is so scarce that a cup of rice or a couple of bananas are hard to come by.

And all these hardships just make Cubans stronger; more unified and more positive.  They are people who live for the moment, enjoying life simply because they were lucky enough to be born Cuban!


A Havana local outside a dilapidated building on Habana Street, Old Havana (The city’s tourist centre). Shells of colonial buildings stand alongside lived in homes throughout Havana.


A blue car in old Havana Cuba

An old car sits in front of a building facade which has crumbled internally. Old Havana, Cuba


A mother and daughter in their family home, in a block of flats in Central Havana. The room pictured is the entire living space of the family: a shared single bed on one side and toilet on the other – separated from the living area by a plastic curtain. There is no running water so the buckets are filled downstairs and stored in the room.


Living conditions in Havana, Cuba

A single bed and rocking chair are the sum total of the household furniture. Mother and her daughter sit on their bed while the neighbor visits, Central Havana neighbourhood.


Empty store shelver in Havana, Cuba

A store in Central Havana with sparse supplies of tobacco, cigarettes, salt, rice, sugar, beans, oil, coffee and juice


Homeless man in Havana, Cuba

Lazaro has been homeless for 3-4 years. He sleeps in the street. His wife is dead and his children have moved to Mexico. The white bag contains his belongings. He told me he cannot work because of his crippled hand. He said “Many people here are homeless.”  Lazaro is the most memorable person I met in Cuba.


Homeless men in Havana, Cuba

My favourite photo from my whole trip to Cuba.  Three homeless men waiting outside the Comedor in Central Havana, for lunch to be served.


Rooftops in Havana, Cuba

A view looking over Central Havana from Hotel Parque Central, on Paseo del Prado


Broken building in Old Havana, Cuba

Broken building on Amargura Street, Old Havana


Old Havana, Cuba

Old Havana, Cuba

Electricity in Havana Cuba

Entrance to residential building in Central Havana, the electricity wires run from the meter box up to each individual residence.


Havana Cuba

Wooden supports on a building in Central Havana

Homeless man and bins in Old Havana, Cuba

Homeless man looking at clothes in the trash on a popular tourist street in Old Havana


To see more of my published photos please visit

Portraits of Peru

I am six weeks into my trip to Peru, that’s about half way if James and I follow our loose schedule.

I am so excited about the images I have been capturing here in this vibrant country.  Here is a sample of what I have been up to over the last month.

(Above)  This is an image I shot on a floating reed island of Lake Titicaca, Peru.  The young boy was playing on the other side of the tiny island.  I knew this line of  reeds would make a beautiful background for a shot and I wanted the little boy to run towards me, so I got into position and set up my camera with a fairly shallow depth of field (f/6.3) and fast shutter speed (1/640sec) to freeze him in motion.  I waited a few minutes till he came my way then I made eye contact and got his attention, making him smile.  I shot three frames and this is my favourite of the three.

(Above)  Visiting Machu Picchu was an INCREDIBLE experience. Even as I was ascending the harsh mountainside to the entrance I could feel that I was arriving to a special place in the world. Exploring the ruins was inspiring, but (as a portrait photographer) I found myself time and time again returning to the only residents of the area – the llamas. I spent a few hours stalking these lovely animals in different parts of the ruins. This one was my favourite because her name is Alicia (her ear tag told me).

The lighting was moody that day – the sun was nearly breaking through the clouds but only in certain areas – leaving the background mountains shaded. I shot with my wide angle lens (at 24mm) to capture a feeling of closeness with Alicia, while still including a wide area of the ruins in the background. With an aperture of f/6.3 the far ruins fell out of focus just enough to make Alicia stand out.



Women Weavers in Guatemala

 A photo essay of women weavers in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, shot for Vision Guatemala.


Lake Atitlan is a magical part of Guatemala that draws many tourists who want to experience its reputed energy.  But for many women and families living in this area, life is tough and money is very scarce.  I shot this photo essay for Vision Guatemala, a small non-profit organisation that is working to help women find a source of income, offering micro-finance, training and community development.  In doing so, their tradition of weaving beautiful textiles can be kept alive.


Being fortunate to enter their homes and witness this amazing art gave me a deep appreciation for their skill in weaving.  The women I met have amazing talent and beautiful spirits.










If you would like to see more photos that I have taken for non-profit organisations in South and Central America, please see my website at

Cuban Countryside

I’d fallen in love with Havana before I even arrived in Cuba, but I hadn’t heard much about Cuba’s countryside, a part of the country that I fell in love with at first sight.



Sunrise cycling around Viñales, Cuba


The rich colours of a tobacco farm and farmhouse in Viñales, with a mogote (limestone formation) in the background


Yovel is harvesting his tobacco. He has an agreement with the government in which his rents the land free of charge then sells the dried tobacco to the state. He is free to grow vegetables for his family on this land.


A farmer working the land with oxen, preparing to plant yucca.