Category Archives: portrait

Products I love : Bamboo Photo Prints

It is important to me to be able to offer my clients photo prints that are on the cutting edge of sustainability.  As more people move towards a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, companies are able to deliver green options to consumers.  As I come across outstanding products, I will be sharing these with you, here on my blog.

I was seeking out the most eco way to print my photographs, and this bamboo product sounded fantastic.  I decided to try out this new eco style of photo printing.

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The quality of colour and contrast in this bamboo print really make the image pop

 

What I love:

– The print looks really good.  The texture of the bamboo has been maintained, so the finish has a beautiful, natural texture, reminiscent of art paper.  The edges have a beautiful, unique look, and the keyholes on the back make it easy to hang.

– It is made from bamboo which is incredibly sustainable.  Bamboo grows fast, can sequester more carbon than trees and generally doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides.

– The prints last for decades (or longer) due to the durability of bamboo, and the satin laminate protects against dust and UV rays.

 

Things that could be improved:

 – There is a decent amount of glue used in production which could be substituted with a more environmentally friendly product.

– At the time of printing, I was unable to find a company producing this product in Australia (or even Asia) so this had to be shipped from Texas, which leaves a HUGE environmental footprint (especially considering the heavy weight).  I’m sure similar products will be available closer to home before too long.

 

I would absolutely love to hear from you at info@aliciafox.net if you have information on sustainable printing options.

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The natural texture of the bamboo is maintained, which adds a beautiful feel to the image

 

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The bamboo edging creates a unique look

Stay tuned for more eco product reviews and join me on social media for updates!

Article About Me in Junkies Magazine

Junkies magazine is a fantastic new Australian publication celebrating the concept of rethink, reuse, reduce and recycle.  It’s jam-packed full of articles and photos of creative ways to help the planet, your own way.

 

I’m thrilled to have this wonderful write up about my photography included in the Spring issue of Junkies magazine.  These images are from my project Portraits of The Disappearing Amazon, for which I had the privilege of visiting and photographing tribes in the Amazon jungle over a 3 month period.  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  Please enjoy the images.

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Alicia Fox Photography in Junkies Magazine

Boho Fashion Photography : Tree of Life Campaign Shoots

Bohemian Fashion by Alicia Fox Photography Bohemian Fashion by Alicia Fox Photography

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

Bohemian Fashion by Alicia Fox Photography Tree of Life Bohemian Fashion by Alicia Fox Photography Bohemian Fashion by Alicia Fox Photography

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.”

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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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.  

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

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

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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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.  

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

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.
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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

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 www.AliciaFoxPhotography.com.  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.