Tag Archives: 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.
I spent a week living in a hotel in the middle of the pulsing heart of Granada – The Market. I would wake up each day at 5:30am (the heat was insane even at that hour), walk out the door and grab some fruit, veges and fresh tortillas for breakfast, each time returning home with almost the same amount of money.
It stinks and its probably a bit dangerous at night, but I definitely recommend staying in the middle of a Central American market if you get the chance. You’ll feel like you are getting to know the real people and the real country, and it’s much easier to photograph at golden hour when you only have to step out the front door.
I bought cheese from these two all the time. It was delicious.
I have added a new page to my blog, Chugchilan in 30 Days.
Chugchilan is the little village I am currently living in. There is no bank, no post office and no noise. There is a whole lot of charm, culture and natural beauty.
You can also get a written perspective of the village on my partner James’ blog.
My boyfriend James is on a mission to recycle everything possible. While in Peru, he designed a funky wallet that can be made from used milk, juice or wine 1 litre cartons.
He taught some local kids how to recycle the cartons into wallets, and he started a 1-man factory in our apartment where he created wallets from the piles of cartons which were donated. All wallets come from either Peru or Ecuador, with a variety of images and writing in Español.
These wallets will be for sale. If you want some early inside info, send me an email at email@example.com
Fotógrafo de las ONG en el Perú
While I am living in South and Central America I will be photographing for NPOs and NGOs to help with their publicity. I will be in Peru until February 2010, when I head to Ecuador. I will then be travelling to Central America. My location and schedule are flexible and I will be in South/Central America until 2011. Please contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are looking for a photographer or if you would like further information.
These photos are of some of the beautiful children I have been working with in Peru with the organisation Otra Cosa.
When I started my blog earlier this year, one of my first posts included a photo of Mum which I took back in Brisbane. So it only seemed fair to post a photo of my Dad, which I took when I returned to Brisbane once again. This is Dad, as most people know him – in his favourite hat. Merry Christmas to all, from Peru.
After 6 amazing months in the east, I have left my temporary home of Japan and headed to new shores. I now call Huanchaco home – a little seaside town in the north of Peru.
The lifestyle is very different and pace of life is much slower than in Japan. For this new chapter of my life, I will be take a break from fashion photography and focus my energy on the surrounding environment with more of a documentary style. I will be travelling around South and Central America for 2 years – surfing, dancing, working with NGOs and documenting the journey for magazine/newspaper articles and an upcoming book, with my partner James Galletly.
I look forward to putting up new photos for you to see from this side of the world.
Here are some of my final photos from Japan
Above: Early morning fishermen (and women) gather on the beach of Ichinomia to gather food the old fashioned way in this dramatic landscape. (See more photos in the TRAVEL folio on my website)
Above: James and I spent our final month in Japan relaxing in the Okinawa Islands. This was one of the many glorious sunsets I enjoyed there.
Here is a photo from my recent bodypaint shoot. I wanted a strong Japanese theme, with white skin influenced by geisha, acting as a canvas for the Japanese flowers across Alex’s face and body. The fan, flowers and chopsticks enhance the flavour, to create a set of images that I love.
The girls were amazing. Annco did the bodypaint and make up on our model Alex Brooks.
We had a lot of fun shooting this. We originally intended to shoot outside, but after discussing the timid nature of most Japanese people (even in Tokyo) we decided that it was probably too confronting to photograph a ‘naked’ woman outside. We decided to shoot in Annco’s apartment against a perfect white wall, and the other 3 walls were close enough to act as a soft box with the single Speedlight flash.
Thanks to the girls.
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from the kimono shoot I did on Sunday. Naomi, the stylist is a professional kimono dresser in Tokyo. I now understand why you need a license to dress kimonos – the number of layers required, and the skill involved in all the folding and tying is phenomenal. Shoko did a great job assisting Naomi (and me) and Hideyuki did a wonderful job on Aya’s hair and make up.
The first theme was sporty, and the styling included wired shoelaces in Aya’s hair and Nike high top sneakers. The second merged Chinese and Japanese traditional styles to create a uniquely classic look. With two sets of make up, hair and kimono, it was a long day but we all had a lot of fun and I’m really happy with the photos we finished with.
(Wherever you are in Tokyo, there are always onlookers)
I have been really busy lately shooting for my Japan Fashion photo book, which I am aiming to publish next year. It’s been really exciting, and I’m really happy with the results of all the shoots so far. It’s also given me the opportunity to work with a whole lot of beautiful, talented people. I have been meeting with some amazing fashion designers in Tokyo, planning shoots for the coming weeks, so watch this space for updates.
Pic: This is Tsuya, a lovely actress from Tokyo. We had a lot of fun spending a day shooting around Tokyo with her cosplay outfits (Japan has a big sub-culture of girls dressing up as characters from anime – her outfits on the day ranged from a maid to gothic).
If anyone has any info or advice on publishing that would be greatly appreciated. I have a fair idea of how to find a publisher, but it is my first book so I’m open to any advice.
This is Aki-chan, my new little tomodachi. We were hanging out this week, on a rainy day, and I couldn’t help but pull out my camera to capture the essence of his character.
Above Pic: It was pouring rain and Aki was having a great time playing in the puddles. I was balancing my camera in one hand and umbrella in the other. We were playing a game which was getting him very excited. I managed to get this shot at the perfect time, between his serious moments of concentration and his animated screams.
Technical: I squatted down to shoot this at the same height as Aki. With a 50mm lens, I used f/2.8 @ 1/100sec. The overcast lighting was fairly flat, so I increased contrast in post-production and added vignetting.
Above Pic: Portraits don’t have to be of the face, and other details can ‘say’ just as much about someones character.
I used the beautiful backlight from the door to capture this natural image of Aki’s adorable little feet, as he dropped the letter he was reading to look around inquisitively at other things in the room. With my 50mm lens, I pumped the ISO up to 250, to use f/2.2 @ 1/150sec.
Above Pic: Aki was standing on top of slippery slide in his room, taking advantage of his new-found ability to reach high things. He was fascinated by the rice-paper light hanging from the ceiling. I managed to catch him as he looked down at me for a second to see what I was doing.
Technical: The tungsten light was the light source illuminating Aki with a warm tone. It’s brightness blew all detail and colour out, to create a pure white space. This was shot at f/2 @ 1/60, ISO250.
Above Pic: Aki seemed completely unaware that I was still with him as he marched through the rain, down this drain covering. The colours of the foliage were so lush in the wet, and the green surrounds were a perfect contrast with his red shirt.
I love the leading line of the drain, which dissects the image down the centre. The symmetry is thrown off by the tilted umbrella on the left, which balances Aki’s positioning to the right.
Last Sunday I was sipping on a $25 cup of herbal tea at one of Tokyo’s finest hotels, as I waited for my models and stylist to arrive for a swimwear shoot. Within less than 24 hours, I had headed down the coast to a farming town and found myself up to my shins in mud in a rice field, as I began my first WWOOFing experience on an organic/natural farm.
Traveling provides me with opportunities to be completely diverse, random and extreme, and I can follow a path to wherever my life takes me. Of course I could be living like this at home as well, but for some reason I feel freer when I’m on the road. And that is one of the reasons why I plan to spend the next 2-3 years exploring the world.
Pic: This is Nao, one of my farming friends.
Technical: I shot this with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, at f/2.8 @ 1/100sec. I chose the wide aperture to blur the edge of her hat, and the background. In post production in Adobe Bridge, I used a split toning effect to give the image a slightly old fashioned, yellow tone. I used vignetting to darken the edges.
Pic: Donavon Frankenreiter
I had a brilliant weekend at the Greenroom Festival in Yokohama. It’s a music festival, based around surf culture. There was a whole lot of amazing artwork including live mural paintings from the Gravity Free crew. These guys are prolific, and James and I will be hooking up with them again to help get their artwork out to the world.
The music was a lot of fun, and the floorboards on the huge wooden theatre were literally bouncing with thousands of dancers. Highlights for me were Dachambo, Natty, Rickie-G, Matt Grundy and Donavon Frankenreiter. I got to meet up with Matt and Donavon after 5 years, when I last saw them on their Australian Tour in 2004. It was a reminder that this is a crazy, small world – and I love it.
Pic: Me sporting a new headpiece from Tokyo Designers Chaco, with some of my new friends, backstage at the Greenroom
Yesterday I had an amazing day in Tokyo, meeting a whole lot of interesting young people. They have a lot to say to the world, and they choose to do say it through the way they dress. Many of the teenagers here spend six days a week at school, after school club sports and study classes. Sunday is their only day off and they choose to express their individuality through extreme dress.
A lot of the costumes are based on anime characters. Animation is unbelievably popular in Japan, amongst children, teenagers and adults. Kids in Harajuku, Tokyo ‘become’ their characters once a week, and hang around other people doing the same – From cute dolls with pink hair, to gothic-like characters covered in piercings. Anything goes!
Some recent shots from the capital.