Affinity. Closeness. Longing for connection. These shared experiences are what elevate our lives beyond mere existence. Good or bad, they are the muse for poetry, the rhythm of music, and the ‘heart’ in our heart. This body of work is about exploring just that: our humanity seen through how we connect with something outside ourselves. That moment when we bare our souls and open our hearts.

Creating Beauty

I love this quote by Frederick Mayer: "We become creative when we realise the infinite possibilities within us, and when we understand that our function is not merely to exist but to contribute to life, to improve it, and to make it more meaningful to others." I was able to spend some time chatting with my good friend Lynda Howitt in her studio not far from New York recently. The cross fertilisation of ideas, making connections from different sensory inputs, exploring different views and metaphors for a subject with her was refreshing.

Lynda's beautiful abstract art work lets our imaginations soar with their emotional intensity, feeling to me what the chemistry of attraction might look like. I'm inspired to create some more beautiful abstract seascapes. I think a week at a little shack on a remote coastline somewhere would be perfect! Any suggestions for where?



Sweet Plums

Sweet Plums

The Orchard Studio shot some tasty plums for The Good Rich Fruit Company recently. Queen Garnet is a plum that was developed by the Queensland Government using basic plant breeding methods. By using proprietary techniques to maximise antioxidant content, they have created a Plum that is 10 times higher in antioxidants than other plum varieties. They are a deeper richer crimson than most, and tasted pretty good!

 Plum-table-Final4464_311594464_31188      To see more of our food photography, check out The Orchard Studio website.

Afternoon delight

Anyone for afternoon tea?  We've got some lovely cake in our fridge, one of my favourite perks of the job.

I often hear the comment, "I'm hungry now" when showing my food portfolio. This is really important to me because I feel the difference between photography of food and great food photography is that the latter creates an emotional connection with the viewer. In food, this means the taste buds start to water and the viewer is thinking about the taste of the food rather than just recognising what the food is. This all then becomes a call to action. It's only by creating desire in the photos that we really drive sales. Food photography is not meant to be catalogue photography, but rather to convince someone they want something they didn't know they wanted before seeing it.

Styled by the talented Wendy Berecry.

So how many slices shall I cut?

Would I lie to you?

So yes I'm still talking about our shoot with Verity and Stevie English for the Hair Expo.   I've got a few more behind the scenes to show you.

This shoot was mental, The Orchard Studio was pumping as Annie Lennox belted out "Would I Lie to You" from the stereo. We had a film crew shooting as well as the stills Connie Moran and myself were capturing, so the song needed to be playing all day so the timing for the film was perfect. The concept was all about movement, mood and attitude. There was certainly a lot of that and it was contagious.  The mood for outfits on the models was glitter and shine, with them constantly dancing and snaking all over the floor of a black elevated stage set built in the studio.

The brief for lighting was hard and contrasting, the end effect needed to have a  monochromatic and metallic glowing look. We needed to light with continuous light so the videographers could work alongside us.  We used a beauty dish as front light with a profoto ProDaylight Metal Halide head, Kino Flo style fluoro rim lights behind, Dedo spots behind, and also had a flash head firing into lens from the background creating flare for effect.

All the six models did brilliantly. And of course the Team English stylists and creative director Verity herself were all (in Verity' speak):  F^*@%)N AMAZING !!  We couldn't agree more!

Behind the scenes images thanks to Connie Moran and Angela Mushenko.

The Makings of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Here are some shots of Team English in action.   The Orchard Studio was buzzing with activity for the So You Think You Can Dance shoot. It was all systems go.

Hollywood at Nine

I recently did a publicity shoot for Channel Nine's News and Weather presenter, Amber Sherlock.  We had some fun with this job and adapted some Hollywood glamour-puss lighting.

For the shoot I used a Profoto Giant reflector which gives a really flattering soft light and captures brilliant highlights. It's a more specular light source than an ordinary soft box. I also used a small softbox on the floor as a second catch-light in Amber's eyes.

Shanghai in Willoughby

We shot for McDonald's China recently with the lovely people from Leo Burnett's Shanghai. The shoot was done in our new eco sustainable studio "The Orchard" in Willoughby.

We had fun shooting daylight, using light from 2 sides, balancing a sun that was forever moving in and out of clouds, shining directly and indirectly onto different windows as the days progressed.  There were fevered skype calls to Shanghai in Cantonese as the creative team was constantly liaising with the client. All good in the end, and the client was happy with the 'natural and real' feel of the shots.