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December 2020 – John McRae Photography & Studio

Head shots for KPMG at Barangaroo

Recently I was working on a project on the 38th floor of International Tower 3 at the Barangaroo complex in Sydney, staging a series of head shots for KPMG.

KPMG is is one of the 4 big accounting firms, providing an international network of professional services. KPMG is a Anglo/Dutch merger of Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG) with the English firm, Peat Marwich, hence KPMG which was formed in 1987.

It was a great shoot that went very smoothly, assisted by the KPMG team. We set up quickly in one of the lofty meeting rooms with a spectacular, birds-eye view of the city and started with our first portrait.

We chose a direct and clean lighting set-up that could be duplicated by other photographer’s in different states. The participants were captured against a white paper background, suspended within the room.

Here are a few shots during the set up from the morning’s work.


The Carpenters (from Kempsey) are a hit at the Paddo RSL

In December at the Paddington RSL the talented Darren Mapes and Debora Krizak take the stage as The Carpenters from Kempsey, a brother and sister act, echoing the dulcet tones of Karen and Richard Carpenter.

It was great fun working together on their promotional imagery and I knew they would be funny and clever on stage. However, I was blown away by the amazing sound (including superb vocals) and uncanny imitations when I saw them perform on the 9th of December.

Playing the roles of Sharon and Darren from Kempsey, the two singing antagonists bring a mix of 1970’s mellow harmonies with sibling rivalry. With their mate Keanu as their Hawaiian guest guitarist, they wooed the crowd with such hits as “Close to You”, “Top of the World” and “Yesterday Once More”, keeping up a continuous banter full of the innocence from an earlier time.

Make sure you get to see these two…go to this link for more info: https://carpentersfromkempsey.com/

Xmas at The Rocks with “Mariah Carey”

Vanity Faire, the renowned drag identity and performer, steps out to celebrate Xmas at The Rocks.

Performing on stage as Mariah Carey, Vanity lights up the precinct for an evening of sparkling glamour to spread Xmas magic. See link for details:

Before we started on the “Mariah” shoot I worked with the team from The Rocks and the Poem Group to feature some of the best products and food available from such outlets as Tea Cosy, Squidinki and The Doss House.

Master Builders Association awards Re:form Construction

The Australian Master Builders Association has awarded Re:form Constructions, lead by Gerard Murphy, as the 2020 National winner in the category of projects (alterations/additions) over 1 million dollars for this Balmain residence.

Designed by Brian Zulaikha of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, this multi-storey house features warm wooden panelling, windows incorporating underwater views of the pool and a monumental mosaic by Janet Laurence.

Samantha Leith updates her image

Samantha Leith, with Sarah Damichi putting the finishing touches to make up.

It was a joy to photograph Samantha – performer, business strategist and motivational speaker – who is forever on the move. She is a great communicator with a vivacious energy and we had a fun afternoon shooting new imagery for her branding and corporate profile.

As Samantha says, “If you haven’t noticed, I’ve stopped listening to the ‘experts’ that tell you to only have one business. I happen to love and excel at being a multi passionate entrepreneur.” To find out more about Samantha visit her website here.

Samantha Leith in the makeup chair, with Sarah Damichi

New sculptures by Margarita Sampson

Margarita Sampson – Long Division series, 2020. Copper wire, bitumen paint, video tape, expanding foam, glitter.

I photographed the latest works produced by the talented artist Margarita Sampson in my studio and was amazed by the captivating effect of her human figures.

Margarita says, “These figures were loosely based on Etruscan figurines I saw in the Hermitage in 2005. A friend recently told me that the Romans would scathingly refer to them as the ‘fat Etruscans’, so may be I haven’t taken too many liberties by padding them out a bit. The original figurines were actually quite lithe.”

Margarita Sampson – Long Division, 2020. Copper wire, bitumen paint, video tape, expanding foam, glitter.