Creating a mobile studio for Multiplex head-shots

Producing multiple head-shots can be both a challenge and a rewarding exercise. It is challenging in the sense that you have limited time available with each subject and within that short time frame you must capture the best possible photograph of that person. Part of the task is to make the person feel relaxed and confident in front of the camera. Every photographer has his or her own individual “bag of tricks” to make sure that this happens. I enjoy this challenge as much as I like the chance to meet the many diverse human faces behind the organisation you are working for … from the personal assistants to the senior executives. You have the privilege of photographing a vast range of people, although you don’t always know their professional roles within the company . While the days can be long, they are, at the same time, invigorating.

I recently completed the task of updating head-shots and corporate portraits of Multiplex employees. It was a complex job spanning numerous days over a period of months, based on setting up a series of mobile studios in different offices in Sydney. 

SFI Health – time for a new look

SFI Health is a global natural health care company working to market and develop natural biochemical solutions for the complex needs in the areas of microbiome and cognitive health.

I was commissioned to capture a series of head shots in their Sydney offices at St Leonards as well as to capture shots of the team in various locations within the building. The imagery is part of their global marketing direction to use a combination of different coloured backgrounds to create a cool point of difference.

Cherry, Katia & Nadia step into the studio

Nadia, Katia and Cherry photographed in one of their extravagant performance costumes

It was an afternoon of colour and movement in my Sydney studio photographing the three Thai beauties Nadia, Katia and Cherry. These hard-working showgirls make up a dedicated trio who entertain across the country in clubs and entertainment centres, performing with Las Vegas glitz and Hollywood glamour. 

Coming out of lockdown hibernation, the girls required some new, beguiling imagery for their upcoming performances. Filled with costumes, feathers and diamantes, my studio was like a backstage dressing room and performance space for Mardi Gras. Setting up the shoot was a lot of fun.

Cherry, Katia and Nadia

Screen Australia – Board & Chair – group shot at drama report briefing.

Claudia Karvan and Deborah Mailman AM pictured together at the briefing

I was asked to set up a group shot of the executive members of the team overseeing the drama report, in the offices of Screen Australia, pictured below.

©johnmcrae

The 31st annual Screen Australia Drama Report shows a record-breaking level of expenditure on drama production in Australia in 2020/21 of $1.9 billion, made up of $874 million on Australian projects and $1.04 billion on foreign projects produced or post-produced in Australia.

For more details on the announcement follow this link:

Ms Leake AM, Nicolas Moore (Chair of Screen Australia), Claudia Karvan, Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Michael Brealey (Chief Operating Officer) and Deborah Mailman AM
Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts of Australia, pictured with esteemed film director Dr George Miller AO.
Behind the scenes

Hennessy’s Hotline – new podcast for NOVA Entertainment with Tanya Hennessy

Well-known comedian, radio announcer, social media star, author and talented all-round entertainer Tanya Hennessy is the reigning daytime queen of crossed lines. NOVA Entertainment recently staged a photo-shoot at the film studios of Sydney Prop Specialists in Marrickville for a brand new podcast series Tanya will be spearheading, called “Hennessy’s Hotline”.

More details will follow about Tanya’s upcoming podcast. In the meantime here are some images from our January shoot.

Lisa & James’ Wedding in Robertson

Just prior to the Christmas break I headed to the Southern Highlands village of Robertson to photography the wedding of Lisa-Mae Driscoll and James O’Connor.

It was a stunning occasion held in the wooded grounds of a turn-of-the-century hotel on the outskirts of the township. The Robertson Hotel was built in 1924. It ran as a country hotel with manicured lawns until it was purchased by the Catholic church and requisitioned into a monastery. More recently it was sold once more, and its original use as a sprawling hotel was re-established. It was the perfect venue for the December wedding of Lisa and James.

Quentin greets the guests at the reception

The wedding ceremony took place a short walk away from the entrance of the hotel, on the lawn of the lush gardens. The guests took their seats as they waited for the Bride and Groom to make their entrance with an entourage of flower girls and boys.

At the end of the ceremony, a special touch created a sense of wonder and magic. Once the celebrant presented the couple as husband and wife, each of the flower-girls and page-boys (pictured above, sitting on the ground) released a wanderer butterfly into the wild.

MMXXI – Matthew Mitcham Annual Portrait

MMXXI
Pigment inkjet on cotton rag, 112cm x 78cm
Edition of 9 (2AP)

Since 2008, every year I have taken an “official” annual portrait photograph of Matthew Mitcham, Australia’s gold-medal Olympic diver, award-winning cabaret performer and television entertainer, in my studio in Sydney.

Facing the camera with a direct, unflinching manner, each consecutive portrait is added to the growing series of similar portraits, which commenced when Matthew was only 20 years old, before his rise to Olympic fame.

Each portrait is taken under identical conditions, plotting the changes in his physical appearance and growing self-assurance. MMXXI marks the 14th portrait and the 14th year in this ongoing series.

Matt continues to reside in the UK with his husband, Luke. If you wish to keep an eye on his professional progress I suggest following him on instagram at the following link: https://www.instagram.com/matthewmitcham88/

The complete sequence can be seen at  

The series is printed by the artist in an edition of 9, with 2 artist proofs, and is available for purchase.

Contact: John McRae mb: 0419 619 161 e: john@johnmcrae.com

NSW Ambulance – new planes take to the skies

Five brand new, state-of-the-art aircraft flew into Mascot over the Christmas break, to become part of the fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350C planes, recently purchased by NSW Ambulance.

I was commissioned to visit Kingsford Smith airport to capture this line-up of “white birds” on the tarmac … most likely the one and only time that all five planes will be in the same place at the same time.

Here’s an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on the recent acquisition by NSW Ambulance: See Link

I was chaperoned onto the tarmac by Gael, Operations Manager at the Mascot NSW Air Ambulance base, pictured below. Two of the pilots who had just landed the aircraft at Mascot were standing across to one side. I couldn’t help asking them what it was like to fly in brand new aircraft. Luckily for us, the impending thunderstorm was delayed just long enough for me to get the shots of the aircraft that I wanted, before the skies opened up and a summer rainstorm bucketed down.