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We recently returned to the offices of Screen Australia in Ultimo to set-up for a series of corporate head shots.
I love shooting head shots because I get to meet and interact (for a brief while) with members of various companies and organisations who commission me to produce portraits. Often, in my role as a photographer, I might work with only one or two people from a company – be it the PR person or the head of marketing. However, when staging head shots, I am able to meet other professionals within an organisation, and establish a different rapport.
I maintain a lot of respect for my subjects and for each situation. To be in front of the camera, and under the spotlights, is not the most comfortable position for many people. It is my job to make it as pleasant an experience as possible, also for those people who are not normally on the screen themselves.
In late April I had the pleasure of photographing Courtney Stewart. Courtney has recently been selected as the incoming artistic director of La Boite in Brisbane. She is currently working on an STC production in Sydney but will be heading back to Brisbane to take up her role at La Boite in July.
Courtney required some updated portraits to accompany the official announcement and press release. With Courtney’s busy schedule, as well as juggling a family, there wasn’t much time. We ventured into the “textured” back streets of Marrickville on this occasion.
I recently photographed the legendary singer/entertainer Shauna Jensen in my studio. Shauna and I got together with Kerrie Stanley, the make-up artist, to create images of some new looks that Shauna will use to promote up-coming shows and performances.
I have been photographing Shauna for many years both on stage and in my studio. However on this occasion she brought a very special friend with her for her studio shoot. His name is Bucky and he’s the cutest thing. Of course it would be rude not to get a few shots of Bucky and Shauna together, so I asked Bucky to “strike a pose”, and he obeyed. There is a common saying that you should never appear on stage next to children or dogs … they’re bound to upstage you.
If you want to catch Shauna at her next appearance for a night of fine food and wonderful entertainment (great voice and stage presence) she is appearing at Claire’s Kitchen on 27 May, 2022. See below for details:
If you’re looking for a perfect place to get-away, a short-term rental for any reason, look no further than Maisonnets.
I’ve been shooting for some time now the various properties that become available under the Maisonnet banner. Maisonnets is a company that manages properties for owners in the short-term rental market. They manage a concierge, cleaning and maintenance service, a kind of middle man between the owner of the property and the various clients decide to rent the properites.
It has been interesting to see the interior of all the homes I have photographed.
I recently returned to Anglicare Minto Gardens where I had shot a number of images for Hansen Yuncken of their build for this sprawling retirement facility in the western suburbs of Minto.
The first shoot I concentrated on the exteriors however this time it was all about the recently completed interiors. The Hansen Yuncken business development team required shots of the interiors which could accompany presentations that may make in the future for related work.
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.
I recently shot the interior of a fit-out by Xenia Constructions in Macquarie Park. It is part of a large urban development currently taking place in this fast changing suburb of Sydney. It comprises the showroom promoting the different stages of construction, a space where meetings can take place and displays of large-scale models of the proposed development.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Each year I photograph the hard-working team at NAPWHA (The National Association of People with HIV Australia). The shots are used for their annual report, which aims to highlight NAPWA’s policy of advocacy, health promotion, effective representation and outreach on a national level. The logistics needed to get a large number of busy people to be free at the same time for a group photo is not always easy, however Saysana (Communications and Community Engagement) manages each time. We usually set up the shoot in the laneways not far from the NAPWHA offices, where the graffiti adds to the atmosphere. The urban street-scape of the back streets of Newtown creates an interesting location, although we have to continually make way for passing cars. This year we also completed a number of individual shots of Aaron, Adrian, Brent and the team posed in front of the graffiti and ivy.
For the discerning admirer of eyewear, Macleay Optics in the heart of Potts Point has a large range of the lauded brand Rolf. The eyewear manufacturer ROLF was founded in 2009 in the midst of the Tyrolean Alps. The family business produces its signature line of unique wooden frames – made without screws and maintenance-free – each in its own clever geometric case.
Lorraine Chai (see link here) is a young, dynamic musician who not only teaches and plays music but has formulated her own instructive method for musical education. I first met Lorraine 8 years ago when she came to my studio for a series of head shots and recently she returned to update her image portfolio.
Although classically trained, Lorraine has extensive music skills having studied with many renowned jazz teachers such as Judy Bailey, Sandy Evans, and Kerrie Biddell and music theatre with Pat H. Wilson.
Having grown up with a musical family, Lorraine began playing and performing from the age of four. Lorraine has studied the Guitar, Percussion, Oboe, Violin, Clarinet, and Voice. She is an international multi-talented instrumentalist and educator. Lorraine graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music Studies in 2008 and then completed her Graduate Diploma of Education at the Australian Catholic University a year later. In 2009, Lorraine completed the ATCL Recital (Associate Diploma Trinity College London) in classical singing and in 2011, completed a certificate of conducting from The Australian Band and Orchestra Director’s Association (ABODA).
It’s coming up to that time of year once more in Sydney … yes it’s the Beresford Hotel’s annual Christmas show. Under the direction of Minnie Cooper, the forthcoming pageant features some of the bright stars of the Sydney drag scene. Surrounded by tinsel and diamonds, Fran and Coco came to my studio to pose for a series of Hollywood glamour shots for the Beresford’s poster, accompanied by dancer Hayden dressed as the Little Drummer Boy.
In 2021 The Beresford continues its tradition of Absolutely Xmas. Joining Minnie Cooper, and Tora Hymen is Coco Jumbo, Fran Giapanni and Hayden as the new talent.
There’s excitement in the air. Prinnie Stevens, Australian singer, performer and all-round entertainer extraordinaire is gracing the stage for brand new productions. She came to the studio with her team (hair, makeup and styling) to create new, vibrant imagery for upcoming shows as we all rocket out of lockdown. Her performance in “Sisters are doing it for themselves” begins at the Brisbane Powerhouse in February……see Link here
Prinnie shot to fame for her amazing performances as a contestant on “The Voice” and subsequently she has appeared in several major stage productions including Rent, Thriller Live, The Bodyguard, Hair and Oh, What a Night! and many other theatre, cabaret and television appearances. On her instagram bio, Stevens describes herself as “Polynesian RnB Soul Singer”.
Urban Arts Project (UAP) was commissioned by ACON and Waverley Council to create the Bondi Memorial to victims of LGBTQ hate crimes in Marks Park, Tamarama.
The Bondi Memorial public artwork honours the victims and survivors of homophobia and transphobic violence along the Sydney coastline. It acknowledges and heals the significant community trauma caused by these events, it raises greater community awareness of this issue and promotes the continuing need for relevant information to be brought to police attention.
Mark’s Park was selected as the location for the permanent memorial given its place in international history as the site of numerous attacks. Many gay men and transgender women were assaulted, and in some cases murdered, at Mark’s Park.
UAP’s design for a six-level stone terrace represents the six bands in the pride flag, and was seen as wholly embracing the memorial’s guiding principles of remembrance, diversity, inclusion, justice and acceptance.
Voices from the gay community have said:
“It’s been too long in recognising these terrible events from our not-so-distant past,”
“Finally, we will have a permanent reminder by which we can pay respect to these men, their families, friends and the LGBTI community.”
Pictured below is Reg Domingo (ACON Communications) together with the rest of the team from ACON documenting the completion of the Bondi Memorial Project.