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John McRae Photography & Studio – Page 15 – Sydney Professional, Commercial & Corporate Photography

Arts Can Do – Shanghai

Well…..It’s been a while since my last post.  However, I am writing from Shanghai!

What a blast this place is, just what the doctor ordered for a change of scenery and what a change of scenery.

I am here on an art residency program sponsored by ACAF (The Australia China Art Foundation), based in Melbourne and Shanghai and run by a wonderfully inspired Chinese lady called Yashian Shauble.  I am over here in Shanghai for one month and I am teaching photography to disadvantaged kids and 3 different schools.


So for I am loving it!  The children, as you can well imagine, are amazing.  Even though it is, at times, exhausting working with young kids, they take so much……but they also give back so much more.  This exchange is beautiful and you never really mind.  Although, I don’t think I have the stamina to have chosen teaching as a profession.  I have a lot more respect for those worthy professionals now!!


Below are some shots of various classes.  I’ll keep posting as I go along.  This will be the first post of many….or so I intend!  LOL

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Matthew Mitcham and Medals

Matt Mitcham dropped in to my studio the other night…..in hand was his latest stash of medals.  The best one was the gold, of course and Matt was deservedly happy and proud of his achievements.  I decided to snap a few shots……..


_MG_2384Looking good!  Congratulations Matt!




Fabien & Adil in Jerusalem
Fabien & Adil in Jerusalem

“If I am not for myself who is for me?  And being for my own self, what am ‘I’?  And if not now, when?”  Hillel 110BCE – 10CE

Shooting on the Sails of the Opera House

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There I am, right up there with camera in hand!  Finally, got the thrill of shooting Courtney Act (Global Ambassador for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras) perched on the highest sail of the Opera House.  Amazing experience!  With limited time and tight technical restrictions you were more concentrated on getting the shot than taking in the remarkable view.  However, it will be something I’ll remember for a long time to come.  Courtney was the consummate professional and, as always, a joy to work with.  Thanks to everyone involved in making the shoot happen, particularly the amazing staff at the Opera House for pulling all stops out to facilitate the shoot.

On the Sails of the Opera House

I had the best start to the morning, this morning.

I had to be at the stage door of the Opera House at 6.30am.  Myself and a couple of comrades prepared ourselves for an exceptional climb.  We were to view the location of a proposed shoot.

After weaving our bodies through the internal structure of one of the sails and along it’s spine, we squeezed through the last trapdoor to ascend upon the highest sail of the Opera House.  As you climb out, the view almost takes your breath away.

It took a couple of minutes for the realisation that, “I’m on top of the sail of the Opera house…..outside!”, to sink in.  How fabulous!!

Here’s a shot (below).  I can’t wait for the shoot date!

What a wonderful way to start the morning.....
What a wonderful way to start the morning…..

“Manage” à Trois

Following on from the last blog entry….here’s the final result.  David Rhys and Jeremy are cleverly rendered into poster format by the talented Richard Hughes (Designer)

Someone tell Caroline where she can get a pair of those shoes!


You Can Never Have Enough Shoes, Belts, Hats…..etc

Had a ball working with Decoda and Rhys and Jeremy on their up and coming extravaganza at ARQ, The New Trinity Show.  It was fun to see Decoda schlepped in cases of all kinds of possible accessories!  You can never have enough, hey!  Happy to say we got some great shots out of the exercise.

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Norrie’s Portrait picked up by the Guardian

Norrie is deservedly in the news, and I’m happy to see my portrait of Norrie May-Welby picked up by the Guardian newspaper, appearing on the home page of the Australian version of the Guardian’s web site.  This portrait also made it as a finalist in the 2011 National Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.


Congratulations Norrie

Happy to hear of Norrie’s big win.  Congratulations…..I can’t imagine how gruelling the fight must have been.  As they say….all’s well, that ends well!

I had the pleasure of photographing Norrie May-Welby for SX in 2010 (Photo below)

Neither man nor woman


Hi Guys!

I’m “performing” a an Artist Floor Talk this Saturday, 15 March, 2014 @3pm in the gallery space of my current exhibition at 62 Atchison Street, St Leonards.

I would love you to come and be a part of the event!

The details are listed on the flyer below.  E-mail me if you have any questions.

Hope to see you.



RIP Charlotte Dawson

All my love on your next journey Charlotte.  It was a pleasure to meet you and work with you for a brief moment.  Very sad to hear of your passing.


Taken in February, 2009 for SX

John McRae – Lip Service

A warm invitation to all to attend the opening of an exhibition of my work along side an extremely interesting exhibition of 10 contemporary Chinese Multi Media Artist, taking place in St Leonards on Saturday 22 February, 2014 from 3-6pm.  See invite below for details…….(double click on the attachments to zoom in)


Stunning New Menswear Collection by George Jreige

I had the pleasure of shooting for George Jreige recently.  Loved the seductive range of tailored jackets and sexy, stylish t-shirts. High quality detailing and  beautiful fabrics are a hallmark of Georges work.  George is entering the fashion arena with a strong sense of style and quality after graduating in Fashion Design and working in the fashion industry.  I wish him all the best.  It was a joy working with the make-up artist, Sahra Bull, the fabulous model, Johnny Simon and my trusty assistant, Saverio Marfia.  I will post some of the finished shots of our efforts when they are released.

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Benefit Cosmetics does Yoga @ Bondi Beach

Shot for Benefit Cosmetics at Bondi Beach this morning……it was a fab yoga workshop featuring a lot of make-up for which Benefit are famous for!

It was a beautiful morning and everyone had a lot of fun!


My friend Mimi, a Bondi girl thru and thru, joined the party!

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The Team and a shot of a classic Bondi morning………

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Purse of the Mummy

Loads of fun shooting with Liesel Badorrek and Annabel Lines for their promotional image for a new show they were performing.  We ended up with a great image.

Purse of the Mummy

Below are some of out takes of the proceedings…….

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Open Weekend at One + 2 Artist Studios


This weekend, 26th & 27th October, 2023, One + 2 Artist Studios are opening their doors to the general public.  I have my photographic studio in this warehouse complex in Rozelle which houses more than 45 practicing artists of all disciplines.  Come along and drop in this weekend.  A rare opportunity to wander through the studios and see the artists in their natural habitat.

One + 2 Artist Studios

483 Balmain Rd

Lilyfield NSW 2040

Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th October, 2013

10am – 4pm  (Official Opening Sat 2.30pm)

Exhibition of finalist’s images – Shoot The Chef

If you’re anywhere near Star Casino over this month, drop in and have a look at the 24 finalist images from the “Shoot The Chef” competition, on exhibition in the foyer area.

Ali & Osso Buco

Ali & Osso Buco  John McRae, 2012 (Critic’s choice winner 2013 Shoot The Chef)

Finalist’s images on exhibition at: The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont 2009 from October 10 to October 31



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Last Wednesday afternoon I had the great pleasure of photographing a “You Tube” Superstar and a Diving Legend together!  Davey Wavey (not his real name, I’m sure) was in town and decided to take Matt up on the offer of some impromptu diving instruction.  I tagged along to take a few shots of the proceedings.

The goal was to leap off the 10m platform and have fun.  Well…..they had fun, but Davey was a bit hesitant for the 10m.  I suppose my anecdotal stories of ski diving accidents didn’t help.  He did however conquer the 5m which is more than I think I would be willing to go.  Matt was a considerate teacher and you can get an idea of how the afternoon unfolded from the shots.

By the way this was my first brush with “You Tube” Stardom….an entirely new concept for me.  So, I asked a thousand questions of how it all came about to Davey Wavey on the way home in the car, and Davey was only too happy to answer!

You can catch up with Davey Wavey via his YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/wickydkewl,

And Matt Mitcham via his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MatthewMitchamOlympian.

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Shoot The Chef Competition 2013 Winner – John McRae

Ali & Osso Buco

Ali & Osso Buco wins the 2013 “Shoot The Chef Competition”

I received fabulous news on Tuesday.  I knew that I had been selected as a finalist in this years “Shoot The Chef”, what I didn’t know, until I read the paper, was that I had won!  I always assumed the winners of these types of competitions were gently informed before hand.  I wasn’t…. and when I received a text from my friend, Domonic, I merely said, “you can”t believe everything you read in the newspaper”.I’m happy to say it’s true and I’m going to collect my prize money on Thursday night at the opening of the “Good Food Month” at the Sydney Opera House.

This image is my interpretation of what a contemporary chef might look like, and a parody on the concept of fine dining.  It is part of a series of photographs I have been working on with the Sydney chef, Robert Zampogna.  Robert was the Executive Chef at the East Lakes Golf Course for about 10 years and last year he approached me with the concept to produce a cook book together, titled Hungry. Ali & Osso Buco, as the name suggests, is our visual rendition of Rob’s Italian dish, Osso Buco.  Ali  plays the role of the inverted aristocrat beautifully. He is seated, bare-chested, alone at a  table, his napkin to one side as he chews his candle-lit meal.  He stares provocatively at the viewer.  The setting is “grand industrial”, and the backdrop is a shot I captured on a recent visit to the disused White Bay Power Station.

I’ve always enjoyed seeing the images each year from “Shoot The Chef”.  I like the subject of food and the idea of the chef, it showcases some amazing creativity and this year I decided to be part of it…and I can tell you I’m glad I did.

Thanks to Ali and Rob for their brilliant contribution  and collaboration to this win.