30 July - I GOT IN!

Cue music - Daft Punk Tron Legacy soundtrack - Track 2 - The Grid

That sums up how I felt about being accepted into the Mastered Photography Course with Nick Knight.
This Course is for me like my own personal version of a Master Chef but for Photographers, if there
was such a reality tv show.

At the start of this year I made a promise to myself to take more risks, challenge myself often and
do what I normally wouldn't do. Afterall, if you keep doing the same thing, you will always get the
same results.

I've often said to my fellow creative colleagues, that the day we stop learning something new or
feel that we know everything there is to know then, that is a sign we should just stop right now.
But that is in fact one of the major reasons I fell in love with the artistry that is photography 6 years ago.
There is ALWAYS something new to learn. It has become an addiction so to speak for me, hungry to learn,
to master something and then learn something else after that. And this industry certainly does not stand
still for anyone but that's what I love most about it. There is always room to grow, to explore and expand.

Hence, as soon as it had been announced they were offering a Mastered course for photographers with
the legendary photographer and image maker - Nick Knight, without hesitation, without fear of the cost involved,
I signed up. Because whenever something scares the shit out of me yet still excites me, then I know it is the
right direction to follow.

I expect to be challenged, to be pulled apart, shed many tears but hopefully be put back together again
to rebuild something better than I had before, with a stronger vision of myself and for myself as an artist,
in terms of my voice and vision. I thank you Nick Knight for offering creatives like myself a glympse into the
arena of the gladiators of the industry and sharing an ounce of your time to impart your knowledge to us.

Then recently this week I came across an article, an interview with Francis Ford Coppola that is actually
about 4 years old (see link to full article here )
but it contains some of the most truthful, honest and inspiring advice I've come across and I will leave you with this quote:-

If anyone is interested in registering for the Mastered Photography Course with Nick Knight, then
check out the website here

So keep posted, as the Course begins in September and hopefully I can share more about the experience
and the challenges and hopefully I grow as a being.

#masteredwithnick #challenge #photography #art #inspiration


16 July - Freya likes her Freckles

So a few months ago, I spotted this freckle-faced beauty on my Instagram feed and immediately contacted
her about modelling and seeing how I could help her get placed with an agency locally, as I found her beauty
the kind that you don't easily forget.

So I met this beautiful Toowoomba born & bred strawberry blonde, freckly faced Freya, who studied naturopathy in Brisbane and
now resides in Byron Bay. We chatted so much during the test shoot, that I probably didn't take as many photos
as I would have liked haha. After the shoot, when I sent her a few images, she emailed me the biggest compliment
I could receive. She told me "I never liked my freckles until you photographed them". I felt I had done my job in
helping her realise how beautiful a part of her she didn't like, truly is, to embrace all of herself.

(the following images are some of what we shot during her test that day)

During the shoot, Freya did admit to me that she never liked her freckles and that of course shocked me, because
freckles to me are one of the most beautiful features to photograph, especially the contrast they hold in black and white.
And I told Freya that day, that we all have unique or peculiar features, be it a hooked nose, far apart eyes, broad jaw, small forehead,
whatever they may be, "OWN IT". As a model, if you own it, that can be your signature, your brand, what sets you apart.

CINDY CRAWFORD said once "Isn't it ironic that the very thing that made me most insecure turned out to be my trademark".

I think over the years, photography has taught me more than just how to work a camera and compose an image.
Photography really has opened my mind to the perceptions of beauty. In the last two years, I can honestly say
that I can find beauty in everything. The world is not as it is, it is how you perceive it to be. So if your world is
scary and ugly then that is how the world will be for you, that is how you will experience it, with that pre-mediated
perception of what it is. In other words, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder isn't it. Yes, yes, we can all argue
that culture, fashion, social media, the media, religion, history and politics have moulded and shaped our
definitions of what is beautiful, but what does it matter what the general concensus thinks, it is what you think
that matters. You just need to look close enough, expand your mind and you will find beauty in everything,
even what looks like a conventional "flaw" . I often say to makeup artists, there is beauty in the imperfection,
cause it is harder to replicate, because sometimes it comes in a fleeting moment that cannot be re-created.

I have to admit, in recent years I have seen the fashion industry expand and embrace wider definitions
of beauty and this is very promising and positive. Just look at models like Melanie Gaydos, Daphne Selfe,
Alex Minsky, Chantelle Brown-Young, Winnie Harlow and Casey Legler. They are breaking the moulds
of not only the fashion and advertising industries, but of society's ideals of beauty. I hope there are many
more fascinating beauties like them to come and expand our vocabulary of beautiful.

At the end of the day, we are just a soul housed in a body. What form the body is in, does that really matter?,
does that define and confine who we are and who we can be?. No! It is really what's inside that matters.
The body is but just a shopwindow, the true treasure is what it holds inside.

So lets all raise our glasses to Freya's freckles and Cindy's mole, and whatever beautiful insecurity you might hold
about yourself. Go look in the mirror now and say to your beautiful flaw, how truly special it's beauty is and love it.

#freckles #cindycrawford #modeltest #portraiture #beauty #definitionsofbeauty #beautyphotography #photography #mindset



14 July - High Tide at High Noon

Lately, I am really loving the simplicity of a strong black and white image, so I thought as much as I love colour
(and anyone who knows me, particularly who has seen the inside of my house knows this very well) I will resist
blogging the coloured version of this series.

So back in April, Alana Mevissen (makeup artist) and I road tripped to Little Wategos beach in Byron with gorgeous
newcomer model, Jessica Cavallaro of Dallys Models. Initially, when I scouted the location, I had seen it at its lowest tide
and it was the way the beach looked in low tide that made me think, "Perfect! Going to do a shoot here".
Well as much as I like to plan things out precisely, when it comes to dates, that always wins out over preferred
tidal conditions.

By the time, we all found a place to park and walked down to Little Wategos (cause the tide was nearly at peak
height and too dangerous to walk the shortcut) it was almost 11am. Now I had never been to this beach
during high tide and it threw me off what I initially had planned to shoot there in low tide.

Even though I knew the day we were shooting and around about the time we would arrive, that it
would be peaking, I hadn't realised how much of the beach would be lost with the high tide, nor
how contrastingly rough the water was when it was at its highest in contrast to how placid I had
seen it at low tide the week before.

You gotta do what you gotta do and we made do and adapted with the High Tide and started shooting close to noon and
wrapped up before 2 in the afternoon. Initially, I set out this shoot to be a challenge for me, to shoot at high noon
with little much assistance than a bit of reflecting here and there. For me it was more about manipulating what is
considered "harsh noon sunlight", but what I found is that it is just as beautiful as the twilight hours. High Noon
gives just that, high contrast imagery, making the colours just as vivid, it is actually surprisingly becoming my
favourite time of day to shoot. Who'd think it!

Jessica looked flawless, it's one of the things I love the most when Alana does the makeup, it's that the skin
doesn't look like it's wearing foundation, it looks like fresh, flawless skin! As it should be! We had such a blast
that day, Alana brought along her youngest kid, Summer with Grandma and as they built sandcastles on what
little beach left untouched from the creeping in tide, we frollicked around with Jessica.

I often tell models, personality is just as important as their natural beauty and Jessica has a very beautiful personality.
She is very much a down to earth, fun loving 19 year old and it shows in the energy she exuded on the day,
being able to be playful and laughing in one shot and then switch it to smouldering and seductive in the next frame.
With a beautiful personality like that, who wouldn't want to work with you again. Jessica was amazing to shoot,
she was willing to give anything I suggested a go and trusting of me that I would shoot her just as respectfully.

Thanks team for a fun day hanging out on the beach, with the perving seagulls.

Makeup, hair and tan by Alana Mevissen.
Talent: Jessica C of Dallys

Some out-takes and behind the scenes I took and then some Alana took of me on her phone.

Alana multi-tasking as every mother knows how to do

and okay, maybe just one coloured version shot

#modeltest #modelportfolio #byronbay #littlewategos #beach #swimwear #swim #katrienaemmanuel #hightide #highnoon





(c) copyright Katriena Emmanuel Photography Pty Ltd all rights reserved