For this assignment I wanted to do things a little bit old school. Instead of shooting two separate images and retouching them together to create this ‘split personality’, we did everything though camera with clever styling (Monique Moynihan, 2C) and makeup (Budi, 2C). No cutting, no comping, no Photoshop trickery. I’d love to tell you who it was for, but Mum’s the word on that one for now.
Late last year I had the privilege of shooting G.E’s ‘Australia Works’ campaign with the handsome peeps at Clemenger BBDO.
To match the challenging brief we searched high and wide all the way around Sydney, Western Australia’s Pilbara region and Japan. We tramped through deserts in home-made Boy Scout outfits to shield us from the sun, needle grass and Death Adders (sadly, no photos survived of the makeshift outfits). We stayed in the famous Pier Hotel of Port Hedland – a venue that holds the world record for ‘most stabbings in one night’. The record stands at eighty three, a number set back in the 90′s when two rival bikie gangs sat down over a few pints to discuss their opposing views on art theory and existentialism. To this day, it’s still not the most ideal location to order a weak skim-milk mocha-frappaccino with chocolate sprinkles…if you know what I mean.
From there, we jetted to Japan’s Shizuoka region, where we were confronted by a super-typhoon on shoot day and a shaved pigs ear at dessert. During which time we learnt a lot about Japanese culture…For instance, did you know that when a westerner eats something completely random, such as pigs ear or an entire bowl of warm fish roe, it’s Japanese custom to laugh your arse off ? (out of respect, of course!).
All behind the scenes images were shot on the run, out of hotel windows, a moving car, whatever. Often they were captured just taking a breather while waiting for the light to get good.
Tight Digs: This is what $450 gets you at the Pier Hotel, Port Hedland, in WA’s Pilbara Region. The last motel room available in town, it has the proud record of ‘most stabbings in one night’ (76!!).
Late last year I shot the stills and TV campaign for the launch of the first Indigenous Australian free-to-air channel, NITV, with the good folks at US, Sydney.
The brief was to create engaging visuals across both print and TV platforms that centre around the idea:“Stories From The World’s Greatest Storytellers”. Working in collaboration with the ruggedly handsome Director, Alex Feggans, we set out to discover the stories from as many families and individuals as we could, meeting around two hundred people from the two day casting.
The print was shown nationally in newspapers and on large outdoor posters, while the TVC’s ran in the weeks leading up to NITV being launched through the SBS Network.
Introducing this man with superlatives is akin to saying Bob Dylan was pretty good at writing song lyrics, or Stephen Hawking is really smart. The original celebrity chef, Marco Pierre White, is a bloke I’ve admired for quite some time, with three Michelin Stars, countless industry accolades and a reputation that makes many alpha-men shake in their boots. Yet, contrary to this reputation, I found him to be an incredibly articulate, softly spoken and polite story teller, with manners you’d only expect from a true English gentleman.
I recently had the privilege of photographing Marco, Matt Preston and the eighteen contestants for the launch of the new MasterChef : The Professionals, with Sydney agency – The Monkeys. Good times.
On the outskirts of Sydney rests the abandoned theme park, El Cobalo Blanco. As a kid we used to come here on weekends for its horse rides, slippery dips and welcoming atmosphere. These days, all that welcomes you at the gate is a padlocked barbed-wire fence with signs that read, ‘trespassers will be prosecuted’ and ‘warning, dogs’. It’s been closed for about 15 years after a giant fire engulfed one of the main buildings, but no one really knows the truth behind its demise. Walking around the grounds last week I couldn’t help but notice how every square inch of this place has been vandalised in some way, left to rot and decay, while the feeling that someone is watching never leaves your mind.
Welcome to Magadan. A cold, dark, eery Russian town with a strange sense of sorrow. Nicknamed, ‘The Gateway to Hell’, after 2 million people ‘vanished’ in Stalin’s notoriously brutal labour camps, it sits in the far north east of this massive country. On a recent work trip to Russia we had an over-nighter in Magadan on our way further north into the arctic circle, having flown 8 hours from Moscow to get there. Like being on the set of a post-apocalyptic film, its oddly quiet, colourless and cold in ever way imaginable. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking the streets of this place with my little ‘point and shoot’.
Jerry Kernan was a trapper in Saskatchewan, Canada, during the Depression-era, working the lines hunting fur to keep the creditors at bay. He’s still on the books for Sunshine Ski Patrol in Banff at age 95 and has his portrait from 1962 hanging on the wall (below). When you catch him on a rare break from the slopes, he’ll be sitting in his own seat at the Mad Trappers Bar, inhaling a few pints of Molson Canadian faster that they can pour them. If you’re lucky he’ll tell you about the time he killed a bear with only one round left in his pistol, mere inches before being mauled to death. After 10 years of chasing this legend down the hill I finally managed to catch up for a portrait.
Meet a good friend of mine, Victor Rijken, a.k.a. ‘Senor Tastie Taste‘ (designer, retoucher, musician, actor, permanent alter ego) from the band ‘Monster Zoku Onsomb‘. Just the other day the good people of Capture magazine called wondering whether I’d be keen to submit the shot of ‘Tastie’ for the cover of the latest issue. Handsome aint it.
Allow me to segue into introducing the short film, ‘Socio’… something I shot with Writer / Director, Eran Thomson and ’Tastie‘ in late 2011 . At this time I can only share the teaser with you good folks due to the film currently being in a ‘holding pattern’ with various film festivals. But do your self a favour – whack on some headphones and watch the teaser as well as the following clip of the salubrious sounds of Monster Zoku Onsomb live in Moscow in 2008. Ahh, its just like getting into a warm, lavender scented bath…