Ballarat Noir

24 Jan 2017

It was last year on Snow Day that I met up with Pretty Flamingo Photography who had introduced themselves to me via social media. They were photographers, I'd checked out their stuff and I'd really, really liked it. Even better, when I met them that day in Vegas and Rose, they were interesting and brilliant women. We chatted, drank hot chocolate and danced in the snow for a little bit.

Over the next few months, we would message keeping in touch while ideas formed. Eventually, they came to me with the idea of doing something Noir. For me, I have a lot of fun styling my shoots. I pick outfits and locations and come up with ideas for how the shoot will feel. When I get to work with other people that are on a similar wavelength for me, it's delicious. Instead of ideas staying in just my head, I get to bounce them off someone else's brain to see what happens. We started a pinboard together and would pin in flurries because one person would pin something and someone else would get inspired and pin more.

Finally, we set a date to have a go putting our ideas out there. This was the best date ever. If you read my blog regularly, you would have seen it appear when I had the first day of my summer holidays unwinding...

One of the coolest things about this shoot was having someone else do my hair and makeup. Naturally, this is something I normally take care of myself. Blog photos aren't usually planned and I'm often wearing my hair and face just as I'd been wearing it to work. Sometimes I get to put in more effort, but the opportunity and the desire are rare. I haven't had my hair and makeup styled for an event since I was doing catwalk shows with Chitra. Even when I did those, in a few of the early ones I did it myself. The coolest thing about getting it done was the fact that I'd admired the work of Pure Edge Hair & Makeup at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week Regional Series, and I didn't even know. I even blogged shots of her work.

She did my hair incredibly fast, which speaks to her experience. At first, I was kind of stunned by the speed and precision with which she worked, but then I remember this woman worked with wedding parties and catwalk models where large groups have to be done to a high standard with little time. She was so chill, too. She even packed up and set up with well-practised efficiency. She stayed with us for the whole shoot, updating my makeup for each look and later on holding a light for the photographers as things got darker.

I'm not one for being static in shoots. I really enjoy interacting with the space around me, which means that I don't hesitate about getting dirty, dusty, sandy, muddy or wet. Two examples of this would be my recent adventure on the lake being one with the swans. I'm terrified of swans. Another would be a secret shoot I did with Will James Photography, in which I floated in lake reeds for him. In fact, when in amongst those reeds I had a memory of this Noir photo shoot where I initially climbed into prickly grass because the light made it look pretty, and then climbed into a river because it also looked pretty. One of the girls said to me after each time 'well, if you're volunteering'. 

Know what was awesome? Working with two photographers at once. They would be on completely different sides and would both give me little directions and then I could throw some of my ideas into that. The light was leaking from the sky like honey through a hot crumpet so we worked quickly. I climbed on a big clay mountain in heels. I got changed in the passenger seat of the car as we drove. We drank wine at Mitchell Harris afterwards.

Thanks so much ladies! All of you were so fun to work with. I adore the result and I hope you do too.

Hair and Makeup: Pure Edge
Dresses: ASOS

- L

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