I first picked up a SLR when I was 16, initially as a means of photographing the couture pieces I was sewing as a teenager. Ten years later, it seems natural that I have steered into fashion photography. I believe photography can create the entire atmosphere around the fashion piece, and I love showcasing the fabrics and materials that the designer has used.
Australia was home, but I am now based in Hong Kong so that I can be closer to where my assignments end up taking me. The landscapes in Australia are some of the most spectacular in the world so I will always miss being able to shoot there frequently, but being only one flight away from the US and Europe helps the jetlag immensely! There are also a lot of up and coming designers all around Asia.
Gear-wise, I respect my toolkit but I am a firm believer of not being over-reliant on gadgets and gear in general. I use natural light where I can, and use strobes to create secondary lighting and colour.
I only use prime lenses coupled with my Canon 5d Mark III. My favourite lenses are the Canon 100mm f/2.8 and the Canon 50mm f/1.4. I find that using a lens with a fixed focal length allows me to frame my subjects better. Many of my works involve wind, lots of wind, and having to balance flying fabrics and flowing hair in a split second is easier if I have already chosen my desired focal length.
When I travel on assignment and have some time to wander around, I only shoot with my film SLR. It is a very simple Pentax Asahi Spotmatic camera with a 50mm 1:1.4 lens from the early 70’s. The light meter doesn’t work anymore, and having to think about the lighting and composition for each shot gives me time to relax and enjoy the city.
The rest of my kit are other things I never travel without, such as lens cleaning fluid (to clean the dust off from the very windy photoshoot locations), hand sanitizer (I promise you this is why I don’t catch colds), mini-pliers (you’ll be surprised how often this has come in handy), hair elastics (to keep my own hair from flying around) and these mints from Japan which come infused with caffeine (very important).