We are excited to present the next installment of The Handsome Project. Photographer Jill Wright and her team constructed a story the likes of which we haven’t seen from a project shoot before. Shot in 3 locations across Queensland in 1 busy day, the results are an exercise in finding focus in the chaos that surrounds us.
Each month we’ll showcase an amazing young photographer who blows our minds, shoots our stuff and is all together fantastic.
Read on to see the rest of Jill’s WAH photo shoot and interview…
We are excited to present the next installment of The Handsome Project. Each month we’ll showcase an amazing young photographer who blows our minds, shoots our stuff and is all together fantastic.
My introduction to fashion photography was from the other side of the camera. I was a model from the age of16 for a number of years, studied make-up during that time and now own a fashion store. My passion for photography was re-ignited recently and all the pieces fell together with the beginning of my blog. I enjoy being able to tell models what to do for once but on a serious note, I think I have an advantage as I see many photographers struggle to pose girls for a shoot. It seems easier when you are speaking the same language to get the look you want.
Are you a self-taught photographer or did you have a mentor/teacher that showed you the ropes?
A friend of mine, Hing Ang, has helped me immensely with the technical aspects of my photography. He personally threw caution to the wind and gave up his day job to devote himself to photography…who better to teach than someone with that level of passion! At first, I did wonder if I was a bit of an experiment for him! Hing was a marine biologist who spent his days training the beautiful creatures of Underwater World. He proceeded to teach me photography via text message tutorial. It sounds crazy but it really worked. Of course this proceeded to ‘in person’ lessons. Other than that just practice, practice, practice which can be a challenge while I am running my own business.
How did you come up with the concept behind your Handsome Project shoot?
I have been a fan of We Are Handsome since their first collection so I knew straight away that I would want to do this shoot in a colourful environment. The locations for the shoot were a team effort from all involved. The core idea was to place Brooke (my model) in swimwear in unexpected locations around the Sunshine Coast. We were lucky enough to find some pretty awesome sites.
What keeps you enthused in the photography industry?
It’s no secret that the digital age has brought with it many more photography enthusiasts. Some people have mixed feeling about this, but being one of them myself, I am forever being inspired by other emerging photographers. I love that the ‘newer’ generation is less focused on the traditional style and are pushing the boundaries of unconventional use of subject, light & style. It is almost like the newer photographers, without knowledge of all these rules, are continuously evolving the art form because they are not shooting fashion simply to full fill a brief and get paid.
Describe your approach in three words.
Sexy yet youthful.
Black & white or colour?
Most of the time I like colour, lots of colour. Every now and then I will do a shoot that I feel just needs to be black and white.
Do you prefer film or digital? Why?
Digital, although I am definitely not a spray and pray kind of photographer. A number of people are often surprised how few frames I take to get the shot I want but I like the flexibility, ease and speed of working with digital. OK so I am also a little impatient and want to see my pictures straight away too.
Canon EOS 6D or my EOS M with an Eye-Fi card… Very handy to have instant upload.
Describe your creative approach.
I tend to put all the ‘fixed’ elements of my shoot together first. This is usually the styling or the model and then I let it evolve from there. I decide what sort of make-up, lighting or location I am going to look for in the next stage. This may sound a bit hap-hazard but once I am ready to go, I usually have a story board to make sure I get the exact shot I have in my head. I do a fair few collaborative shoots with friends who are hair and make-up artists, photographers and lighting experts so I leave a bit of flexibility in case someone has a great idea we can build on when we are on location.
I am going to have to go with two here. Horst Diekgerdes is my all time fav’ and then local boy Chris Colls.
It will sound like a cliché answer, but I don’t really care: Kate Moss, Calvin Klein, on a couch. I remember when this came out; I was very young but went out and bought the poster for my wall. Always loved the simplicity of this shot and the general reaction it received.
What turns you on?
What turns you off?
Conformity. And cleanly shaven men.
How do you decide on locations & subjects for your shoots?
I’m always on the look out for cool locations… and I own a fashion store. I’m lucky in the sense that I have latest pieces on hand. When new styles come in, this is when the ideas start ticking over.
If you could take your photography in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new things would you try?
I’m still pretty close to the start of my photographic journey, so I want to say that I have no fear of failure or rejection.
Not that I am the biggest ice hockey fan but “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky
Best advice you’ve ever received.
Put your work out there to be judged, as this is the best feed back & learning. Don’t to worry about negative criticism.
What is the one quality you think is needed for a photographer to be great?
A free, artistic mind to visualize a photograph before it’s taken and the ability to replicate this in front of the camera.
Where to next?
Continuing to shoot and style as much as I can and turn my passion into a career.
Photography & Styling: Jill Wright
Model: Brooke Hade – Dallys Models
Hair & Makeup: Kooshka Hair
Lighting: Stu Garnett
Assistant: Kai Lebens
Videography: Hing Ang