Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Beauties of Oz

First of all, please pardon my excruciatingly long absence.

I've just returned from a 5 week holiday to Australia and New Zealand, where I toured the land visiting friends and family nestled in amongst the beautiful terrain of Down Under. Although it was winter, the unusually damp bone chilling temps never sunk below 50 or so degrees Fahrenheit, leaving me comfortable enough to explore the beauty of the country and culture.

Whilst in Australia, I was so fortunate as to have the opportunity to work with one of Australia's leading modeling agencies, Vivien's Model Management, from which Perth-based-turned-international-supermodel Gemma Ward was first launched. It was an honour to be lent two Australian beauties, Brisbane's Brittaney Johnston and Darwin's Jade Hudson, along with newbie Cara Cogo who was so fresh on the scene that she had just been signed a week prior and had never before stepped foot on a photo shoot. Not bad for a girl who has only barely said adieu to her pre-teen days. Each girl was a joy to work with: Brittaney with her never ending legs and oh-so-long pin straight hair, Jade with her beautiful curls and can-do attitude, and Cara, who's Italian roots lend her a glamour far beyond her years.

Brittaney's shoot was first - an evening/night time shoot amidst the cliffs of Coogee Bay. We had a brilliant team, with Sydney's Arrnott Olssen on styling and Danielle Hampton on hair & makeup. Coming straight off the set of a shoot for Indonesia's Harper's Bazaar, this tall blonde carried a professionalism far beyond her mere 15 years of age. With the sun setting to my back, the Coogee cliffs (a long time favourite refuge of mine) served as a dramatic setting for our colourful & edgy pre-autumn shoot.

Next up were Jade and Cara, both of whom were photographed at Dripston Cliffs, chosen specifically for it's un-harried view of the ever-reliable Darwin sunset. Our set was bustling with THE top Darwin team for all things fashion and photography - Connie Haines on makeup, Jo Moo (a bit of a local celebrity - there isn't a photo, event, or show without her name and quote stamped on it) on wardrobe & styling, and Abigail Trewin, of Making Faces, as the talent resource and general coordinator - this woman can make anything happen! As it often goes, this core team only made up about a third of the bodies present at the shoot that day. And with most everybody racing straight over from a busy week of local fashion shows and events as part of the big local to-do, Darwin Cup Carnival, I couldn't have had a more diligent, experienced, and talented team. With the red sun hanging low in the sky, our third leading lady of the shoot (a classic gold Mercedes Benz) polished and primed, and our vintage glam-inspired look, we came through with winning images that captured the Top End, and NY smart chic, perfectly.

And then there's New Zealand. While I took well over 1,000 photos in just the short week that I was there, I didn't end up coordinating a shoot due to my hectic traveling schedule. But I love the land. I love the people. I love the culture. I love everything about it, and will undoubtedly be back very soon. So there's definitely a "next time"...

To view more images from the Australian shoots, visit my website's MLKL fashion gallery.

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