A chance meeting in a park in Sydney was the catalyst behind this shoot. Lucia (on tour with Empire in Canada at the moment) was super keen to collaborate when I told her my idea of shooting compositions formed by negative shapes created by her contorted body. The layering of images was inspired by some double exposure work I’ve been doing.
I love this series!
It was great to finally unveil a series that I’d been working on for the last couple of years. A City Unpolarised started as a single image shot on my phone. The image of a shop mannequin fought against the glass reflection in a way that made the mannequin seem like a giant on the street. For the next couple of years, I kept an eye on any high street I happened to be on and shot the most interesting mannequins.
Sarah saw the images when I had around a dozen shot and convinced me that there was a series and potential exhibition in the body of work.
Shortly before Christmas, Simon Bloomfield, Creative Group Head at MercerBell, approached me with an idea to help raise the funds needed to get the Aussie Paralympic team to the Winter Games in Sochi (coming up in March). I had seen Ahmed (pictured below) in a documentary a few years back and the athlete’s mind-boggling story of loss, determination and achievement had stuck with me. It led to a late nights watching the last Paralympic Games and, ultimately, to my decision to contribute to their latest cause. I also got my mates at Limehouse Creative to pitch in on the retouching.
The campaign shines a light on the hard work that the athletes put in and asks the Aussie public to pledge their belief in the athletes by donating the funds needed to get them to the Games.
Maybe you can help? Pledge your belief and make a donation here.
It was great to be included in this year’s The Annual, from Capture Magazine. My portrait of Trudy was from a series if her in which I aimed to make her feel young again. My producer and wife Sarah spotted Trudy in our local gym whilst she was looking for a suitable subject for a sports related image. As it turned out, we changed the idea to one of Hollywood glamour. Trudy exudes style and class and it was for her to pose and look confident. Michelle Dube’s hair and make up really pulled Trudy’s features out and the styling and wardrobe by Lydia-Jane Saunders shot her back into the mid 40’s and 50’s in an instant. All in all a great day, only topped by seeing the work appear as one of the top portraits of 2013. I love that shot of the dog too!
It’s amazing what can be accomplished over a bottle of wine with good friends. Nearly a year ago, we had dinner with our mates at Limehouse Creative. James and Candy got talking about their involvement in a Uganda-based NGO that takes abandoned kids and places them back into their extended family.
Child’s i Foundation operates on the simple premise that children should be raised in families, not in institutions. 2.7 million Ugandan kids are orphans, and the majority reside in state care. Unfortunately, many Ugandan families believe their child is better off in these institutions. After all, they’re educated, fed and protected. While the family’s intentions are often motivated by their child’s best interests, very few people would deny that the most important part of a child’s development is the love that only a family unit can provide.
After listening to Candy and James, Steve immediately put his hand up to go and shoot. He knew nothing about the lay of the land, what was involved or when he’d be going but, as the father of two small girls, he felt a strong urge to help.
A few months went by and Steve was contacted by Lucy Buck, Child’s i Foundation’s
fearless and insuppressable founder. Lucy simply doesn’t see obstacles. Her ‘anything is possible’ attitude to everything is incredible, although it meant her brief was, let’s say, challenging. She was intent on bucking the trend of photographing poverty-strickened kids in the way many NGOs do to prompt donations. She wanted to show the happy, hopeful side of what they do… and in doing so, stir up a new kind of support from donors – stimulated not by anguish and dispair but, instead, by the notion they can be a part of a happy ending in a place where few really exist.
Despite living next to a sewer that floods the house everytime it rains, living with HIV, being rescued from a pit latreen after being dumped as a baby and many other awful stories and situations these children have endured, the bonds that are shared between these families are an undeniable testament to the Foundation’s work.
These are just a few of the families Steve met on the road. The campaign is yet to come. Stay tuned!
To find out more or donate to Child’s i Foundation, please visit: http://www.childsifoundation.org