A delicate blend of vulnerability and trust. That is what creates a captivatingly authentic image that tells a story.
But who’s story? The muses? My own? You, the observer?
I believe it’s all of the above. And to me, THAT is the true essence of creative collaboration.
I’m Lewis, a Melbourne based photographer, and I believe that every image should tell a story. Having worked in the creative industries for over 15 years, I’ve learned a thing to two about what it takes to create an amazing image.
And let me let you into a little secret… it’s got nothing to do with the latest camera, lens, preset, etc. (Sorry to disappoint the techies out there who ask me about these kinda things daily!)
So, formal intros over… Let’s get straight to the nitty gritty…
Why do I do what I do? Why females? Why nudes?
I’ve always had a strong female presence in my life - from friends and colleagues to family and partners. And I believe that it’s a privilege to be trusted to create a story within an image of the amazingly diverse women I shoot. They all have stories to tell. And often raw emotional scars on their hearts and souls.
You see the images we create, they freeze frame their lives stories. They give permission for the muse to feel whatever she is feeling in that moment - sensual, liberated, scared, stripped bare (often literally!), freedom, sadness, vulnerability, confusion, joy, connection.
I see it as my purpose to capture those elusive moments in time.
Q+A with me, Lewis
I find i get asked the same questions often, so if you want to know a little more about me, my process and what inspires my work, read on!
What camera / lens / presets do you use?
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this! But here’s the thing - it’s not about the kit or the editing software. It’s about the personal connection the model and I have when we’re shooting. I’ve seen so many amazing creative get stuck and stop creating entirely by thinking that they need a certain piece of kit. They don’t. So, in the spirit of full transparency together with my ‘fuck it’ mentality, I use a Canon 5D mk iii with sigma prime lenses.
Do you only shoot professional models?
Nope. Actually the majority of the women I shoot are not professional models. Don’t get me wrong, working with professional models is great on a commercial shoot. But for my own style of photography, the innocence and vulnerability that can be captured with someone who’s doesn’t often find themselves in front of the camera adds magic to my image.
How do you find locations to shoot at?
Just like the kit, location isn’t actually essential to creating an amazing image. Some of my favourite images are ones shot in tiny dark city apartments! I’m going to blow my own trumpet for a moment here and say that one of my super powers is walking into a space I’ve never been in and within 10 minutes, know exactly what I’m going to shoot. Working our where the light and shadow hits and how we can work with what we’ve got is a huge adrenaline rush for me.
I love that you add quotes in the comment to each of the images you post on Instagram?
Are these words about you or the model?
Ha! I get that there can be a little bit of mystery around this! The truth is, it’s a mix. Many of the women I shoot I go on to have amazing friendships with. Over the years I’ve been witness the beautiful colour of their lives. The words I choose to compliment an image can be a reflection of the tone of the day we shot, what they’re going through at that moment. Or it can be indicative of how I’m personally feeling that day.
There’s beauty in the ambiguity.
The viewer of the image / reader of the words gets to put their own interpretation to it. And with almost every post I’ll get a private message from someone saying that the post was exactly what they needed to hear that day.
Having the courage to share a little more about what’s going on in our lives can have an life-changingly positive impact on a stranger on the other side of the globe. And THAT is the beauty and power of social media.
The women you shoot are super diverse and each have their own energy.
How do you find women to create with?
The most common introduction to a new model is when they have followed me on Instagram for a while, connected with my work and then felt called to get in touch and ask about a shoot. I’m always on the look out for new models to collaborate with and love when it’s a natural meeting. Albeit online!
The common thread is that I attract broken souls. But wait! I mean this in the most beautiful and respectful way. They are women who have contrast, depth and layers to their life. I feel like I often meet them at their crossroads.