Institute: What was the creative process when planning the photoshoot?
Michael: The creative process is always defined with my team, Stylist, and Art Director, they are a big part of the process. We define with Kimberlee (art director) the main inspiration, look-up for locations and then contact Lauren to see what type of clothes she can pull. In the meantime, we browse on agencies website to find the perfect girl who will fit the project. Once everything is set up we SHOOT.
Lauren: For my creative process within styling for this editorial, in particular, I started with a colour scheme based around the location. The location we picked was unique because of the baby pink throughout the entire Hotel, which meant each outfit needed to complement that base. From there I was inspired by the 70s meets WWE. Sounds bizarre, but the colours from the 70s – vibrant greens and reds, mustards and denim, combined with the silhouettes and over the top nature of the WWE costumes brought the vibe to a relaxed-yet-sleazy level.
Institute: How did you two meet?
Lauren: Through Kimberlee Kessler, they previously had worked together and Michael had seen Kimberlee and my work on Instagram – from there we started collaborating, as he was heading back to Sydney and we were eager to work together.
Institute: What is the greatest thing about working together?
Michael: I was really impressed by Lauren’s talent and her way that she reacts and adapts to all situations.
Lauren: Whenever Michael is in Sydney it’s just expected that we will collaborate on a shoot now, even if there is not much time – somehow we will make something wonderful. I think that fact that both of us are so passionate and enthusiastic towards our work means that our concepts really do come to life. We both are so open to each other’s ideas on set, which I believe is the reason the end result is exactly as we imagined, if not better. Having that playful nature within a working environment allows for experimenting and in turn will produce unique and unexpected images.
Institute: Can you tell us more about the rest of the team?
Lauren: The team was an absolute dream. Kimberlee Kessler is the ultimate art director, as she always has a clear vision but is open to everyone’s ideas.
Michael: It’s really impressive to work with Kimberlee. One of the first things is the quality of her mood boards, you only have to look at them to know that you are going to work on something serious. On set, she is in total confidence with the teamwork and shows her excitement quite easily when she likes what she sees.
Lauren: Thanh Vo, our Make up Artist understands skin and products so well that she can honestly create anything, it really is her canvas and she creates such wonderful art. Kristina Mendonca, our model, she is a delight! She just goes for it, super keen to try any suggestions, but most importantly, she moves so well and is so creative within that movement.
Michael: Marie-Edith is the 2nd photographer, and is the second brain and the additional eyes and arms on sets. She brings that second point of view to the photoshoots. Her aesthetic is really complementary to mine.
Institute: What is the atmosphere like when on set?
Lauren: Super playful, it was such a collaborative style of shoot, so we had a great time putting it all together.
Michael: Usually on set, we are doing everything to have a good vibe, we laugh, talk, share experiences
Institute: What model would you love to photograph and why?
Michael: Without a doubt, I would say Barbara Palvin. She has that little innocence in her look and an impressive beauty. I would love to see what I can produce with someone like her.
Lauren: I would love to work with Tahnee Atkinson, I have followed her career since her early days in Australia’s Next Top Model. I think she embodies the vibe of a strong woman and brings a effervescent energy to each shoot she takes on.
Institute: Do you think the industry is changing?
Michael: Of course the industry is changing, media like the internet and social networks such as Instagram contribute a lot to the virality and diffusion of outsiders like us. And help to caught industry professionals attention.
Lauren: I agree, I think the industry is changing in the same way that every industry is changing, based around social media and technology. Not only is the digital space quickly becoming just as important as print, it has also allowed people to connect and collaborate with someone they may not have otherwise had the chance to. It provides an opportunity for a newcomer within the industry to reach out to those that are more established, giving everyone more opportunities!
Institute: Where do you feel most inspired?
Michael: Easy – at the beach!
Lauren: Mine is less of a where and more of a when. I feel most inspired talking to others who are passionate. My brain ticks and fills with ideas based on hearing snippets of the beginning stages of creativity. I could hear one word and it will send me down a rabbit hole of all things that could potentially come out of it.
Institute: What is next for both of you?
Michael: That’s a secret!
Lauren: I’ll definitely keep on collaborating, coming up with unique and inspiring concepts, as it is impossible for me to not keep the creativity flowing. As time goes on I would love to join a fashion house, as an in-house stylist. I love to help others achieve the image that they see in their head and bring it to life on a page or in a video – that is very important to me, to use my skills to the benefit of others.