film

Studio Revival: Frances on Film

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve had anyone in front of my camera, and it’s been even longer since I worked in a studio setting. Before I left England almost 4 years ago, I had a modest studio set up in my tiny flat where I started experimenting with lighting, but then I up and moved to the southern hemisphere and it’s all been in storage since.

I’ve had a strange time settling and unsettling in Brighton since I got back from Australia in April last year and haven’t had much head space to organise any shoots, but turns out sometimes all you need is another like-minded soul to give you that spark of inspiration to create.

My good friend, stylist and illustrator Rebecca de Havas has a lovely flat filled with natural light that I thought would be perfect to set up my old studio and run a test shoot, so I dug everything out of storage and we created a little set filled with gorgeous props, such as Rebecca’s Grandmother’s easel and pot of paintbrushes, some antique tables and various house plants.

We had a range of looks from Rebecca’s own collection including pieces from TOAST and Wolf & Gypsy Vintage, as well as jewellery and artwork provided by local homeware stockist The Neutral Store. Rebecca’s younger sister Frances de Havas travelled to Brighton to model for us and did a stunning job following direction and portraying the look we were trying to achieve.

The cherry on top was being able to shoot this on 35mm film, which really enhanced the romantic aesthetic and has solidified my love for the medium with it’s texture and rawness. I’d love to know which shot is your favourite in the comments below!

All photos shot with a Canon AE-1 on Kodak Portra 400.

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Photographer: Ellen Richardson
Stylist/Art Director: Rebecca de Havas
Model: Frances de Havas

Jewellery: Common Muse
Print: James Wilson
Supplier: The Neutral Store

Patterned dress: TOAST
Blue jacket, cream dress: Wolf & Gypsy Vintage
Beret: Le Béret Français

Swan Hill

After 6 months living and working in Melbourne, I was faced with the decision of whether to extend my visa for a second year. To be eligible for the second-year visa in Australia I had to complete 88 days of farm work which is somewhat frustrating having got finally got on my feet only to up and leave again, but also provides an opportunity to see a part of the country I never would otherwise.

After a month of searching for a suitable place and going back and forth wondering if I was making the right choice, I was approved for a position in the rural town of Swan Hill in Victoria and packed up and left within 24 hours. 

I was required to live in a shared house right next door to the local Maccas with other international backpackers which was very far from the comfort of the house I'd left in Melbourne. "It's all part of the experience" became a regular phrase in my head, although rats and grimy wallpaper aren't exactly ideal.

In the same way a convict uses their time in prison to buff up, I wanted to use my time away to train myself on medium format film, with a Rolleiflex 3.5T and some Fuji Provia 100. I had dreamed of collecting a series of portraits of the locals here, but I think my lack of desire to be in this town resulted in turning my camera away from the people and toward the suburban backdrop surrounding me.

Every day for over 3 months I walked the same 20 minute route to work in sweltering 40C heat, and I spent my spare time wandering the single high street of shops, suburban streets, and along the Murray river, documenting the dry, deserted urban landscapes under the harsh summer sun.

My lack of connection to the town has made it feel like I was never really there at all, and I think the scarce signs of life in these photographs reflect that; a distant observer; a temporary ghost.

Swan Hill Photos: Rolleiflex & Provia 100F 120

Snapshot of Melbourne

I've been very quiet over the past 6 months, had my ear held to the Earth listening to my surroundings and the thoughts of others rather than sharing my own.

Writing unexpectedly became a vital means of expression when I was travelling New Zealand, but since landing on Australian shores I seem to have lost my voice. 

I've noticed I only scribble thoughts on low days, and thankfully they've been few and far between, but I'm finding it hard to verbally reflect on my time here thus far.

I can count on one hand the amount of times I've picked up my digital camera in the past 6 months. Film photography has won my heart over and I've been spending time becoming acquainted with the medium on various cameras and formats. 

So I'll leave the sporadic sentences, paragraphs and poems in my journal where they belong, and share with you what I have been focussed on between moving house 7 times, working endless hospo hours and getting familiar with the Aussie way of life.

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Melbourne Snapshot Photos: 35mm & iPhone 6s