by Tiffany Kennedy
BEHIND THE SCENES
Before the wind decided that my hair was meant to go in the opposite direction, before the sand whipped my legs, and the water covered my boots, I was running around the beach trying to figure out where it was that I was supposed to meet three talented young people, an awesome photographer and a very giving manager/agent/basically the person behind everything. After walking away from the spot we actually were meant to meet at and trying to find them somewhere else, I soon realised my mistake, and eventually headed back after much confusion, to find them all preparing to walk out onto the beach and start their shoot for the day.
At three o’clock in the afternoon, the sun is still blazing and the wind is going crazy, as we head up a hill to find the perfect spot for Michelle to take her photographs. The Brisbane photographer is a whirlwind with her camera, encouraging the models to be somewhat nonchalant while they pose, so they appear more natural to the camera, rather than forcing themselves to obtain a structured pose. Michelle let these models play with what they had, rather than being too forceful with direction, and it was very interesting to see her work. Her positive personality was a highlight as she didn’t seem fazed by anything that was happening and encouraged everyone to just, go with it. (This also included a golden dog who decided to chill with the models, eventually stealing the limelight, but that’s a whole other thing).
Michelle’s black hair was being pushed around in the wind, but luckily she was able to tie it up, whereas the models just had to work with it. Samantha, an actor who has already traveled to Los Angeles and back for a competition to showcase her talent, has already worked with various mentors, as well as aspiring actors/models. Although she does see herself as an actor, that doesn’t mean she can’t model. The brown haired beauty can work a camera, which definitely gives her points for both acting and modelling (as well as Instagram). She doesn’t seem to mind the modelling aspect of things, as it helps with a portfolio, but it isn’t her end goal. Both Samantha and the other female model, Cassie, have a very calm and relaxed view on the industry. They’re really just there for the ride, to see how things go in that industry, rather than having the ‘ultimate goal’ of being famous.
Each of the models are being whipped with the cold wind coming off of the sea, which makes me thankful that I wore jeans instead of shorts or a dress. Michelle was probably thankful that she wore tights underneath her dress. Taking these images ‘behind the scenes’ was quite interesting, and it was a learning experience for me. Sure I take pictures of other people, but not in a professional manner. I usually only work with still life or images of myself when I set up a tripod. Sometimes I’m able to take photos of runways, so it’s really more about photographing the clothes. So it was intriguing, seeing how these portfolio images are taken. Though, during some moments of the shoot, I wondered ‘what can I do to help?’ or just ‘what can I do?’ Each of these people have their own talents but the title ‘fashion blogger’ doesn’t really say what I can do, and I suppose I feel as though I need to prove something about it (even when I really don’t need to). All these people who work with XLR8 Management, are quite talented individuals who are ready for anything, and that includes Lynda who is the director of this company. She has a great eye for talent and I’m thankful that she has given me this opportunity to meet some of these talented people. So maybe I should stop worrying, just maybe. (I really can’t help it).
Mid-way through the shoot Samantha’s dog comes to greet us at our little photoshoot hide-away. This seemed to peak Niall’s interest more than anything. From performing in a huge show, titled ‘The King & I’ at the age of 5 in the UK, to singing in musicals such as Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and Grease, Niall is already a superstar (even if that sounds cheesy). From the UK to Australia, to performing in front of managers & agents in LA. This kid has already succeeded so much in such a short amount of time. Auditioning for large channels such as Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, to receiving call backs from Sony music, there’s not much more to say, really. I don’t think I even need to say that this kid ‘might be the next big thing’ or to ‘watch out for this young man’ because I know everyone already is. Niall showed great interaction with his friends who he was modelling with, and brilliant interaction with the dog that everyone wanted to take home. I think XLR8 Management picked a winner with this one.
While the dog was being taken for a walk, Niall did a few poses for the camera, and luckily for him, his hair wasn’t going to flick him in the face because of the wind. Cassie’s long black hair, however, looked like it was fighting with the wind. Maybe that’s because her hair takes on the same responsibilities as she does, being a black belt in karate, but I don’t know if her hair won with the wind. Cassie has been modelling for a short while now and this model just wants to see where this will take her. As Michelle photographs her, I can see the angles in her face and the way she moves, her lean body stretching one way or the other. She turns it on when the camera is on her in a way that isn’t demanding, but off camera she’s rather grounded and kind. All of these young models are.
When writing a behind the scenes kind of piece, it can be difficult trying to find the angle which works the best in order to display the talents of the people who I want others to read about, as well as adding that personal touch to the whole story. I believe that when I decided what direction I wanted this blog to go in, many doors opened for me, so I’m very thankful for the people that held those doors open. I’m the kind of person that rambles, a lot, so I like to write a lot. Yes, I’ve written over 1,000 words here, but I think they were needed in order to showcase our local talent, but hey, I’m writing about more than one person here (as well as an awesome talent management company*). Now I’m going to spend a few days away from windy beaches, although my hair was giving off that cool beach-y wave look, because that’s totally a thing, right?
*Well it’s kind of true – and I’ve been part of this industry for a little while now.
Apologies to those who feel that 1,000 words is way too much for a blog post. (It’s something I need to work on) & you can see the finished images that Michelle took on her site or her Facebook in a few weeks time.
Find out more about XLR8 Management: here
And check out Michelle Fleur’s work: here