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When did you first start taking photographs?

I picked up a camera when I was 13 years old, I remember being inspired by images on Tumblr and how they got that nostalgic effect to it. I then researched into film and started using my Olympus OM-10, after this I learnt that film is what I will base my photography around.

Why do you choose the medium of photography to express your concepts?

Because it is such a strong and powerful way to communicate your ideas, your thoughts and opinions of the world. Especially this generation where we have such easy access to medias like Instagram where it’s just photography everywhere! You’re constantly seeing and feeling different things to each image you view, which is fucking crazy when you think about it.

In your work there's a softness and an intimacy captured. Do you have close relationships with those you photograph, or do you simply focus on creating this intimacy with those you capture regardless of your connection to them?

I do have personal relationships with the people I’ve captured on film, but most of the time I do create a concept for the shoot that also relates to them! For example, my last shoot was focused on my partner who identifies as non binary and my friend Jackson who also believes in being able to express yourselves freely. So my idea and theme for the shoot was to focus on their self expression and their friendship (which was sort of made up because they only met once) but having that being portrayed throughout the images made them much more powerful. They are now really close friends.

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Do you have any tips on how to navigate directing somebody for a photoshoot?

From each shoot I’ve been able to learn different ways on both making the model/subject as comfortable as possible whilst also being able to give clear direction that doesn’t come off harshly. So because I’ve worked with friends or acquaintances, there would have been comfort from the start but then again, being in front of the camera can be nerve racking for most! So I always like to make sure that I am constantly reassuring them and when I know I got a great shot I literally say out loud “Oh my god! Amazing! Beautiful! Thank you!” and then once you boost their confidence a bit, they become a lot more comfortable which really shows in the photos.

In a photographic series of yours, it features boys in dresses which evokes an effeminate sense. Tell us about the language you created during these works and how crossing the boundaries between the perceived masculine and feminine may have informed this work.

Yes this is the shoot I mentioned before! The word “boy” puts a lot of stereotypes on what that ideal gender should be. So when a person starts to explore their gender by cross dressing or wearing makeup or acting a little femme, they start to feel rejected or abnormal because they aren’t being the typical “boy”. This is what I wanted to explore in my shoot. That person can BE or LOOK or ACT any way they want to, without having to name a label on themselves. You know who you are and you don’t have to prove yourself to anybody. I believe there there should be no line to push people aside in separate areas of gender. There is a whole spectrum of gender and you can be placed anywhere, however you like. If you enjoy wearing skirts, WEAR THEM! If you have a love for cars then WHO CARES! Literally everyone has different tastes and styles, just because one of us has a penis or vagina doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t like a certain thing. I could really go on about this for ages but I’ll stop here.

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Tell us about the last photograph you saw that meant something to you.

I’m not sure what my last photograph I’ve seen is, but the other day on the train there was this one photo that kept popping up in my mind that made me smile so much. On Tumblr a few years back, I came across a photo of this man in his mid 40’s or 50’s and he was wearing a bright yellow suit/jacket. He was squashed in the middle of a group of men on a crowded train, they were dressed in black suits all on their phones or being distracted (the shot was of a window seeing through the train, having the man composed directly in the center of the image). The man in the yellow jacket had his head held high and was laughing or smiling very hard whilst the men around him seemed dark and moody. I think about this photo a lot. It makes my heart race because it’s that beautiful.

If you could shoot solely on one medium: digital or film, which would you choose and why?

If anyone has ever met me they know how much I hate digital, but it is a medium one has to learn if they are wanting to take photography seriously as a career. So this year I will be studying and learning how to process images digitally and how to do all the technical things to get to where I want to be!

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What are the next steps you want to make in your career as an artist?

I have just landed in Melbourne to live and study, so at the moment life is a bit hectic. But my steps are to study, learn as much as possible, meet as many creative people as possible and to make a lot of connections in the field. Hopefully I have the time and money to afford shoots on film, I miss the excitement of coming up with a new concept for a shoot and putting all the pieces together. It truly is worth all the money and effort.

Share with us something that inspires you.

Seeing and meeting other creatives who truly put in their hard work into their projects is what fills my heart with joy. It is so damn inspiring to see those doing what they want to do and to be really pushing for it. But that’s not to say I don’t enjoy being around those who still don’t know what to do because boy, have I been there. It took me years to figure out what I wanted to do as a career. But yeah, meeting people who are just as passionate as I am is so inspiring and motivates me as well.

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If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

Whatever you are passionate about, do it. Don’t think of the hard parts and how difficult it will be to get to where you want to be, just start now. Start from the very beginning and WORK! The more you work, the more you learn and the more you make mistakes (which is what you need to do is) is how you will find yourself slowly reaching to your goals! Even if the thing you want to do isn’t something that impresses those around you, fuck them! You do you, it’s what you love. Work hard and start somewhere, anywhere, to get to where you want to be because trust me, you will get there.

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All images by Luella Dawson
Interview by Saffron Lily

You can find more of her work on her website, here. Or follow her on Instagram.