In my first studio in Brisbane, I concentrated on all aspects of commercial photography. My first fashion shoot was for an underwear company, Kayser. I soon understood fashion offered a whole different life and creative possibilities, not to mention the girls. I was 23. But my fashion career was not going to happen in Brisbane. I relocated to Melbourne, where I worked with a young hip magazine, P.O.L. and its fashion editor, Robin Batey.
The storytelling instincts that had served me well in advertising became a dominant focus. My success gave me the confidence to move to Europe and, more specifically, France, the Centre of fashion and also my family history. My ambition was to achieve an individual reputation within the highly glamorous world of fashion photography. With some minor success with Elle, Marie Claire, Vôtre Beaute, and other European magazines, New York beckoned me.
I was excited with its vibrancy. I loved it. I immediately felt at home. Then I was offered work for Vogue by Alexandra Liberman. He became my mentor and supporter, soon putting me under contract with Vogue. During those years, my pleasure in pursuing my vision was exhilarating and substantially satisfying both financially and aesthetically.
What a gift Vogue offered, to tell stories with the luxury of the most beautiful locations, models and actresses, coupled with a creative team that were all there helping to instruct the stories. My most satisfying shoots were when I could take the clothes and throw them away, where the personality of the girl and the narrative dominated. It was when I had the most fun.
Filmmakers were my inspiration, and when I had an opportunity to work directly on a feature film as a technical advisor, I jumped at it. The film was James Toback’s Exposed, starring Rudolf Nureyev and Nastassja Kinski, playing a model and the actor Ian McShane playing Greg Miller, a fashion photographer (modelled after me).
I became fixated with narration. I saw it as an opportunity to expand my horizons beyond commercial work, where I was not selling clothing or a product but exploring personal ideas about life.
My next project, Love is Blind, led to a whole world of independence that I would never have achieved without my fashion career.