For over 5 years now I have been taking photos from backstage at fashion shows and not a day passes where I don’t love it more than ever before. When I started SV, I didn’t really know what I was doing, I didn’t know what blogging was. I didn’t do it to be cool. I started SV because I wanted to share my pictures with whomever may be interested. To give a platform other than the mainstream media to emerging creatives. I had to pave my own way, earn my place and learn how to not get kicked out.
At first people used to think I was weird. No one was a blogger. Or at least, no one seemed to know about them. I didn’t have a place in the fashion industry. I’d always loved taking photos, looking at photos, stalking photographers on myspace and filling my house with magazines. I knew everything about beautiful photos and nothing about the industry, and the industry certainly knew nothing about me. I got a chance in when Perth Fashion Festival invited me to be an honorary blogger on a temporary basis and I got access to the shows and events. At first people genuinely thought I was odd for hanging around backstage and taking photos of models in between changes and in the midst of a very busy and stressful working environment. When I went to events and asked to take photos of strangers, I felt like a dork. Back then people said no a lot more often too, before the days of us all craving the social media spotlight.
I didn’t know any of the models, designers or backstage managers and used to feel very lonely at times. I would go to events alone, I would stand alone snapping away, I would go home and blog alone on my computer for hours throughout the night like a vampire. I am a leo, being in front of a computer and indoors every day didn’t come naturally to me. I felt like a nerd. Like a real life voyeur looking at this interesting world and not feeling at all a part of it. Ultimately though I didn’t care what anyone thought. The only thing that mattered was me and my camera (at the time a small point and shoot, not even with a zoom lens) and when I went home from each show, each event, I felt like a child leaving a candy store with a big bag of lollies in her pocket. The photos were my metaphorical lollies and really, my saviour. They not only gave me a place in the industry I wanted to be a part of, they gave me a feeling of belonging in the world. And they were beautiful and that is what drove me to keep on going. That feeling has never left me. I’ll also never forget, very early on, I was at an event in Fremantle for a student grad show and one of my favourite photographers of all time, Justin Smith, walked up to me and said that what I was doing was great. He said I was brave and that gave me a lot of strength. To think he even knew what I was doing was the coolest thing in the world at the time.
Over time I built everyone’s trust and it is because of these trust relationships that I was the first, in Perth, to be granted access backstage at every event. It is because of this trust that I have been able to do what I love for so long.
Now everyone blogs, or wants to. Now everyone wants to get backstage. No one thinks it’s weird. It’s still funny to me, how times change. Now people actually ask me to attend things. I feel old saying this but the nature of online has really shifted in such a short time and as I look back on the images I have captured at all the events I attended in 2013, I can gladly say I am lucky and honoured to do what I do. I don’t call myself a photographer, I don’t make it into something more than it is. I just love capturing beautiful moments with models and creatives with my camera (now slightly upgraded, I even have an accessory flash) and working with these talented people we all admire in fashion. Nothing gives me greater joy and as I have done since 2008 and as you can see here, in 2013 alike, I hope to keep sharing my photos with you all and I hope to keep inspiring you with my little platform, away from the mainstream but still in the spotlight. Bring on 2014 and Happy New Year!
If you want to see more of how it’s all done here at SV, behind the scenes of my behind the scenes life – check out INSIDE STYLE VOYEUR
1. Top Image: Designer Alvin Fernandez of Ae’lkemi with models Caris, Karina, Grady, Nicole and Gabrielle at the end of his Bistro Felix show presented by STM
2. Models backstage at Perth Fashion Festival wearing Ruth Tarvydas
3. Jessica Maloney wearing a headpiece by 33 Poets backstage at StyleAid
4. Ayor Makur Chuot at a Morrison lunch
5. Backstage at the PFF 2013 Program Launch
Above: Vivien’s model, Olivia Donaldson wearing Zhivago
Models backstage at One Fell Swoop’s show at the old Carillon City cinema
Bronx Whitehorn during rehearsals for the Jaime Lee show at PFF with flowers designed by Rebecca Grace for the catwalk at the WA Museum
Ebony Hunter posing for photographer Thom Kerr backstage wearing Jaime Lee
Viviens model Deel covered in glitter backstage at StyleAid wearing Vivienne Westwood from Dilettante, make-up by Carol Mackie for MAC
Grady Wulff backstage at PFF wearing Zhivago
Bruug girls in at suite at Rendezvous Hotel, Scarbrough before the Bruug show
Sarah Tilleke calling the fire emergency line backstage at PFF wearing Betty Tran because she’s HOT HOT HOT!
Evelyn Leckie at the Ricarda Subiaco show wearing Josh Goot
Millicent Lambert wearing Garth Cook backstage at Cottesloe Hotel
Narcisa Music getting changed at PFF
Jess wearing Fenella Peacock at StyleAid
Olivia wearing Vivienne Westwood from Dilettante backstage at StyleAid
Ayor backstage at PFF rocking Desert Designs
Models fixing their shoes before walking the Terrace Hotel runway at Garth Cook’s show
A model backstage at Adelaide Fashion Festival wearing Cooper Davis
Models backstage at TAFE South Australia Fashion Graduate show. Girls are wearing Caitlin Brownridge and the boys, Hannah Virgo-Colbey
Babein’ backstage at Adelaide Fashion Festival
Caitlin Lomax at ELLERY for PFF 2013
Gwen Owen at the MYER lunch, PFF ’13
Amy, Tiggy and Sonya wearing Camilla and Marc backstage at PFF
The ever beautiful Karina White looking stunning next to some trash at Ae’lkemi’s Bistro Felix show
‘Til next time,
xxx SV xxx