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ZoeFest 2009 Australia Mission Beach

Biodiversity at the Beach

It’s a cliché, but something I love about modelling is the variety of people I meet. There are great photographers from every country I can think of. They discovered their love of photography in many ways – art school, elementary school, post-work hobbies or a serendipitous encounter with a random camera. There are full-time professional photographers and photographers who work different jobs so they can pursue photography in their free time. I once worked with a photographer who made his money digging graves (We had some interesting conversations). Basically, there are a lot of interesting people out there with cameras and great ideas.

One of the places where this becomes most evident is at Zoefest. At Mission Beach this year, on meeting our diverse group, my first thought was – we’re all so different! How are we all going to get along for 10 days?

I needn’t have worried. The problem, it seemed, was how to keep us away from each other. How to stop our post-slide show chatting and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Wrapping up great conversations and actually, y’know, go out and shoot. Turns out when you get together with friendly people who all share a common love of creating beautiful images, it couldn’t matter less where we went to school or how we pay our bills.

No disrespect to the wonderful photographers at our event, but one of the things I enjoy most is meeting other models. Ah, the life of a fine-art model is a solitary one. Working with multiple models is not unheard of, but it’s hardly the norm. We’re often admirers of each other’s work, but it’s rare that we’ll get to meet. One particular model and I had been working with the same photographers for years. It wasn’t until this year’s Zoefest that we actually got a chance to sit and talk. And when models get together, we have a lot to talk about…

At Mission Beach, I also got to spend time with two awesome people who have experience on both sides of the lens. They are models who are also photographers, or photographers who are also models (I’m going to avoid using a cutesy portmanteau like ‘modelographer’ as I value my life). They are great fun to work with and have unique perspective. They give direction on a shoot knowing how a pose feels, not just how it looks. And they understand the concerns of a model completely – from, “This isn’t my best angle” to “I might look awesome on this slime-covered jagged rock, but we need to act quickly.”

Below are a few images created with these two talented photographers.

Vive la difference! I hope I get to see all you unique, exciting and lovely people next year… or even sooner.

2 replies on “Biodiversity at the Beach”

Rei, You describe the atmosphere and the interaction beautifully. The diversity, stitched together by a common love, makes these gatherings into remarkable experiences for all those fortunate enough to attend. Let the tradition continue.

Be well, Rei.

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