COMMON PEOPLE #36

louise
wellington
thirroul, nsw

 

From the mountain tops in japan to the photography studios of Sydney, you'll find Louise Wellington flexing her creativity with a camera in hand and sometimes, if she's lucky a dog in tow. Louise challenges herself working between landscape, studio and interiors photography pursuing a beautiful aesthetic in every shot that she takes.

 

INTERVIEW BY ANNA HEYLIGERS

IMAGES BY ANNA HEYLIGERS

COMMON PEOPLE #36

louise wellington
thirroul, nsw

from the mountain tops in japan to the photography studios of sydney, you'll find louise wellington flexing her creativity with a camera in hand and sometimes, if she's lucky a dog in tow. louise challenges herself working between landscape, studio and interiors photography pursuing a beautiful aesthetic in every shot that she takes.

INTERVIEW BY ANNA HEYLIGERS

IMAGES by anna heyligers

 

 

Tell us about yourself and what you do?

I'm a commercial photographer specialising in interiors, product and lifestyle. I also own a ski lodge in Japan and live there for the Australian summer (Japan winter). I grew up in the northern suburbs of Wollongong and still live here for 9 -10 months of the year.

 

Have you always had an interest in photography?

I learned on film at school. I loved the challenge of getting 'it right in camera', and the surprise of how the shot looked once it developed. But unfortunately I never honed my skills in the darkroom - I was given a Canon Digital SLR for my birthday about 15 years ago, and that was when things started to get serious. I began shooting travel, landscape and nature photographs, and then decided I wanted to do this for a job. At the time I was working in government, and was feeling stifled creatively. I had friends in the creative industries and always respected their ability to earn a living out of doing what they love. I suppose that's what inspired me to re-train and just go for it!

 

Shooting interiors sounds like bliss. What’s been the most rewarding shoot or work you’ve done so far?

I do love shooting interiors - it's not all bliss though! Shooting bathrooms is certainly challenging with all of the reflections, and in such a small space, I find myself contorting, squatting and making use of the regular yoga that I do!

There are two shoots that come to mind that are the most rewarding - one was getting Breville as a client and shooting lifestyle for them in some amazing houses with a full production team. But the most rewarding would be the opportunity I had to work for one of my good friends as a client (Rachael Miklas, interior designer), and work with another good friend (Jessica Bellef - stylist, author) to shoot an amazing house in Wollongong, which will soon be featured in Home Beautiful Magazine. The home is owned by another local creative who has a Japanese background, and her creativity and cultural heritage came through in the architecture and interior design. It was not only a fun shoot, but challenging with a beautiful aesthetic, and a great team.

 

Tell us about yourself and what you do?

I'm a commercial photographer specialising in interiors, product and lifestyle. I also own a ski lodge in Japan and live there for the Australian summer (Japan winter). I grew up in the northern suburbs of Wollongong and still live here for 9 -10 months of the year.

 

Have you always had an interest in photography?

I learned on film at school. I loved the challenge of getting 'it right in camera', and the surprise of how the shot looked once it developed. But unfortunately I never honed my skills in the darkroom - I was given a Canon Digital SLR for my birthday about 15 years ago, and that was when things started to get serious. I began shooting travel, landscape and nature photographs, and then decided I wanted to do this for a job. At the time I was working in government, and was feeling stifled creatively. I had friends in the creative industries and always respected their ability to earn a living out of doing what they love. I suppose that's what inspired me to re-train and just go for it!

 

Shooting interiors sounds like bliss. What’s been the most rewarding shoot or work you’ve done so far?

I do love shooting interiors - it's not all bliss though! Shooting bathrooms is certainly challenging with all of the reflections, and in such a small space, I find myself contorting, squatting and making use of the regular yoga that I do!

There are two shoots that come to mind that are the most rewarding - one was getting Breville as a client and shooting lifestyle for them in some amazing houses with a full production team. But the most rewarding would be the opportunity I had to work for one of my good friends as a client (Rachael Miklas, interior designer), and work with another good friend (Jessica Bellef - stylist, author) to shoot an amazing house in Wollongong, which will soon be featured in Home Beautiful Magazine. The home is owned by another local creative who has a Japanese background, and her creativity and cultural heritage came through in the architecture and interior design. It was not only a fun shoot, but challenging with a beautiful aesthetic, and a great team.


"I love shooting landscapes and chasing the natural light, as well as stretching my skills as a stylist and concept development by shooting still life. Still life photography exercises and bends your creativity but also allows you to experiment with light and other techniques I might not use on a day to day basis."

"I love shooting landscapes and chasing the natural light, as well as stretching my skills as a stylist and concept development by shooting still life. Still life photography exercises and bends your creativity but also allows you to experiment with light and other techniques I might not use on a day to day basis."


What do your days look like on set?

It can vary a fair bit - it can be me working alone for a smaller client, styling and photographing a flat-lay. Other days when I'm shooting a home, its arriving on location, working with a stylist, and reading where the light is travelling and working rhythmically through room to room (can't forget the "moving house" feels when we are bringing in equipment, props, furniture - completely changing the house, making a mess, then cleaning up and leaving like it never happened!). Other days when its in studio its usually a quick pre-production meeting, reviewing the shoot brief and working out logistics for set build and shoot order. Then working with the stylist to build the set, frame the set, work with lighting and shoot. Its an exhausting day!

 

Are there any photographers that you draw inspiration from?

Of course and I cant wait to get back to a gallery or an exhibition!! The maestro of feminist fashion photography and sexual liberation - Helmut Newton. Irving Penn's portraits and gritty black and white still life's. Locally and those that are practicing today: Lauren Bamford's quirky product photography style. Anson Smart and Sharyn Cairns stand out for their class-act interiors photography. My interiors mentor Denise Braki, and my pal Jacs Powell - I'd love to shoot more food photography and her food shots are just casual brilliance.

 

Can you tell us what inspired your print range?

Photography is still a hobby of mine - I love shooting landscapes and chasing the natural light, as well as stretching my skills as a stylist and concept development by shooting still life. Still life photography exercises and bends your creativity but also allows you to experiment with light and other techniques I might not use on a day to day basis. Being a super keen snowboarder, and having spent lots of time in the mountains both here and overseas, I really want to put some nice mountain pics on my wall. I feel like I still haven't created the right one for the wall yet, so the search continues.... and it's a great journey!

What do your days look like on set?

It can vary a fair bit - it can be me working alone for a smaller client, styling and photographing a flat-lay. Other days when I'm shooting a home, its arriving on location, working with a stylist, and reading where the light is travelling and working rhythmically through room to room (can't forget the "moving house" feels when we are bringing in equipment, props, furniture - completely changing the house, making a mess, then cleaning up and leaving like it never happened!). Other days when its in studio its usually a quick pre-production meeting, reviewing the shoot brief and working out logistics for set build and shoot order. Then working with the stylist to build the set, frame the set, work with lighting and shoot. Its an exhausting day!

 

Are there any photographers that you draw inspiration from?

Of course and I cant wait to get back to a gallery or an exhibition!! The maestro of feminist fashion photography and sexual liberation - Helmut Newton. Irving Penn's portraits and gritty black and white still life's. Locally and those that are practicing today: Lauren Bamford's quirky product photography style. Anson Smart and Sharyn Cairns stand out for their class-act interiors photography. My interiors mentor Denise Braki, and my pal Jacs Powell - I'd love to shoot more food photography and her food shots are just casual brilliance.

 

Can you tell us what inspired your print range?

Photography is still a hobby of mine - I love shooting landscapes and chasing the natural light, as well as stretching my skills as a stylist and concept development by shooting still life. Still life photography exercises and bends your creativity but also allows you to experiment with light and other techniques I might not use on a day to day basis. Being a super keen snowboarder, and having spent lots of time in the mountains both here and overseas, I really want to put some nice mountain pics on my wall. I feel like I still haven't created the right one for the wall yet, so the search continues.... and it's a great journey!

"After shooting the mountains and the lake that surrounded the cabin I found myself shooting the interiors because the pine kitchen, the all black slate shower, and the amazing snow capped mountain backdrop behind the external facade just couldn't be left without capturing."

"After shooting the mountains and the lake that surrounded the cabin I found myself shooting the interiors because the pine kitchen, the all black slate shower, and the amazing snow capped mountain backdrop behind the external facade just couldn't be left without capturing."

 

What’s your most memorable photography story from your travels?

It was a bit of a last minute decision, but I flew to NZ for 5 days at the start of winter, hired a car, and just drove around chasing snow capped mountains. I somehow, no idea how, found this amazing, relatively inexpensive Air BnB - it was a Scando styled timber cabin near a club field between Christchurch and Wanaka. After shooting the mountains and the lake that surrounded the cabin I found myself shooting the interiors because the pine kitchen, the all black slate shower, and the amazing snow capped mountain backdrop behind the external facade just couldn't be left without capturing.

 

Where’s your next destination, anything you’re dreaming of right now?

There has been A LOT of time pondering this of late - likely because we cant go anywhere right now. But when we can, I really want to spend more time poking around Japan and doing some more street photography. I spend so much time over there in Lodge manager mode, I don't get to shoot too much. There is just always a surprise around every corner in Japan - so many great stories to capture. And since I haven't had a summer holiday in over 6 years I am dreaming of a European summer holiday - Malta, Morocco, Greece.... somewhere on the Mediterranean. So I can swim, eat, drink, and shoot pretty things.

learn more about louise here

 

What’s your most memorable photography story from your travels?

It was a bit of a last minute decision, but I flew to NZ for 5 days at the start of winter, hired a car, and just drove around chasing snow capped mountains. I somehow, no idea how, found this amazing, relatively inexpensive Air BnB - it was a Scando styled timber cabin near a club field between Christchurch and Wanaka. After shooting the mountains and the lake that surrounded the cabin I found myself shooting the interiors because the pine kitchen, the all black slate shower, and the amazing snow capped mountain backdrop behind the external facade just couldn't be left without capturing.

 

Where’s your next destination, anything you’re dreaming of right now?

There has been A LOT of time pondering this of late - likely because we cant go anywhere right now. But when we can, I really want to spend more time poking around Japan and doing some more street photography. I spend so much time over there in Lodge manager mode, I don't get to shoot too much. There is just always a surprise around every corner in Japan - so many great stories to capture. And since I haven't had a summer holiday in over 6 years I am dreaming of a European summer holiday - Malta, Morocco, Greece.... somewhere on the Mediterranean. So I can swim, eat, drink, and shoot pretty things.

Learn more about Louise here.

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common people #35

nicole arvela, bulli nsw

immersing herself in the interiors world for over 10 years, nicole arvela's passion for the design industry shines through in her eclectic pad here on the south coast. as the creative manager and head buyer for home goods retailer life interiors, nicole gives us tips on choosing furniture pieces for your home and insight to where she's currently drawing inspiration.

PREVIOUS ENTRY

 

COMMON PEOPLE #35

nicole arvela, bulli nsw

Immersing herself in the interiors world for over 10 years, Nicole Arvela's passion for the design industry shines through in her eclectic pad here on the South Coast. as the creative manager and head buyer for home goods retailer life interiors, Nicole gives us tips on choosing furniture pieces for your home and insight to where she's currently drawing inspiration.