My vintage collection extends beyond hats to the odd garment that I have chanced upon and just couldn't resist, like this amazing blouse.
I was thrilled when Sarah chose it off the rack to wear during her shoot, as it is a bit of a favourite of mine.
And didn't she wear it well?
To see her stunning transformation, click on the following link to the Before and After gallery . . .www.helenokey.com/before-and-after.html
I have always had a thing about hats! I am guessing it stems from the hours of fun I had as a kid playing dress-ups in our basement, because my Mother had a stash of all sorts of vintage clothing and accessories. Hats that once belonged to my Grandmothers whom I'd never met, some from an old Aunt or two and probably a couple from my Mums younger days as well.
So lucky me when last year as a result of a chance find at a school gala day in Canberra - I was gifted half a dozen or so vintage hats by a thoughtful someone who rightly guessed that I "might just like them for props for photo shoots"
As these two young ladies set off from Germany for travels in Australia, I don't think they ever dreamed they would become vintage hat models in a photographic studio on the south coast of NSW.
When I offered them the opportunity, they jumped at it and here are the end results - simply beautiful!
Their bravery and enthusiasm to try new things is admirable.
Go well and go safely on your travels my new friends, it has been such fun to spend time with you and I will always look at these portraits with fond memories of your delightful company.
To view more beautiful portraits click the following . . . Portraits
The Okeys basement was the go to place for playing dressups on a rainy day in our neighbourhood. It was also brilliant for having a good old fossick through for a treasure to wear to an up coming costume party.
It was not unusual to get a phone call from family or friends asking to come over and have a rummage in the basement.
I was thrilled when this client bought just a few of her fabulous collection of vintage pieces to the studio to create a set in which to have her portrait taken.
I have always had a love for vintage clothing and accessories, which is hardly surprising since I spent hour upon hour of my childhood playing dress ups in that musty old basement!
I find it difficult to summons enough enthusiasm to get around to updating my own portrait. My last published one is now three years old, gulp, slacker!
As a portrait photographer I am always trying to encourage others to trust me to capture a beautiful photograph of them. Now is the best time I say, don't wait to lose another couple of kilos, don't wait to buy that new outfit. NOW, now is the time, do it! It is important to exist in photograph, if not for yourself then for those who love you.
Well, today finally became my now, no more excuses!
I managed to gather the motivation as having just finished hand painting my first large canvas backdrop for the studio, and with no one around to test it out on, I became my own model.
Nailing the focus while taking a self portrait I always struggle with. Does it matter that it is not a technically correct photograph?
Do I wish I was a couple of kilos lighter? Yes. Is it a while since my last visit to the hairdresser? Yes. Do I wish I had a new, fashionable top to wear? Yes. Did I nearly ditch this image and decide to re-shoot another day? Yes.
Does it matter that it was shot in the fading light at the end of the day, that the ISO was high so the image was grainy losing detail in the skin? NO!
Do I think it will take me another three years to getting around to shooting another self portrait? Possibly yes, but I hope not . . .
Exist in Photographs.
To create different "looks" I sometimes get hold of wigs to mix things up when working with one model.
These are from a series I shot documenting a private collection of vintage clothing back in my student days.
My two years of photography studies in Hobart coincided with my nieces last two years of highschool, so when I was in need of a model for a project, good old Gracie would find time in her ridiculously busy schedule to come and play dressups with me in the fantastic studio at the Tasmanian Polytechnic.
Hours of fun! So many laughs were had during the making of these photographs.
Oh and Grace, I still have the out takes in the archives . . .
Pity I missed dragging them out for your 21st, oh well, it will give you something to look forward to at your 50th!
To check out more of my fashion images click on the following link . . . .
One thing that I love to do during a portrait shoot is to take fresh flowers from the garden and use them during the session if the client is up for it.
Red just happens to be my favourite colour, so I often gravitate in that direction and contrasted against a black background can create drama.
Simple petunias and a stunning profile equals dramatic portrait.
For more portraits with or without flowers, check out the portrait page on my website here . . . http://www.helenokey.com/portraits.html
On the eve of my next Mother & Daughter photoshoot, I've looked back on work I shot earlier this year.
Children grow so fast - I love to be able to stop time for just an instant so they can be remembered as they were . . . before suddenly they have all grown up!