Life Of Elyse BLOG

BTS... What you don't see!

Elyse Knowles by Steven Chee

Over the recent summer holidays, I used the time to think about what I want to achieve in the new year and beyond. I wrote my list of goals for the year... and there are some pretty big & exciting challenges ahead! First on my however was to recreate my website & give it a fresh look to reflect my current state of mind ... ambitious, bold & ready to go!

In preparation for the new website, I worked with an incredible team to create new imagery. I had the pleasure of working with some of Australia's top creatives ... Photographer; Steven Chee (@stevenchee), Stylist; Marina Didovich (@marina_didovich), and Make Up extraordinaire; Max May (@maxmade). The four of us worked to a specific editoral style brief... and got busy in the studio.

I have to give a special shoutout & thank you to Steven Chee. For those of you who are unsure, Steven is one of Australia's top photographers - check out his stuff here. Steven's shot Vogue covers, Harpers covers, he's shot top models and celebs including Jess Hart, Kate Bosworth, Miranda Kerr, Rachel Taylor... he's a weapon! His eye for detail is like no other which makes his work eye capturing and powerful. What else can I say, Steven Chee just gets it right every single time! On the day of our shoot, he definitely captured my personality & made the whole experience a pleasure. I'm so grateful to have worked with him. 

I thought it'd be fun to take you on a tour behind the scenes so you can see how serious my editorial shoots can be ... #NOT! ;) Below are all of the outtakes - many silly faces, lots of hands on deck and smiles throughout! 

Most people don't realise that I produce a lot of my own shoots. It can be a tricky task but I love the creativity of it all and I love a challenge. When I'm organising a shoot, I always go through my portfolio first to see what looks & styles are missing. It's important as a model to use your portfolio to show versatility. Yes I shoot a lot of swim, but high fashion... bring it on!!! 

Getting pigeonholed as a particular kind of model is an easy trap to fall into. If modelling is a goal of yours, make sure to explore different looks in terms of make up, the fashion and locations (change it up from studio to outdoor and day to night). When it comes to the styling in particular, it's amazing to go wild & let the clothes dictate your movement. Sometimes I put things on that are so far from my normal style - so I just feel as though I'm playing a part for the day. You get to let your hair down & be free. 

The thing I love when I'm shooting is when everyone is relaxed & not taking it all too seriously. I'm not joking when I say that every photographer I've worked with, will be so relaxed & chirpy by the end of it. It's my mission to ease the vibe and bring some fun into the shoot - because the days can be long & quite exhausting.

It could be my personality that breaks the ice ... you all know me! I can't be serious for more that five seconds! But it's so good when everyone feels comfortable. It makes the environment peaceful and more real.... the best conditions to work in. When the team is happy and the pressure lifts, you can see it in the photography. The shots come out looking beautifully natural. 

There is nothing worse than rocking up on a shoot to find a roomful of frightened, stressed faces! Peoples nerves are written all over their faces! It's as if they thinking, "If I put one foot out of line the whole world will come to an end'" Or they worry about being yelled at by someone more senior. If I ever sense this kind of tension, I make it my mission to befriend everyone and make them feel welcome, acknowledged & I show my appreciation for their time. Interns, assistants, caterers... whoever they are and whatever their role is, I am stoked to be working with them and I make sure they know it.

To get the most out of a day, I create the mood from the start. I go in thinking, "we are going to LAUGH, we are going to LOOK STUPID and we are going to include EVERYONE in the fun! For the duration of this shoot, we are a team."

I know for a fact that there are three photographers in Melbourne who have a file called "Silly Elyse" stored on their phone. They add to it every time I work with them. It's going to come and haunt me one day... I know it! The Daily Mail will have a field day. 

I hope you guys love the style of this particular new shoot. The look we went for was luxe, high end, bold & romantic. It gave me the chance to be a little bit moodier and deeper on camera. I loved it! The clothes were so beautifully selected and styled by the queen of fashion, Marina Didovich. Her creations gave me the chance to embrace the vibrance and power of each garment. It was amazing.

It's fun to have a day where you dare to be different. Day to day, I stick to an easy, causal style. I feel natural, comfortable & best of all I feel completely myself. I choose clothes that show off the areas of my body I love and I don't hide behind pieces and styles that are not me. 

So I hope you enjoy the slightly more luxe shoot below! Enjoy the outtakes ;) x