Natalie's Melbourne Travelshoot
Being the newest member of the team, I was lucky enough to have a real Travelshoot experience a few weeks ago, with one of our talented Melbourne photographers called Stina.
Before the shoot, I had a read of Stina’s Travelshoot Profile so I could look at some images that she had taken on previous Melbourne Travelshoots. This allowed me to get an idea of the style of photography she is passionate about and also gave me the chance to get some inspiration for the kind of photos I wanted to have taken.
As Stina has lived in Melbourne a lot longer than me, (I’ve only been here since November 2015) I took all of her advice and recommendations with regards to locations and time of day for the best light. This is the great thing about having your photos taken by a local - they know all the best spots to get the best images and also know a few local secrets, so that you are one happy customer during and after the shoot. I love my sleep so I was a little hesitant when Stina suggested meeting up for sunrise at 6:30am so we could capture the best light, but she assured me that the pictures would be well worth it. And as you can see - they were. Together we decided on some locations before the shoot; I knew I wanted some images with the Melbourne city skyline, the famous graffiti alleyways, and if possible, some down on St Kilda beach.
Stina suggested that the first location was to be a rooftop in Melbourne CBD with an incredible view of the colourful skyscrapers and the sunrise behind them. I’ve had a few professional photography sessions in the past but they have all be based in a studio, and my boyfriend and I had never had a shoot done together, so we were both a little nervous at first. But Stina was so friendly and relaxed that the awkwardness kind of fell away after the first few shots. To start with, Stina had us face the camera straight on and stand far apart from each other to get a full view of the skyscrapers behind us. This allowed us to get used to having our photograph taken and ease into the more intimate shots.
We spent about 10-15 minutes on the rooftop talking with Stina and have our photograph taken in a variety of poses. When I say poses, I don’t mean those staged looking portraits you often get in a studio. Travelshoot is all about having fun and capturing couples and families being relaxed on holiday. I personally like casual and impromptu images so Stina just asked us to sit or stand in a particular place, then we would talk and laugh with each other while she was snapping away. This ensured that we took Stina’s professional direction on the best ‘poses’ (where to stand and how to stand - for example no dead straight arms or legs as this can look awkward in images) and get the most natural looking images - something that was a key part of my brief to Stina prior to the shoot.
After the rooftop, we wandered around to various different alleyways in the CBD. Some with the famous Melbourne graffiti and some without, so the pictures were varied in colour and composition. The brightly coloured graffiti really pops out and frames us in these images. Here we had a few pictures taken while we were walking which Stina said was nice to get natural movement into the images, a few of us hugging and laughing together, as well as some showcasing an amazing piece of street art of our favourite animal - the tiger.
We also had several attempts at a jumping image which actually came out better than we thought they would. We’ve tried this so many times with friends doing the typical beach jumping selfie, using the camera countdown as an indicator of when to jump, but they all fail miserably. So having a professional like Stina looking through the lens and taking the picture exactly when our feet are in the air makes a big difference to the quality of these type of shots.
After the alleyways and a quick picture or two in the centre of Bourke Street whilst it was free from the hustle and bustle (and before the trams ran us over), we headed over to St Kilda beach for our final location on the shoot. It was about 7:15am at this point and although my boyfriend and I had been to St Kilda many times already, we had never seen the beach look as calm and still as it was then. It was perfect shooting conditions. The sky and the sea kind of blended in together to form a backdrop of undisturbed greys and blues. Beautiful. We had a few pictures taken on the soft sand, then walked along the decking area to St Kilda Pier Kiosk where we had our final pictures taken on the pier with the Melbourne city skyline in the background. I had seen images like this on Stina’s Travelshoot profile and asked if we could replicate some of them as I liked them so much. This amazing location ended our fun with Stina and our Melbourne Travelshoot, and we couldn’t think of a better location to finish with.
We were lucky enough to get a few sneak peeks through from Stina not long after the Travelshoot. Stina had said to us that there was no way she couldn’t look at the images straight away once she’d got in from the shoot. Like a true photographer, Stina’s passion shines through during her shoots and she gets too excited to wait to look at the images she has just caught on camera.
So after a few days of having the sneak peaks, we received the whole album and we were utterly thrilled. We’d never had professional images taken together, let alone in stunning locations, and the images were more than we hoped for. That 6:30am start was well worth it! The lighting was perfect and the streets were quiet so there wasn’t anyone else in the background. The images were a mixture of posed and casual, with us laughing and smiling in most of them (and a few funny faces too!). The three locations are iconically Melbourne and it is lovely to have some great quality images of us which capture our love for this city. We will treasure them forever.
Written by Natalie Wagstaff, Account Manager at Travelshoot.