I get a real buzz out of creating beautiful things. Whether that be going to my day job as a graphic designer, getting up and throwing together an outfit for the day, or creating a visual story through photography and styling on photoshoots – elements of creativity flow through my life. I take it with me everywhere. You might relate if you consider yourself a creative, or maybe it resonates in other ways, like cooking a really beautiful meal for yourself or writing a song you’re proud of.
I work well in what I think of as ‘organised chaos’. I like to collect whatever inspires me in hopes of using it for future reference. My desk is usually scattered with photos, paper, coffee cups (I drink A LOT of coffee), my outfits are a collection of things I love, quickly thrown together (a HD&L kimono, band t-shirt and flared jeans are usually on rotation). The same goes for my horrifying computer desktop – also scattered with different references that inspire me, or some font I dig and could refer back to later on. But when it comes to my photoshoots, I plan everything to the enth degree. I LOVE nothing more than a good mood-board, I always plan the location for shoots well ahead of time, and I style the outfits down to the very minor accessories.
However, with this most recent shoot for Haus of Denim & Lace, I had a plan – and I ditched it. Sometimes when you know you’ve found something better, you’ve got to go with your gut. While driving up the foothills that sunny Sunday afternoon with my friend (and model for that day) Alex, we were headed to shoot at a field I’d found. But something else caught my eye. Across the valley, perched on the side of the hill basking in golden sunlight, was a gorgeous retro home that looked untouched since the 70s. We kept driving, up and up, then down a steep and narrow road through thick scrub. We round a corner, and there was the house. Walking down the crunchy gravel driveway, we knocked on the front door to see if anyone was home to ask to shoot on their beautiful property – we soon noticed it was entirely empty and abandoned. We decided it was too good of an opportunity not to shoot right there outside, overlooking the gorgeous Adelaide foothills and the city skyline.
The vibe was entirely Hollywood glam. Alex and I entertained the idea that it once belonged to a beautiful woman who threw incredible parties right there on the terrace, overlooking the Adelaide hills in golden hour through to the early morning. It became the inspiration and the backstory for the shoot.
When I went home and scrolled through the photos, I was thrilled. This shoot reminded me that sometimes, the best things happen unexpectedly - from my last minute quickly-thrown-together outfits, to a picture-perfect setting for a day’s shoot. This was that timely reminder that over-planning, well, sometimes it can kill the magic.
Author - Chloe Jade Miller