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Featured Finalist: Zac Steinic

Cheyne #4

For a long time now I have been doing minimalist personal shoots (at least once a month between work commitments). I have found, that when you are left with almost no props, location, clothing, makeup, or hair styling to help the image, you are left with is the photography. It’s a matter of practice, but it is also to keep myself honest at where my ability is.

I really enjoy shooting dancers and models. Cheyne, the subject of these portraits, is both. While the face and body movements of dancers are not always suited to portraiture, there is something magnetic about their openness which is waiting to be discovered and coaxed out of them. 

I had never met Cheyne, but had seen photos of him, and was intrigued by how statuesque he appeared.

On the day, I had found an old dusty/dirty/rusty full upper-body chain-mail at a local costume shop and picked it up before the shoot. Its purpose was to frame his face for some lighting tests, but more-so I wanted to subtly imprint the dirty pattern to exaggerate the marble appearance of his skin. I had never originally planned to use the shots of him in it, but his closeup came out very nicely.

The shoot was simply done on the back porch of my home, using light dulled through the thick foliage of my backyard, with just myself and Cheyne, during a very relaxed afternoon. It was great to shoot in a space I hadn’t used before, and I hope it gets him future modelling work as well.

Cheyne#4 can be seen at the State Library of NSW as a finalist image in the Head On Portrait Prize exhibition until June 23.

Head On Portrait Prize

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 are open now. $80,000 prize pool including finalists exhibition.

Image detail: Gary Ramage