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2 July 2011
100 people - #11 & #12: James & Josephine
Now Playing: regina spektor - the flowers
Topic: 100 people

james and josephine

James and Jo met through RedBubble. Which is, coincidentally, how I met both of them.

Being Melbournites and into photography, it was somewhat inevitable that we would meet, somehow, somewhere. And, in our situation, that happened to be through RedBubble; where Jo worked, and myself and James posted work (separately, of course; I didn't know him then).

These two particular J's are always generous with their enthusiasm and encouragement, their support and inspiration. And extremely welcoming to those interested in photography and art.

From memory, we met in person the first time at a Brunswick Street Gallery exhibition opening (wasn't that how most RedBubble members in Melbourne met?!), though we'd been stalking each others' work on RB for a while.

So I was once again privileged enough to be invited to the wedding of good friends, and took this at their reception at The Social, at the Bay Hotel, not long before Jessica Madden (nee Tremp, next "victim") alerted me to the fantastic setting upstairs.

James and Jo have since gone on to other creative endeavours, including their daughter, Audrey, and their impending second child.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 21:19 BST
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100 people - #10: Lisa
Now Playing: tindersticks - travelling light
Topic: 100 people

lisa dempster

I met Lisa Dempster way back in late 2006 through a mutual friend.

At the time she'd just bought out Wannabee Publishing and re-branded it as Vignette Press. She was a fledgling independent publisher and on the verge of big things.

She entrusted the task to me to create the cover images for her first series of Mini Shots, which launched in 2007. The 10 volume collection of short stories published monthly from February to November 2007 were an early opportunity I was glad to jump at, and introduced me to a number of talented emerging Australian writers, and opened up other opportunities for my photography.

Lisa has recently sold up Vignette Press and is focusing on her role as director of the Emerging Writers' Festival. She is the author of Neon Pilgrim, a book telling of her adventures visiting the 88 temples on the Henro Michi; the editor of The Melbourne Veg Food Guide 2010 and the Australian Veg Food Guide 2011.

Lisa is equal parts passionate vegan, bike rider and Chihuahua owner; and more than that, an ongoing inspiration to me of what you can achieve in so many areas of your life when you put your mind to it.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 18:27 BST
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100 people - #9: Mia
Now Playing: emily ulman - the book of love
Topic: 100 people


This portrait of Mia was taken on her wedding day in July 2009, when she married a former housemate of mine, Daniel (#8 in my 100 People project), at the Little Zephyr Kitchen in North Carlton.

I met Mia through Daniel when he and I were sharing an apartment in Fitzroy. They had met through university and shared lectures, and I watched their romance take shape.

I instantly warmed to Mia's easy-going nature, her happy countenance; and seeing the sparkle she was able to bring to Daniel's eyes, after seeing him go through some very low moments, was wonderful.

I also love that she shortens her full name, Efthimia, to Mia instead of the more common (at least in Melbourne), Effie.

Though not maintaining constant contact with Daniel and Mia once the lease expired and we found places of our own, I was pleased when I heard Daniel and Mia were to marry, and received an invite to their wedding.

Though the day did not go without a hitch (Mia lost her iPhone in the back of a cab), and Mia herself was a bit worse for wear (an intimate encounter between her face and some bitumen caused by a cycling accident only a week earlier had left her looking a little more like a battered housewife than a blushing bride!*), their wedding was a beautifully simple and laid-back affair (well, the wedding was. The couple themselves were both visibly nervous and ecstatic).

Mia and Daniel now live in Edinburgh, so I'm hoping to catch up with them soon.

*Though I'm sure some would argue I shouldn't have edited out the marks on Mia's face and shoulder from the fall, I figured she'd have enough photographs from the day showing them in detail; that it would be nice for her to have some memories without them. Mind you, her make-up artist had done a pretty impressive job in concealing the worst of the aftermath.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 14:13 BST
Updated: 2 July 2011 21:23 BST
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100 people - #8: Daniel
Now Playing: lamb - gorecki
Topic: 100 people


Daniel and I met in December 1999 in Cheltenham, England, a few weeks after my arrival in the UK on my first time living here. A university friend of my then boyfriend, David, Daniel showed us around Cheltenham (where he was residing at the time), Bristol, Oxford, and on subsequent occasions, pockets of London that he favoured.

Previous to our visit, I'd never been able to drink more than about 1.5 glasses of red wine in one sitting. I had a strange gagging sensation if I tried to drink more than that. However, Daniel welcomed us to the UK with a bottle of Louis Jadot Beaujolais, brie and camembert, and for the first time I enjoyed red wine.

Unfortunately Daniel had to return to Australia whilst we were still living in the UK, but on our return to Melbourne, we met again and, along with Anthony Horan, were two of the founding members of the Dick Laurent Remembrance Society: a regular team at the trivia nights at The Mitre Tavern. Where mine and Anthony's geography let the team down, Daniel's saved our skins. He joked one time that our geography was so bad, he wondered how we found our way to the pub each week. Of course, we responded it was thanks to the well-worn trail and the scent of alcohol.

On breaking up with David in late 2003, Daniel and I decided to become housemates and found a two bedroom apartment in one of the old converted MacRobertson buildings in the heart of Fitzroy. Our living quarters only being shared for 11 months, as the landlady decided she wanted to move family into the apartment, we managed surprisingly well together, given we have very different conceptions of "hot" and "cold" when it comes to room temperature, and we were surviving on an off-peak hot water system which barely sufficed for one person's shower.

An improvisational whiz in the kitchen, Dan has a knack with creating unusual and delicious meals (What?! You can put fruit in pasta dishes?! Genius!); he is astoundingly intelligent, but able to explain complex concepts, from philosophy to computing and science, in a way that even a dolt like me can usually understand; an utter coffee, music and food snob, but endearingly so; and someone who actually managed to make smoking a pipe at age 23 (and probably younger) seem cool.

Taken at his wedding reception when he married Mia (my next "victim") in July 2009 at the Little Zephyr Kitchen in North Carlton, Dan was probably the happiest and healthiest I've ever seen him. I was pleased to be a part of their special day.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 13:34 BST
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100 people - #7: Aleksandar
Now Playing: aleksandar habus - having a drum machine doesn't make you an industrial band
Topic: 100 people


Once upon a time, about a year before Myspace existed, there was a social networking site called Friendster*. My younger brother, Peter, invited me to Friendster; and after realising that, no, my brother wasn't inviting me to a dating site, he was using it to network with other musically-inclined folk, I joined and set up a profile.

Aleks contacted me through Friendster as he was moving from Adelaide to Melbourne and looking for like-minded friends in his new city.

As it happened, we had a lot in common, and ended up chatting through IM for many hours before his move. Our first date, when he arrived in Melbourne to look for a place to live, consisted of gelato from Trampoline, 2.5 bottles of red wine, and Lost Highway. There might also have been some tag-team vomiting in there.

We went out for what seemed like a much longer time, but was actually only a few months. We no doubt appeared an odd pair: my 5'2"ish self next to his towering 6'5" stature. We spent most of our relationship watching arthouse films, and competing against each other at Scrabble.

Hailing from the former Yugoslavia, Aleks is a musician and a composer who moved to Adelaide with his family when he was about 13. His previous bands I know of were Teenage Girls, Booster Suction Inlets, Aleks Habus & The Amateurs, The Toys (a band I was a member of, playing glockenspiel and egg-shaker (w00t!) and reluctantly singing back-up. Playing some of Aleks' original compositions and covers of pieces as diverse as 'Alone Again (Naturally)' [Gilbert O'Sullivan], 'A Gentleman's Honour' [Philip Glass] and 'He Needs Me' [originally performed by Shelley Duvall in 'Popeye'] The Toys formed for a one-off gig at The Laundry in Melbourne, where all the band members played... well, toy instruments), and the last I know of, Under the Roofs of Paris.

I was commissioned by Aleks to photograph Under the Roofs of Paris shortly before I moved from Melbourne to Brisbane, and this image is taken from the shoot. By this time Aleks had swapped his trademark black death metal t-shirts, black jeans, oversized cardigans and unruly hair-hanging-in-his-eyes for a more suave suited-and-booted look, replete with a variety of funky cufflinks.

*I just went to see if my profile is still on the Friendster site, only to find it is now a social network for gaming; not the site it was when I joined. I am surprised it still exists in any incarnation.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 12:30 BST
Updated: 2 July 2011 21:50 BST
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12 June 2011
all through the night
Now Playing: cyndi lauper - all through the night
Topic: divine diptychs

all through the night

Left: Lililly
Right: Me

This round, I again had the task of choosing the themes.

Sticking with the musical motif, I decided to select themes inspired by track names on Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual album, an old favourite of mine.

I gave myself and Lililly All Through The Night as I figured my chances of being able to sort out an image in the evening after work (or even on the weekend) was more likely.

As it happened, we were all a bit tardy this round, but Lililly and I both went with a double-exposure / long exposure image, conveying a feeling of sleeplessness and restlessness (a concept I'm, unfortunately, far too familiar with).

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 12:48 BST
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11 June 2011
i see a pattern forming
Topic: collaborations

i see a pattern forming

So, as I alluded to in my last post, I have been working on a new project with a writer from Brisbane, Simon Groth, that we're now launching and making public, initially as a blog, but which is ultimately intended for publication as a luscious coffee table book of text and image.

Simon and I met through the ever-lovely Lisa Dempster, former publisher at Vignette Press and current Director of the Emerging Writers' Festival, amongst numerous other writerly exploits in Melbourne and beyond.

I provided a cover image for Simon's short story, Coda, the first issue of the first series of Vignette Press' Mini Shots, way back in 2007. We met, albeit briefly, a few months later at the launch of the series at Federation Square in Melbourne; then not again until I moved to Brisbane. But we continued to harbour an admiration for each others' work, and he approached me last year, before I left that big brown land, to see if I might be interested in undertaking this project with him.

Suffice to say, I was keen and here we are.

I hope you enjoy our collaborative creativity, and hopefully, organically, over the next while you'll see the work blossoming, and a pattern forming.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 00:32 BST
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8 June 2011
Topic: london


I was going to use the image above to promote a new project I'm working on with a writer from Brisbane, that we're just about ready to launch as a blog on Tumblr, but which is ultimately intended for publication as a luscious coffee table book of text and image.

It fits with the title of the blog as it currently stands, but wasn't an image I necessarily felt would inspire a piece of writing from my lovely friend. And as I want to keep the majority of images I create for that project solely for that project (though the first one will be recognisable from my blog, Flickr, an issue of F-Stop Magazine, and my website), that worked out nicely, thankyouverymuch.

However, on looking up the actual name of the building on Google Maps, also specifically trying to ascertain if what I was told was correct in regard to the occupants of the building, I have to admit, I descended into rant mode.

Because, like so many other photographers in London, I've now become just a statistic in the "I'm a photographer, not a terrorist" debate that still, unfortunately, rages here.

I didn't get into a barney with the guy; it didn't get heated; I didn't have anyone threaten to confiscate my camera, my memory card, or threaten to call the police. Hell, the guy didn't even ask my name, and didn't ask to see the photo I took.

I'm guessing because he'd seen me take the photo of the ceiling in the outer entry of the building, and that was okay; but taking a photo aimed at street level wasn't, so he came to stop me at that point.

And on one level, yeah, I can kind of understand the paranoia of "You can photograph the building at a distance, above ground level, that's okay, but no images of entrances, the ground floor, etc".

I have been alive long enough to witness planes flying headlong into the World Trade Centre, the removal of all bins in major London train stations, and so on.

This gentleman's reason for me not being able to photograph the building, on this occasion, is that apparently this building houses a Metropolitan Police office. Funnily enough, there was no sign screaming this to me, I had no idea. To me it looked far too fancy for them, but maybe that's because I've watched The Bill for too long: I expect The Fuzz to be all about bleak and grey.

But this building: it has character. I only saw one section of it, close up. The rest I barely saw as we only passed by on our way from Tate Modern to Southwark Station, and I was wary about lingering too long after being berated.

And looking the building up online tonight to find it is the Palestra building, I thought about the architects. How pissed would I be, as an artist (because architects are, mostly), that this fantastic design is not able to be interpreted and recorded by other artists as a pretty interesting and stylish building?

I'm sure if Gaudi were alive and heard that power-hungry security guards were banishing photographers and artists, rendering any section of his fantastic buildings out of bounds for interpretation, he'd have a fit.

You don't create elaborate, highly decorative buildings simply so a select few* can see them. At least, that's not how I understand it. In metropolises that often harbour ugly, dated, oppressive buildings, shouldn't we be celebrating those that stand out from the crowd, not cordoning them off from bystanders?

*okay, so the entire population of London isn't a "select few", but compared to the world's population, it's kinda piddling.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 21:53 BST
Updated: 9 June 2011 06:59 BST
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30 May 2011
i don't want to let you go
Now Playing: angelo badalamenti - haunting & heartbreaking
Topic: self-portraiture

i don't want to let you go

him: when i asked you if you wanted to have dinner, i was actually inviting you on a date...
her: you know i'm leaving the country, right?

him: i can't understand why you've been single for so long.
her: i've been single, not celibate. there have been crushes, but i've not fallen in love with anyone for a long time.

him: i didn't know if i'd ever see you again. and i knew i'd regret it for the rest of my life if i didn't ask.

him: your hands are so small. every time i look at them i think, "jesus, i'm going to jail!"

her: i just want us to enjoy the time we have. i don't want to do long distance. when i make a decision - to break up a relationship, to move house, to move country - i immediately start looking forward, moving forward. i don't want to be in london but spend all my time looking back.

him: i've made a commitment to finishing my study and paying off my mortgage; i can't go anywhere for 3-4 years. after that i'll follow you anywhere.

her (through tears, less than 12 hours before they part indefinitely): i love you

her (a few hours later, clinging to him like her life depends on it): i don't want to let you go.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 17:31 BST
Updated: 30 May 2011 17:40 BST
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Now Playing: the cure - the upstairs room
Topic: portraits


Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 17:21 BST
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