Sandra and I were introduced through our mutual friend, photographer Kent Johnson at a photography exhibition’s opining night in Black Eye Gallery many months ago.
Knowing that not only is Sandra a photographer; she wrote/photographed two cook books and runs a photography studio.., when I finally met this talented woman, I was stunned by her beauty and her great figure. Oh, did I mention that she is a formal fashion model?!
Recently, Sandra had asked me if I’d like to do a collaboration shoot with her, and I felt very excited about this idea. Perhaps a little nervous too. Partly due to it’d being our first collaboration and, mainly because almost all my shoots have been on location. You could even see it as breaking a rule act actually.
‘You look stunning!’ Sandra arrived with her car. ‘Is this what you are wearing for the shoot?’ She eased my anxiety by kindly saying that.
We chatted about our soon-to-happen shoot when we drove to her studio and discussed what we’d like to achieve at the end of it. At the same time, Sandra was strongly affected by a cup of coffee she had early on.
‘My body is shaking..,’ She said, ‘It shows how clean my system is.’
That’s right. Sandra’s diet is very healthy. Her cooking book ‘Healing Foods’, which is totally grain free; gluten free; sugar free and lactose free explains all.
‘Your pose,’ Sandra brought it up while stopped at the traffic lights. ‘..is the way you are. It might seem traditional to others, but I think you should definitely keep it.’
I was relieved to hear that. My infamous pose when in front of the camera has been described as ‘vampy’* and so on. We both couldn’t imagine myself being photographed ‘Instagram style’ – as if it was an accidental snapshot when standing in the street.
This communication was important to me, between photographers and their subject. I was glad to be given the freedom to be myself.
For our first look, Sandra brought in a vintage travel luggage.., during our conversation early on, she asked me about my background, so I started from how my grand parents escaped and travelled to Taiwan after Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang* Government lost the Chinese Civil War against the Chinese Communist Party in 1949.
As the first grand child in our family who was born in the Republic of China – Taiwan; travel has also played a huge part in my life since I immigrated to Australia from Taiwan in my late teens…
They say a picture says a thousand words, I should stop here and let the photo do the talking.
To be continued…
Photography by: Sandra Ramacher