Bekha and Jess Lafrankie are two talented photographers based on the Gold Coast, Australia and have created the photography company Ivy Nine Designs. Ivy Nine Designs specializes in fashion, editorials and advertising and have a great portfolio. We were delighted when they allowed us to showcase some of their work on Urbanity Chic and give us an opportunity to learn a bit more about them too. Read the full, in-depth, interview below where Bekha and Jess discuss how they got into photography, they photographic habits and what they’re hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
We have no idea! We won some money, we bought a camera and here we are.
Q: What do you most enjoy photographing?
Anything beautiful and soft with a feeling that is whimsical.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
Exciting! It has been full of developing our style, being published and expanding our experiences.
Q: Who inspires you?
Everybody! Lara Jade Coton, Sky Ferreira, Joe Wright, Karl Lagerfeld, Nirrimi Firebrace, Mario Testino, Gemma Ward, Annie Leibovitz, Anna Wintour, Lana Del Rey, Margret Mitchell, Eddie Redmayne, Steven Meisel, Jonathan Lawson, Sofia Coppola, Nikki Reed, Sasha Pivovarova and Nicole Bently amongst so many others.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Mary Kate Olsen, Olivia Palermo, Abbey Lee Kershaw.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
Anyone who is daring enough to push boundaries and bring social consciousness through their craft. Many great fashion photographers have been able to do more than sell clothes through their work and we hope to as well.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
We love both. We use digital on shoots due to convenience but film when we’re experimenting.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?
We’ve had so many! We’ve had a model throw a thousand dollar bracelet onto a highway, been escorted to security offices, chased by wild geese, had the power switched off on us, lost our shoes in muddy swamps, frozen in graveyards, scared off snakes, dived into a field to avoid being caught while trespassing, cried our way out of a $600 fine, had nine models in underwear running around a public beach and all the while enduring whatever teenage boys are around to jeer at our models.
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
We are quite feminine and vulnerable with our photos but we are still developing and are always trying different concepts. One thing you can expect from us is clear, soft images with emphasis on distinct details.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
It is impossible to choose. We are dissatisfied with so much of our work due to high standards but appreciate elements of each photograph. Usually our favorites are influenced by memories or content rather than the actual photograph.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
Yes, hundreds of people! When we put a team together we only consider talent that we admire and find inspirational. There are so many more amazing people filling the world and we look forward to working with them in the future.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is the opportunity to have fun and express all different facets of your personality. It’s great because it’s so dynamic and you don’t always have to be the same.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Always changing. We are quite different actually, right now Bekha is into high collars, long jackets and sheer fabrics while Jess is wearing woolen jumpers, tribal patterns and moccasins. We both love felt hats, leather boots, shoulder bags and embellished shirts. We have a common taste for clean simple lines with splashes of color and impeccable fits.
Q: Where are you based?
Gold Coast, Australia.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
A little frustrating. We’re tired of beaches and commercial developments and long to be in a fashion area such as Sydney or New York. After we travel through Europe next month we’ll decide on a place to relocate.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Achieving the personal goals we set step by step.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
We want to be commissioned editorial photographers for print fashion magazines here in Australia and internationally. We look forward to combining our work with travelling around the world and meeting new people.
Q: What do you do to relax?
We take photos of each other, our life and family, we write and play music together on the guitar and piano. Occasionally we watch a fantasy series, sometimes we cook, often we find ourselves retouching photos as a form of relaxation.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Anywhere we haven’t been yet.
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
We collect CDs to listen to and the most recent purchases have been…
Bekha -- Marina and the Diamonds, Lisa Mitchell, Bon Iver and Birdy.
Jess -- First Aid Kit, Ed Sheeran, Karis Eden and Florence and the Machine.
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
We love going on road trips and we love vintage shopping for clothes, books and props. We love blogging as well as taking film photos. Also Jess is currently doing a 365 challenge (photo a day project) which keeps her photographically active.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
The best advice for any profession is to know your craft well and develop your skills to the point of being the best. So practice, practice, practice.That’s what we do.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
The idea of achieving better things with our photography, getting to that level where we are proud of our work and can clearly communicate our ideas.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
We have a store opening shortly and will be blogging throughout Europe, feel free to follow our journey.
Editor’s Note: Ivy Nine Designs are growing an enviable portfolio of impressive fashions shots. We’re sure we’ll be seeing much more of Jess and Bekha’s creative work in magazines for many years to come.
If you’d like to get in touch with Ivy Nine Designs just follow the links below:
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/ivynine
Web page link: http://ivynine.com.au/
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/#!/JessLaFrankie