The story of how the award-winning photographer Juliet Taylor ended up taking photos is rather unusual. While studying dentistry in Nottingham (UK) at the age of nineteen, a night of festivities opened up the door to the world of photography for Juliet: “- We had a party one night in the surgery and turned it into a photo studio, that night, I picked up the camera and never looked back. I have never formally studied photography - I have worked my way up practically, assisting various photographers.”
Now she divides her time between Paris and Sydney, and her work has been featured in numerous publications including Capture magazine, Desktop, B&T, Australian Creative and many more. Today she’s making her debut on Ben Trovato with a wonderful exclusive fashion film entitled The Year Without Summer. We caught up with the up-and-coming artist, asking her a few questions about the film.
Describe to us the concepts behind The Year Without Summer. “The Year Without Summer is about human existence in unusual conditions and how this effected people psychologically. The unusual climate resulted in many cases of suicide, depression, mental illness but it was also a year of great creativity. The endless winter inspired the writing of Frankenstein, Lord Byron’s “Darkness” Poetry amongst others..It was a really interesting year which i was drawn and inspired too. I like my work to have many layers - being a mix of fashion, art and psychology.”
The film is based on a true story, which of course had its influence on the film. What other things inspired you when making the film? “I spend [ parts of ] my winter in ski resorts. I was inspired by the old photographs i saw - The style, direction and treatment. I loved the old staged setups of the photographs [ which was replicated in part of the film ]. As well as the wardrobe that men and women used to wear skiing. This initially influenced me and then I incorporated the story.”
Could you tell us a bit about the extraordinary location? “The film was shot in Thredbo ski resort in Australia. We received lots of support from the locals for making this possible - Special thanks to Thredbo ski resort, Thredbo historical society, Brad Spalding and Joe brown.”
Speaking of, the film looks to have been shot in rather tough conditions, how did you prepare before shooting? “The weather was unexpected. There had been no snow for 6 weeks prior to shooting the film so we did not prepare for the conditions at all. Our shoot days brought in blizzard conditions both days - strong wind and snow, poor visibility. We shot at the highest point of the mountain and lifts were on hold due to the wind and poor weather. It was perfect for the film. It was so cold my camera was very slow recording images! We shot each scene quickly before returning to shelter, however it brought out a real emotion in the models and they did not complain once.”
The models do look gorgeous, they all seemed to have handled the challenge well? “They were all fantastic. They needed to act as well as model - They understood the direction and interpreted emotionally their own way.”
..and the rest of the team? “The team was great. We had an amazing time.”
As usual, we also made sure to get a comment by the stylist / costume designer. The talented Cassandra Scott-Finn says this about the styling: “The costumes and fashion are a fusion between old and new. The styling ultimately tells the journey of struggle through a Victorian and Edwardian aesthetic. I injected contemporary designers signature pieces such as Elliot Ward-Fear and Phoenix Keating in the mix to brake a few rules and keep things a little interesting. I never like fashion to be a forced feed experience. It needs to take the viewer on a journey of unexpectedness, hence the layer apon layer and juxtaposition of textures which are not true to the period ie. PVC! If only women discovered PVC in the 18th & 19th century, what I wonderful world it would have been.”
The Year Without Summer was shot on the Canon EOS 1D Mark III, no other equipment.
Juliet is currently working on a exhibition and will be releasing a book at the end of next year.
Photographer / Director - Juliet Taylor
Editor - Dominic Locher
Costume designer / Fashion Stylist - Cassandra Scott-Finn
Makeup - Kristyan Low
Hair - Koh
Eilika M @ EMG
Steph @ CHIC