The Ladies collection is driven by the desire to give each of my ladies a chance to empower herself by stepping in front of my lens and by recording her written thoughts in the interviews about kindness, confidence and giant hamsters. The Ladies series can never truly be complete for there will be always be an endless list of ladies that I’d be honoured to capture in a frame. Want to take part or know more?
I’ll be posting my ladies’ interviews in whole (rather than the shortened versions in the books), featuring my personalised quotes and introductions. Enjoy!
Some people go to priests, others to poetry. I go to my friends.
Amelia is part of an epic friendship with Eleanor and Rachel (in the hat), who are part of the series. To be able to capture the love that is felt between these three incredible best friends was a real honour, for after taking their photos for the series, we took best friend photos. I love how Eleanor even includes shoutouts to both ladies in her answers. Millie’s answer about the importance of ‘fierce, loyal friendships’ is something that is central to my core too. There really is nothing like the bonding experience of mutual dislike of the same people! But honestly, female friendship is incredibly important to unite women and give us room to grow. Oh and pho is definitely a favourite amongst the ladies as this isn’t the only time it’s mentioned!
To you, what is the best part about being a woman?
The best parts about being a woman, to me, are the fierce, loyal female friendships that I have been lucky enough to develop across the world. There is nothing stronger than the friendships between women who are united by taste, humour, intelligence, and a mutual dislike of the same people.
Who did you want to be when you were growing up?
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a surgeon. That lasted until my mum arranged for me to do my Year 10 work experience in a hospital, and I watched a wisdom tooth extraction. After being carried out of the theatre, I vowed to apply for an International Relations degree.
How would you like the men in your life to empower you?
I’m seeing positive movements more and more towards this in my workplace, but it would be exceptionally empowering for men to not shy away from a discussion or attending an event just because it has the words ‘women’ or ‘gender’ in the title. I’ve found this particularly prevalent in the defence and security space – event attendees are more often than not predominantly male, until the event has a gendered aspect. Then, men will only make up a small fraction of the room. Actively participating in dialogue is the first step towards recognising a problem and moving towards a solution.
What is your signature dish?
Cheats’ chicken phở – it solves everything. After something fresh and healthy? Chicken phở. Something that’s perfect in both the steamy summer months and the icy winter? Chicken phở. Takes twenty minutes to prepare? Chicken phở. Hungover? Chicken phở.
When was a moment that defined you that set you on your path to now?
Deciding to enrol in Indonesian language class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I studied for six months on exchange in 2013, started a magnificent chain of events that led me to where I am today. Despite its location in the mid-west of the USA (and its lows of -40 Fahrenheit during the winter), UWM had a fantastic Southeast Asian languages unit, and I wanted to come away from my time abroad with a concrete, marketable skill. The rest was history.