Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Published February 20th 2013
Most people, looking at a photograph of themselves, don't see the likeness that everyone else can see. This is because we do not see what we see every day in a mirror – the image is reversed, and no face is entirely symmetrical.
Good photographers know this and so will rely on pose and expression to portray a likeness and the fleeting moments of intimacy to capture character. This requires a degree of knowledge of the sitter by the photographer, over and above the purely technical skills required.
I work occasionally as an actor (watch Desert War ABC TV 26th April, 2013 – that's me as Churchill. Don't blink) and so from time to time require headshots to beef up my portfolio. The best photo I ever had taken was on my Graduation in 1972, but I don't look like that any more.
Kate and her business manager, Megan, work out of a purpose-built studio on family land in Herne Hill. The studio has a reception, a make-up and dressing room, the studio itself set with the usual lights, inverted umbrellas and so on as well as a small kitchen where Megan makes fantastic coffee and a viewing room where you can view your shots and choose the ones you like best.
A photographic session costs from about $125 (but watch the website and Facebook, as there are often special offers) and lasts a an hour at least, depending on style of shoot, individual or family portraits. Once done, you can choose from printed albums, individual photo prints on archival paper, images mounted on glass blocks and a huge range of imaginative presentations.
I seldom look good in photos, being beefy rather than bony, and so it was with a certain degree of trepidation I arrived, hat in hand for my shoot. Kate and Megan were immediately warmly welcoming and put me at my ease. Chatting and drawing me out on my favourite subjects, I relaxed and the natural personality peeked out and was photographed in a almost continuous stream of clicking.
We photographed inside and out, in sunlight and shadow, with natural light and artificial, bare-headed and hatted. The photo proofs that I have seen are marvellous and exactly what I wanted.
As well as individual shoots for ageing actors Verge Studio ('photography on the edge') do 'boudoir shoots' in as advanced a state of nudity as you are comfortable with, weddings – I have seen the photographs and they are spectacular.
For wedding photography Verge start usually with the engagement and work through to the actual ceremony and reception, using two photographers and a facilitator – often pressed into extra-ordinary service, such as rushing a wedding dress in for alterations minutes before the ceremony. Prices and packages vary, so your best bet is to simply talk to them and see what Verge can do for you.
Kate has had a long career, given her age, first as a model, then as a photographer. She has won awards and has recently had a highly-regarded exhibition at Taylors Art House.
Her photographic influences are Ansel Adams ('love the use of black & white shapes & textures') Patrick Litchfield and David Bailey.
Verge Studio has a website for you to look at some of their work.