Wandering: On the Road with Melody
Name: Melody Jasmine
Hometown: Byron Shire
Describe your personality in 3 words: Serious but silly?
Tell me what you do: Film photography & talent representation
So you were first a fashion designer, then progressed into a fashion photographer, and now also your own a creative agency. Tell me about this progression within the industry...Have you have always worked for yourself? How’s being your own boss?
I left school quite early and jumped straight into working. At 21 I threw working for someone else out the window forever, to start my handmade clothing label. I kept it going for 10 years, I then progressed into my photography and other things. I have never even really considered not working on my own business, it just seems normal for me. Everything is a learning curve which can be incredible but also challenging at times. I also feel that it has taught me a lot of determination, or maybe that just came natural to me. One thing is for sure, whatever I am doing, it will always be for me!
I love that the models you represent all seem to hold unique qualities and are a diverse range of body types, ethnicities and aesthetics (especially in comparison to commercial modelling agencies). I feel like you are helping push down traditional beauty standards in the fashion industry..Tell me about your process behind this. Is this something you have created intentionally?
Firstly thank you for saying that! I suppose there are so many thoughts behind all this, probably too much to even start to cover on here. But with the agency, I have ultimately chosen people that I would want to shoot with, people who I personally find attractive on so many levels and people who I would want representing my label. I am very tired or seeing the same typical type of ‘look’ over and over again. We are each so diverse ourselves, so why not encourage that & stand out in the industry for having cool people who actually do crazy cool things representing your brand. There are so many stunning creatives out there & shooting people like that, I always feel that you can sense their own true flair for style come across in the images - which is super amazing to get!
I’ve always believed that you have a great talent for capturing the many sides of femininity and women in their natural state. Do you think being a woman yourself, has helped you achieve this?
Hmm maybe not. I think having the right models who feel comfortable with me on the day can play a big part in that. I usually always tell models to come basically make up free, I love shooting women in their raw element.
Being lucky enough to know you, and work with you - I know that you are your own worst critic when it comes to photography. Do you think you are probably too hard on yourself, or is it something that helps you grow and pushes you forward?
Haha yeah I totally am! I don’t know if this is good or bad, I know it’s a terrible feeling not liking your own work and I definitely have a ton of times when I just want to scrap everything that I’ve done and start again. I do get these feelings all too much, so its probably a bad thing!
Who/what inspires you? Do you have any role models?
I like to stay in the bubble. I am someone who has too much inspiration that it does my head in and makes it hard to focus on the path ahead, instead my mind gets over inspired and I just see 10 paths! Haha..
Tell me about your childhood…You have told me that your parents creative creatures also. Did you always want to pursue a creative career path?
I was born in the hills of Mullumbimby, just outside Byron. I grew up with a nice blend of ocean & bush. Back then it wasn’t the Byron most people would see it as now. I think my parents definitely passed onto me a creative way of life, true hippy’s living in the hills or country. Growing their own food and playing music while making crafts to sell at the markets was a daily ritual. I can't remember them not always doing something creative and I supposed its carried through to my life now.
Do you think growing up and living in the Byron Shire has influenced your work?
Yes probably, I do love shooting women in natural settings and I suppose that basically sums up Byron! Women in natural settings! Eheh..
What’s the best thing(s) about living in Byron?
Of course Byron has changed and changed again over my lifetime of living here. If you are not young, living in a huge share house with a zillion others or are not a multi millionaire - then you probably wouldn’t have much of a chance of living in Byron. The non super wealthy locals have headed for the hills! We are neither, but we live in our bus on a friends property, so I suppose we got lucky for now. The thing I love the most about Byron is that you can still walk barefoot down the street with a sheer dress on and get genuine smiles from all kinds! The fairies, the nuts, the backpackers, the café crowds, festival girls & the mummas.. But the thing I love about the whole area (not Byron itself) is the absolutely beautiful supportive community spirit & calm pace of life here, I love that.
What inspired you to move into this beautiful bus? And how different is your lifestyle since moving in? (I think it’s the coolest dam thing ever).
We basically live outside most of the day! We are mostly gardening, riding bikes around the property, spotting koalas and trying to stop the cheeky wallabies and cows from eating our garden. We don’t do TV so when I’m busy working on the computer or need some inside time with my son Zephyr - we paint, sew him clothes, things like that.
Your beautiful boy Zephyr is 3 now! Tell me about motherhood… Have you changed as a person?
Yes I am a changed woman! I actually truly feel like life begun when I had Zephyr. What’s your opinion of modern day social media? So Good, yet so bad as well. I will probably ponder my thoughts on this question for weeks now!