Women in Action Interview: Allura Maison

Women in Action is very proud to present to you what will be the first of many interviews showcasing the talents of Canberran women. This one features the lovely Allura Maison, read on and discover what she’s been up to!

Check out her current work here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AlluraMaison
Blog: http://www.kittenlamoda.com/

[all images courtesy Allura Maison Photography]

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1.  Tell us about you – how would you describe yourself and your work?

 My name is Allura Maison. I am a Professional International Fashion Photographer, Artist, Designer and Blogger. Canberra born & bred, now based in Melbourne. My photography has enabled me to work both internationally and locally in Australia. A creative person by nature, free spirited travelling gypsy at heart (always ready for the next adventure!) – my work reflects this wanderlust bohemian inspo of dreamy subconscious pursuits.

2.  What got you into your current career?

 Somewhere between daydreaming and drawing fashion illustration, I wanted to be part of a bigger dialogue, creatively. One day, I bought an SLR camera impulsively and literally haven’t looked back since. I take inspiration from Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, Michel Gondry, Pedro Almodovar, Charmaine Olivia, Francoise Neilly & Mario Testino just to name a few!

When I started out 7 years ago, I was working in a high-level public service role as an Online Design specialist but it wasn’t challenging me artistically. It has been a cool gradual transition from hobby into profession. A lot of what I have learned has been instinct, informal mentorship and self paced studies. It certainly helps building a sense of community in your chosen field if you can discuss with your peers. I feel a lot of gratitude to the beautiful people, friends and colleagues that have encouraged me to follow my bliss…. and that brings us to the here and now.

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3. What gets you out of bed every morning?

There are definitely moments when succumb to questioning my work with the competition but that’s where you are wrong on those rainy days. Because the only person you are ever in competition with is yourself. Your driven focus can only be rewarded from hard work, determination and positive reinforcement. For me, thinking about meeting new countries that I’ve never been to before gets me out of bed every time (if you don’t believe me, refer to my growing pinterest wanderlust board haha). To try see each new day, as just that – new. It’s important to be open to see things with fresh eyes. Inspiration IS everywhere. That and listening to a hell of a lotta Led Zeppelin….

4. What is one of your favourite projects, and why?

Recently I worked on world tour in Mexico, New York, Paris and Barcelona on a series of Fashion focused projects. Combining these beautiful iconic cities with fashion was beyond surreal. Amazing, amazing experience. Forever tattooed in my heart. It forced me to really think fast on feet as there is no room for error when you know your there for one day in each new city and perhaps don’t speak the language. You really have to surprise yourself. Adapt.

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5.            What is the hardest aspect of your job?

 Educating clients that photography is actually a commissioned profession  You get requests frequently to work for free because as an artist it’s sometimes an assumption you have a ‘real job’ too. It’s a little frustrating but I enjoy seeing it as an opportunity to communicate more effectively. To find new ways to deliver my product and service. When clients/publications have worked with me expectations are met, and hopefully exceeded. It’s a tough industry to break into – less experienced photographers compromise their worth by giving away a lot of time in exchange for exposure. While, I am totally all for self promo (shoutout to my facebook & instagram newsfeeds!), if you give away too much…. it breeds the preconception your work is free and timebecomes inevitably undervalued. Post processing can be annoying too when you use technical processes, quality takes time. however, I still love doing it!

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6. What would you say to other women looking to follow in your footsteps?

Pick up a camera and explore. Don’t feel like you have to decide today what your style is, or who you are as an artist. Begin by simply being an artist organically (the beginning is actually the best part!), take photos of everything that inspires you & catches your eye. You decide the pace that works for challenging yourself. There will definitely be times where you have breaks away from it, but if photography is what you love, you’ll always find a way to come back. Another thing to do is the 365 Project. One photo a day for a year, not only will you have a visual placeholder for when you saw great photographic progress – you can share with your friends and family for feedback to keep you motivated.

7. Why are you a Woman in Action?

I am a Woman in Action because I believe in positive change through positive action. There is more to be learned of the world in sharing, giving, inspiring than to lay stationary in one route on the way to the dream. In actuality, there are many ways to the dream. You just have to fight for it; pioneer your own path! As soon as you do, a new whole world opens up and smiles with you. 🙂

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