Little Black Book Boudoir │Melissa Katherine

The Little Black Book Interviews │Agent Ryder

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What draws you to lingerie?

The fine details, the feeling of wearing it, the emphasis it puts on your body

Do you believe that wearing lingerie and feeling empowered are important for feminism?

Definitely!

Have you always been a fan?

Yes, of course, what’s not to love?!

How important is it for you to wear beautiful lingerie on a daily basis?

I like to look after my beautiful lingerie.  I work in a very busy environment so I generally wear sports lingerie to work and save my good stuff for my personal time!

If you are wearing underwear that’s not a good fit or not your favourite, does it affects your confidence and mood?

It doesn’t affect my confidence or mood because I know I still look fabulous, it just makes me feel uncomfortable

Is your expensive lingerie reserved for special occasions?

Not at all!

Are you drawn to vintage styles or prefer more modern minimal pieces?

Vintage

How important is wearing lingerie to your self-esteem and confidence?

5/5

Sydney Boudoir │Melissa Katherine

Showing up imperfectly │Melissa Katherine Photography

The Imperfect Phoenix.

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I’m writing this to show up imperfectly and vulnerable in order to begin again. Although I feel like I have been transformed, I don’t feel as though the work is completely done. I now know that the transformation cannot occur completely in solitude. I must reach out and share where I am at. I must shed the shame I feel in order to move ahead. I must continue to create in order to breathe.

Showing up imperfectly │Melissa Katherine Photography

 

My recent house move knocked me for a six and I didn’t see it coming….AT ALL! I knew that I would need to cull a lot of my possessions and I thought I would be ok with that. With a lot of my art themes heavily associated with nostalgia, I realised that this was a bigger challenge than I originally thought. It meant that things were disrupted and not perfect. It caused me to retreat and my perfectionist traits and fear of overwhelm blow up in my face. In hindsight, this shedding has been quite extensive. I feel as though so much of my life and things have changed. It has indeed been a process of letting go in order to grow. Damn! My word of the year for my business is GROW!

I’ve learned that being a highly sensitive creative and perfectionist is a double-edged sword. These traits add enormous value to my work and business, but at the same time, they are the very things that can paralyse me.

I have let go of a lot already (which is a huge thing for me), but the biggest blow came just days after handing the keys back to my old place. With my studio filled with storage boxes and endless bags of vintage clothing and fabric, I felt that my creative spirit had injured winged. Our warehouse art collective received notice and we need to be out of the building by April next year. I feel incredibly sad to be losing this creative space as anyone that has visited MK HQ to shoot with me knows that it is a beautifully unique and awe-inspiring creative space filled with artists and makers that over the course of the last two years have become my creative family. People to discuss ideas with, chat about challenges and generally lean on when you need another artist’s perspective. The building itself is also something I fell head over heels for. I have shot in almost every corner of the space and feel deeply saddened that I will only have this opportunity for a few short months.

Apart from my interstate visits, every shoot I have done in the past 2 years has been in this building. I’ve attempted to capture its spirit, create magical tales and weave my own themes into this building. It has become my creative haven, my safe place, a place to nurture fresh ideas and flourish.

If you have been meaning to book a shoot with me or would really love to shoot in a particular part of this gorgeous building now is the time to book your session. At this stage, we need to vacate the building by April 30th, 2018.

I would like to thank everyone that has worked with me so far and hope that you continue to support my creative endeavours so that I may keep serving you in the best way I know how.

Slowly I am getting back into it, but I feel an incredible hurdle was inflicted upon my art and business. It has made me appreciate how important creativity is to not only others and the world in general, but also to me personally.

I hope that this inspires you to show up imperfectly and not wait until you think you are ready to take a leap in life, whatever your challenge might be.

Growth can’t happen when the ego feels safe and as they say the real magick happens outside your comfort zone.

Come be creative with me, we all need it!

Magic and mystery,

Jovana │ Dark and Witchy Yoga Photo Session

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When my yoga teacher, Jovana, asked me to create some beautifully styled portraits for her to use on her website, I knew I wanted to create something feminine, strong, mysterious and earthy. Yoga asana selfies are everywhere these days — search for #yoga on Instagram and you’ll find more than 18 million photos, and that’s not including all the photos from other related hashtags. It was important for both of us that this was not your stock standard yoga photo session.

Melissa Katherine │Yoga Portrait Photography Alexandria

I absolutely love using elements of nature indoors for my photo shoots because it adds a seasonal marker to my work. I’m always bringing in branches and cuttings to hang around my studio and home. I’ll always know that I shoot this in Winter because I included those pretty Camellias. It was also raining that afternoon, which added to the atmosphere created in the space.

Jovana │Dark and Earthy Yoga Photo Session in Sydney

Jovana teaches both Jivamukti and Kundalini yoga and combines her love of the esoteric and music within her classes – this is precisely why I love her classes so much. Her individual take on teaching yoga is inspiring and I really feel that I captured that in these photographs.

Bringing your authentic self to what you do is so important. When you connect with your true self and let that shine magic happens.

Jovana │Jivamukti Yoga Photo Shoot Sydney Australia

Connectedness and spirituality play such a big part of my life and I enjoy relating such things to my portraiture. I don’t believe there is only one way to empowerment, but I’m passionate about feminism, spirituality and mythology. All three play an intrinsic part of why I do what I do. Waking up the goddess in us all is so important and whether your inner goddess comes out as a Hollywood Bombshell, Pretty Pinup, Vintage Vixen, Earthy Yoga Witch or Dark Siren, the empowerment gained from doing so is what should be acknowledged and embraced.

Own your inner goddess, whatever form she may take.

Melissa Katherine │ Dark and Witchy Yoga in Sydney

Fantasy takes many forms. It might not be burlesque, but yoga (or whatever your jam might be)can be just as theatrical!

Darkness and magic,

MAPLE ROSE │ Vintage Showgirl Photo Session

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The delightful Maple Rose has been a part of the Australian Burlesque scene since 2011. I’d worked with Maple Rose in the past, well kind of. I contacted her when I was styling an editorial shoot for Ace of Spades magazine. She was making ever so cute pin-up clothing at the time. I was excited to include her designs in the photo shoot I did with Lady Popsicle. Fast forward a few years and Maple Rose now lives in Melbourne. She has settled there after travelling to Europe and enjoying a stint living and working in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. There she became a regular performer at Melt Bar.

During our session, we chatted about the way in which Burlesque is appreciated and perceived in different parts of the world. It’s always interesting to hear the way in which a different culture views things like burlesque. There was also the fact that Swedes are obsessed with the ‘new’, so vintage stores and vintage fashion/furniture are not really seen as cool or desirable. Of course, as in every city, there are the vintage aficionados that see the value and beauty in pieces from by-gone eras, but it’s difficult to get my head around the idea of nostalgia not being treasured.

Do we get bogged down with the past and what has already been done? Is it important to pay homage to the past in order to have a richer and more vibrant future?

I like the idea of fresh concepts and newness – it stops things becoming stagnant and tired, but I also love aspects of the past – the workmanship, the quality, the longevity of garments and design. In a world filled and ruled by fast, disposable fashion, I think the future must include vintage.

Burlesque Photo Shoot Sydney Studio │Melissa Katherine

Here Maple Rose wears an emerald green gown with leopard details and magenta gloves. I love using bold and striking hue in portraiture, especially complimentary colours. The dress is an 80s does 60s number and she picked it up during her time in Sweden.

MAPLE ROSE by Melissa Katherine

So very glam, so very gorgeous!

For details on where to catch Maple Rose perform check out maplerose.com

 

 

 

Early Snaps | Melissa Katherine

Blueprints that already existed.

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When I was 15 I took it upon myself to contact Dolly Magazine seeking an opportunity for work experience. To my amazement, I was accepted. I was going to have the opportunity to see how photo shoots went down, maybe spot a few of my favourite models and experience the everyday runnings of what was then one of my favourite Teen Girls magazines. In reality, I probably would have just been making coffees all day and running to the post office, but who cared?! It was a chance to see the behind the scenes daily runnings and perhaps catch a glimpse of the IT girl of the time. I was so excited. I just had to get permission from my school and I was good to go.

Unfortunately, my shortsighted and dream destroying career advisor refused to let me go. At my school work experience happened on a particular week each year and the Dolly Magazine opportunity was scheduled for a few months before. Surely they could have bent the rules, but apparently (and quite sadly for me,) no.
I was devastated. I ended up being assigned a week at Wollongong Council in the Architectural Department. They didn’t know what to do with me. It was mind-bogglingly boring. Their jobs seemed boring, they didn’t even ask me to make coffees or fetch the mail. I ended up drafting already built toilet block designs off.

Blueprints that already existed.

In hindsight, apart from the fact that things happened for a reason (although I’m still to work out the point of the blueprint copying), this showed me that I knew what I wanted a long time ago and not fitting in ‘their’ box is just who I am.

Early Snaps | Melissa Katherine

Photo: 16 year old me with my camera.
Sure I’ve taken a different path than I perhaps would have if I did go to Dolly, but essentially my interests are the same. Photography, modelling, art, fashion, girl power and inspiration. It is amazing how when we are young the passion inside us is untainted and real, yet along the way we get cut down and told to do the sensible thing, the required thing, the thing that is best, but best for who?

When I thought back to this time in my youth recently, I felt inspired to share this story with you and remind you to take the time to remember who you were at 13, 14 or 15. Of course, you have grown and learned so much, but I bet that true essence of you is still there. Hold on to this! Return to it by all means necessary, nurture it and let it thrive. There is so much truth in our young selves and reconnecting with that is a powerful and glorious thing!

Be playful,
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