In Conversation With: Jess Brohier

How old are you and where are you based?
I'm twenty-eight, currently based in Melbourne, Australia.

What are the key things that drive your practice, and how you first became interested in them?
That's a hard question to answer! Probably just an obsession with creating new things, which is something I've always had since I was a child, and at the moment that takes place in the form of photography.

How would you say your background has shaped your photographic approach?
I've got a bachelor in Psychology and Sociology and that has definitely drawn me closer into wanting to capture deeper aspects of people in image, and also kind of document or comment on the human range of emotions and experience. I also come from a mixed race ethnic background, with roots in India and Sri Lanka and that certainly enhances my love and appreciation of ethnic features and attributes and I guess leads to me feeling drawn to a certain kind of look in the models that I choose to photograph.

What are your influences? Both photographic and non-photographic?
So many things. I love the vibes of 1970s and 80s films, architecture and furniture. The certain mood created in lounge rooms and living areas decadent with art-deco influence, or in contrast an tacky untouched 1990s suburban food court. I love graphic design movements like Memphis Milano and Vapour Wave, and obsess over photographers like Juergen Teller, Michal Pudelka, Harley Weir, Can Dagarslani, Lukasz Weirzbowski and Viviane Sassen to name a few.

Tell me about how your day-to-day practice has developed.
It's developed through trial and error mostly! I can't sit still and like to dabble in different things and keep busy doing many projects, so it's been mostly about finding a balance between doing the things I need to do and the things I love doing. However somewhere along the lines between doing those two things became blurred, as I began to freelance and eventually somehow make a living from taking photos. Freelancing takes a huge deal of time management and multitasking, so day-to-day for me is mostly keeping on top of sorting everything out for all the projects past, present and future, and still making sure I get enough time for self-love.

What kind of publications and brands do you enjoy collaborating with?
At the moment I'm loving European styling and magazines, so that's my main focus, but it's always subject to change! At home in Melbourne I get to work photographing campaigns and creating content for amazing local brands, and there's so much creative freedom in those kinds of jobs so I'm really enjoying that currently.

What has been your career highlight so far?
It's all been a highlight really. I've met some awesome people along the way. Being in print was cool, and I recently photographed and co-art directed a campaign for an Australian shoe retailer that I'd been obsessed with from the age of 18, so that was a pretty amazing opportunity.

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