Q & A with Leading Fashion Photographer Peter Tamlin

Photographer Peter Tamlin

We are all born with unique gifts that make us different from the rest of the masses. Some know from an early age exactly what those gifts are, while others, arguably the majority, have to go through the sometimes grueling process of trial and error before their true ‘purpose’ shines through clearly.

Today, Toronto-based photographer Peter Tamlin is sought out by major companies like cosmetic leaders including MAC, CoverGirl, Revlon and Clairol to jewelry designers such as Dean Davidson and award-winning stylists like Caffrey Van Horne to use his creative eye to capture their products and designs for all the world to see. But, if you asked Tamlin back in high school how his life would look in 10 years, chances are he wouldn’t have predicted himself having a career as an internationally celebrated photographer, but that’s exactly what has happened. After discovering his love for photography at the age of 19, he dove in full force and hasn’t looked back since.

Aside from the impressive list of clients Tamlin has shot for to date, he has also had his personal photography work featured in gallery shows including the “Vision-Perceptions of Light” exhibition at the Warren G. Flowers Gallery in Montreal, Canada.

In 2011 he earned the award for Best Fashion & Beauty Photography from the prestigious Applied Arts Photography & Illustration Awards for the intriguing black and white photo he took of Tea that is featured below. The way he endows the shot with a feeling of movement and the whimsy of a fairy tale make it a difficult photo to take our eyes away from.

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Tamlin has shot editorials for a diverse collection of some of the most read magazines around the world including Fashion Magazine, Plastik Magazine, Lush Luxury Magazine, Fantastics Magazine and countless others. While he is continually pushing the boundaries of the mainstream with his personal photography style, what has made him such a success in his field is the fact that he is able to strike a balance between what his clients want and what he finds creatively inspiring.

Regardless of whether they are fashion models donning new designs or products for the various companies that hire him to shoot their ad campaigns, Tamlin is a miracle worker when it comes to creating the perfect lighting to capture his subjects. His unique ability to light a model’s skin in a way that glows effortlessly while still looking natural was a huge draw factor for Shoppers Drug Mart, which hired him to shoot their Glowing Skin campaign in 2013.

To find out more about photographer Peter Tamlin, what inspires him and how he got to where he is today, make sure to check out our interview below. You can also check out more of his work through his website: http://www.petertamlin.com/

You can also connect with him on Facebook here.

Where are you from and how did you first begin learning photography?

PT: I was born in Scarborough, but raised in a small town named Stouffville, both in Ontario, Canada. I’m now based in Toronto.

When I was 18, one of the first friends I met in Toronto was a photographer and was an assistant to famed photographer David Lachappelle. My friend would always show me David’s photography books and expose me to the many types of pop-culture photography coming out of New York. When I was 19, I bought my first 35mm film camera and began shooting and experimenting.

Are you self-taught or did you go to school to study photography?

PT: When I was 23, I moved to Montreal and enrolled in the Dawson Institute of Photography. It was a two year program and I graduated at the top of my class.

What is it about photography that first inspired you to pursue it as a profession?

PT: Basically, I love the idea of being creative and creating artwork that is captivating and original. Professionally, I detested the idea of working a 9-5 job and doing the same thing everyday. I wanted a career where I could always be setting new goals and where there is no limit to the success I could have.

I also wanted flexibility with my schedule and to be able to work when and where I want. I love the idea of being able to travel as well.

Can you tell our readers about some of the projects you’ve shot?

PT: In Jan 2015, I was hired as photographer for a campaign and hair competition shoot for Aveda Canada and specifically for Civello, which is an Aveda Salon in Toronto. Over the course of two days we shot 7 different models, each with different hairstyles. The photos were used in a campaign and also entered in the NAHA’s (North American Hair Styling Awards) and also the Constessa’s, which is a Canadian hairstyling competition. The entry was named a finalist in the CONTESSA Awards for Canadian Salon Team.

I was hired for this shoot by Aveda Canada’s Creative Director, Kristjan Hayden. I worked directly with Kristjan to develop the direction for the shoot. The concept was based on movement and motion of the hair, so with the specific lighting I developed with Kristjan, I was able to use a special effect to illustrate the movement.

I believe the reason I was asked to be involved in this project was because of my unique creative vision and my ability to bring original and captivating ideas to this project. Hair photography is not only about showing the detail in the hairstyles, but also about presenting the hairstyles in creative and interesting ways. I think the specific lighting, set, special effects and retouching treatment I produced for this shoot are extremely unique, interesting and effective.

In 2013 I was hired to produce the Glowing Skin advertising campaign for Canada’s largest drugstore chain, Shoppers Drug Mart. For the Glowing Skin Campaign, we shot 4 different models in one day. The purpose of the shoot was to showcase clean, healthy, glowing skin. The photos were used in a national advertising campaign, appearing on billboards, in stores, newspapers, magazines, online and many other advertising outlets.

I was hired again as photographer for Shopper’s Drug Mart in 201 for their 30 Days of Beauty campaign. We shot 30 different models ranging in age from 16-60, over seven days. The purpose of the campaign was to showcase diversity in beauty. Again, the photos were used in a national advertising campaign appearing on billboards, in stores, newspapers, magazines, online and many other advertising outlets, as well. Each model was featured for each day in September 2014.

It was extremely important for these projects that the lighting capture the detail on the skin and the texture and colour of the products used. The lighting I used for both shoots was designed specifically to the needs of each campaign. For the Glowing skin campaign, it was very important that the skin looks healthy and glowing. The lighting that I designed incorporated many different light sources from multiple directions giving the skin enhanced luminosity.

For the 30 Days of Beauty campaign, it was very important that we showcased diversity in beauty, but in many different ethnicities and ages. The lighting that I used was softer and more flattering than standard beauty lighting. This meant that the light helped highlight and enhance each model’s own beauty.

Early in 2015 I was hired by Dean Davidson, a top Toronto based Canadian jewelry designer, to shoot his spring/summer campaign. Being the first time I had a chance to shoot for Dean, I wanted to do something completely original for him, so I suggested that we have the model pose in a pool of water. The model’s name was Hannah Donker from Elite Models in Toronto.


Then in October Dean approached me to shoot his fall/winter campaign. Again, I wanted to do something original, so I suggested shooting in a set of mirrors. The model’s name was Emily Van Raay and she’s represented by Anita Norris Models in London, ON. I worked with a very talented team with Greg Wencel doing the hair and makeup, and George Antonopoulos as the stylist. Both shoots were a great success and very well received.

In June I was hired to shoot an editorial for the September issue of FASHION Magazine, which is Canada’s leading fashion magazine. The editorial was titled “Team Spirit” and the theme for it was androgyny. It was a 10 page editorial and we shot in the ballroom of the historic King Edward Hotel in Toronto. The editorial featured two models, Alice Ma, represented by NEXT Models and David Chiang, represented by Ciotti Models, both in Toronto. Hair and makeup was by Susana Hong and the Fashion Director was George Antonopoulos. The editorial featured many top fashion brands including DSquared, Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, Gucci and Dries Van Noten.

Most of my work is photography, but I am also inspired by music videos and films, so over the past few years I have branched out in that direction. In 2013, I was hired to produce and direct and show package video for one of the top male modeling agencies in Toronto, Elite Model’s.

In one day, we shot nine different male models in the studio in front of a black background. The video was black and white and high contrast. I really enjoyed the editing process of the project and I was able to experiment and create with many different filters and effects. Even though the video is very different from my photography work, it was very popular and gained over ten thousand views online.

What has been your most memorable shoot?

PT: I would have to say that most memorable shoot would be the Elite Models video. It was a project where I had no restrictions or limits to what I could do. I was able to experiment with editing and effects and create something very bold and original. Also, it was great working with all of the models. Shooting photos can sometimes be tedious, but shooting this project was very exciting and enjoyable. It is probably the one project that has gotten me the most exposure.

What is inspiring you as a photographer now?

PT: It’s hard to say what inspires me now. My inspiration changes daily. At the moment I am really inspired to do shoots that are very dark and macabre. When the industry is moving into a more bright and fresh mood for Spring, my gut is telling me to go in the other direction.

Aside from the jobs that you are hired on to shoot, how would you describe your personal photography style?

PT: Captivating, dramatique, intense and unique. My main priority as a photographer and visual artist is to always be creating work that is original and reject the “norm.”

I always try to go against the grain and turn convention on its head. My most successful projects have been ones where I did something unexpected. I also enjoy experimenting with contrasting colours.

How much freedom do you have when it comes to creating the direction of a shoot for brands like Mac and Covergirl?  

PT: Unfortunately, with those two clients specifically, I don’t have much freedom. For Covergirl, the direction was very conservative and commercial. Basically, it was a standard beauty shoot. We shot a pretty model with 4 or 5 makeup looks. The lighting was very basic in order to show off the product.

Clients like Dean Davidson, Greta Constantine and Aveda are the ones that give me more creative control. I generally have no limits to how creative I can go with the direction for those shoots.

Do you have a specific area of interest or subjects that you prefer to focus on with your photography?

PT: Commercial. I like to focus on conceptual beauty and hair projects. I find that I can be more creative in that area than the standard fashion shoots.

For my creative work, I like focus on models or subjects that are unusual, bizarre and outside of the norm. I like photographing unique characters that don’t fit in the fashion industry’s molds.

How do you keep productive and retain your creative edge?

PT: I try to keep productive by always exposing myself to different and new experiences and people. I’m constantly researching new concepts and lightings. The best way I’ve been able to retain my creative edge is by always pushing myself to do what no one else is doing, being original and pushing boundaries.

What has been some of the best advice given to you by another photographer?

PT: The best advice I’ve received wasn’t actually from a photographer, but one of my best friends. When discussing what career path I should take, he said I should “do what I love.” It was really the catalyst for me to pursue photography professionally.

What special advice would you like to share with other photographers?

PT: Don’t follow trends.

Be original.

Do what makes you happy.

Who are some of your favorite photographers?

PT: David LaChappelle, Steven Klein, Mert & Marcus, Txema Yeste and Solve Sundsbo.

What equipment would we find in your camera bag or studio for a typical shoot?

PT: Generally, I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark II, my MacBook Pro, and a Profoto ComPact-R kit and lots of colour gels.

What lighting equipment do you favor and why?

PT: Profoto is the brand I learnt with and probably the most popular and versatile.




U.K. Model Axel Swan Maldini Poses in Exclusive Editorial ‘Lucha Libre’ for Fucking Young! Online

Axel Swan Maldini


Axel Swan Maldini, a valuable, highly sought out asset to the modeling industry and his talents were showcased throughout the editorial – “Lucha Libre” – for renowned fashion magazine, Fucking Young! Online.

Fucking Young! Online is a Barcelona-based menswear magazine featuring various campaigns, beauty, editorial, runway, and street style fashion. The platform features exclusive content and conversational interviews, a source its audience can count on for the latest news in fashion.

The exclusive editorial, “Lucha Libre,” featured leading models Axel Swan Maldini and Rasmus Nielsen Fisker.

“Lucha Libre was definitely dynamic,” Maldini said. “Poses were dynamic yet playful, contrasting the world of Lucha Libre with the world of Love.”

Photographed by Szilveszter Makó and styled with pieces from Barbara Sánchez-Kane, Maldini played an integral role as the starring model, his looks varying in nearly every photograph.

“Throughout the collection, Axel dawns various colorful and intricately designed clothing while sporting various Lucha Libre – Mexican style wrestling totems and items,” said stylist Sánchez-Kane, whose work is motivated by her Mexican heritage and has been featured in various fashion publications including Huf Magazine, Polimoda Mag, Positive Magazine.

At times throughout the shoot, Maldini’s face is completely covered in blue makeup, with cartoonishly drawn yet poignant lipstick on, accentuating a sad clown aesthetic.

“I was super excited when I got told I was going to be part of such a fun shoot,” Maldini said. “It was one of the most playful shoots I’ve done. Poses were switching between more static ones and some cheeky ones that recalled a playful erotism, as the typical Mexican wrestling wanted to be re-imagined by the designer. It definitely felt more like creating another persona. The clothes and the make-up made me interpret at best the concept of the shoot.”

Sánchez-Kane said, “Axel’s strengths as a model are unique when considering the expected features of a model. His naturally brooding look has a chilling effect; the most successful photos from the collection are of him staring directly into the camera, as if in a stand off with the view. His cold gaze, matched with his blue face highlights the inherent contrast between him as the subject, and what he is wearing as a model. The added presence of wresting paraphernalia, namely various wrestling masks and personalized wrestling belts, fixates Alex within a distinctly masculine lens, furthering the contrast of his expressions.”

After working together on “Lucha Libre,” Maldini and Sánchez-Kane collaborated again for the editorial shoot and press events of Sánchez-Kane’s presentation of “Catch as a Catch Can” at Villa Favard during Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy.

“Axel’s collaborations with internationally renowned publications and brands, namely Catherinelle Bags, Cult Shoes, Papercut Magazine, and Lui Magazine, have proven that he is a natural talent in the fashion industry, but also more than capable of enhancing the meaning and tone of any editorial, shoot, or runway he involves himself with, I am thankful for our work together,” said Sánchez-Kane.

Badr Farha Awarded at IndieFEST 2016 for “The Last Conversation” and Will Now Direct the Upcoming Film “Margaret”

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Poster for Badr Farha’s film “The Last Conversation”


International filmmaker Badr Farha earned the Award of Recognition at the 2016 IndieFEST Film Awards earlier this year for the film “The Last Conversation,” which he wrote and directed.

“The Last Conversation” starring Christopher Callen from the film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and the series “One Life to Live” and “Young and the Restless,” Eddie Eisele from “Die Hard Dracula” and “Sweet and Lowdown,” and Don Lucas from the film “Party Like the Rich and Famous,” brings to the screen a dramatic tale of secrets exposed and the loss of a loved one. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to see the film yet, you can get a taste of Farha’s brilliant approach to this intensely emotional story through the trailer below.

After Lucas’s character Luci, a middle-aged man who’s kept a life-long secret from those around him, discovers that his mother’s advanced stage of cancer is terminal, the need to reveal these unspoken truths arises. However, whether he’s ready to tell her or not, Luci’s mother Yvonne could very well find out the truth as Luci’s ability to keep his secrets in the dark falters in the midst of the pain he feels over her imminent passing.

The heart-wrenching and layered drama, which was accepted into the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Court Metrage, reveals Farha’s acute vision as both a director and an art director. The powerful emotions within the story are intensified further by the film’s score, which was composed by Julian De La Chica and performed by the Scorchio Quartet in New York City. The founder of Irreverence Group Music (IGM), De La Chica is a Colombian born pianist and composer who currently resides in New York.

Farha’s Indie Fest Award for “The Last Conversation”

“The Last Conversation” is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Farha’s accolades in the industry to date; but, what is even more impressive is the fact that his creative talents encompass multiple fields of work in film. Considering the heavy competition and large pool of talented individuals who want to work in film, Farha’s accomplishments as an art director, director, screenwriter and to top it off, a production designer, have proven him to be someone with a remarkably rare gift for bringing stories to life on film.

“Writing and directing have always been my end goal. Over the years I’ve purposefully taken on a wide spectrum of leadership roles on film productions from the creative design aspects of production design and art direction, which create the environment for the stories we are creating, to working as a producer where I’ve tested and perfected my ability to execute and ensure that a project is flawlessly created as envisioned,” explains Farha.

“Aside from simply enjoying the process, these experiences have laid the foundation for me to become the director I am today. As the head of the entire film production, a director needs to manage the leads of every department in order to make sure the vision is clear, attainable and that everyone is on the same page… I don’t know if that would be possible if I hadn’t spent the time devoting myself to actual performing the roles myself.”

Over the last few years Farha has been working closely with producers Regina Bang and Javier Del Olmo, who produced “The Last Conversation” through their production company, Bang Bang Pictures.

After linking up a little over two years ago on the film “Deliver Us,” which Bang production designed, Del Olmo produced and Farha art directed, an unstoppable team was formed. “Deliver Us” earned a $10,000 grand prize, and Bang and Del Olmo going on to form Bang Bang Pictures soon after.

Some of Bang’s other work as a producer include feature films such as “Sophie Gold, the Diary of a Gold Digger,” and “Finding Her,” which was line produced by Del Olmo and starred Johnny Whitworth from “Limitless,” “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” and ABC’s newest hit TV series “Blindspot,” and Larry Pine from “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “House of Cards”.

In addition to “The Last Conversation,” Farha production designed the film “More Than Words,” as well as art directed “When Negatives Collide,” both of which were produced by Bang Bang Pictures. While the films portray two totally different narratives, with “More than Words” focusing on a young couple as they struggle to cope with terminal illness and the painfully real possibility of losing one another if a cure is not found, and “When Negatives Collides” centering on a lower class teenager’s struggle to move forward from her tarnished past and form a stronger bond with her mother, both films were well received internationally in their own right.

““When Negatives Collide,” which was written and directed by Michelle Castro, a well-known cinematographer and international filmmaker who has collaborated with Farha and the team at Bang Bang Pictures on multiple occasions over the last few years, also earned the Award of Merit at the IndieFest Film Awards in 2015. That makes Farha’s recent award win at the 2016 IndieFest Film Awards for “The Last Conversation” the second time his work has gained praise at the popular LA-based awards festival in the past year!

Additionally the film, “When Negatives Collide,” was also chosen as an Official Selection of the 2015 International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts IFFCA, Studio City Film Festival and the Sun and Sand Film Festival, and it was also included in the Cannes Film Festival Court Metrage along with Farha and Bang Bang Picture’s other films “More Than Words” and “The Last Conversation.”

The fact that these filmmakers had three films in the prestigious internationally renowned festival in Nice, France last year speaks leagues to the power of their collaborative efforts; and, with the creative juices in full swing, the team has joined forces once again to bring audiences the upcoming film “Margaret,” which Farha is slated to direct. The upcoming film will begin shooting in April and stars Lucia Moerk as Margaret, as well as Christopher Callen who will take on the role of Mother Superior.

Poster for Badr Farha’s upcoming film “Margaret”

Umar Khan Makes Innovative Strides in How Action is Captured on Film

Umar Khan

As CGI and effects technologies become more and more advanced, filmmakers are constantly working to keep up with the ever-growing hunger audiences have for high octane, adrenaline-packed action films.

When done right a great action film can often spawn sequels, prequels and spin-offs, and the merchandising opportunities of a hit can be limitless.

An epic battle or chase scene can sell millions of tickets, but explosions and flashy CGI are expensive and require a great deal of expertise. So naturally, the film industry is painstaking in its planning and filming of action sequences. That’s where Umar Khan comes in.

As an actor, director, stunt performer and action designer, Khan has been instrumental to the success of a countless array of productions. Most recently, Khan’s work can be seen in the star-studded blockbusters “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” starring Tina Fey, and Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” starring Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. His professional martial arts training and conditioning makes him the top choice for directors who won’t settle for the second-best. Together with Stunt Fighting Concept, the action design team he founded, Khan is dedicated to designing and executing stunts and fight scenes that are not only intense and hair-raising but realistic and immersive.

“The fight sequences I design are meant to look very authentic due to the actual physical contact me and my teammates are inflicting upon each other,” Khan said. “My team consists of guys that have fought professionally or are highly trained in various areas of the stunt business and are used to the physical contact as myself.”

Among the many projects Khan has been a part of is “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – District Voices,” a 2014 mini-series produced by Google and Lionsgate to coincide with the massively successful “Hunger Games” series. Those familiar with the series are well aware of the intense action sequences and fight scenes which define it, and “District Voices” is no exception. Given the enormous popularity and fanbase of the series, it’s a testament to Khan’s skill and reputation that he was chosen to serve as the fight choreographer for the mini-series.

Khan is also known for his 2015 role in “Close Range,” the action-packed story of a man’s battle against all odds to rescue his family. The film stars Scott Adkins (“The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) as Colton MacReady, an ex-soldier who’s forced to take matters into his own hands when the Mexican cartel kidnaps his sister and niece. Khan assumes the role of Sesma, a high-ranking cartel hitman tasked with stopping and killing MacReady.

In addition to being unparalleled as both an actor and action choreographer, Khan is also gifted with an extraordinary eye for cinematography. Together with his team, he is pioneering the use of a revolutionary new tool they have aptly dubbed the “semi-drone.”

“Our system freely captures the fights and action in a video game style by utilizing the director of photography as a part of the movement within the scene along with the performers, and having a second camera operator moving the camera through a monitor for a more up-close and detailed view of the action,” Khan described.

“You get the best of both worlds: the sense of POV along with the interactive part of 3D, which makes it feel like you are a part of the action.”

There is never a dull moment for Umar Khan, and the steady stream of projects in need of his expertise never slows down. With a lifetime of experience and boundless passion for his work, it’s no wonder he’s in such high demand. Those who want to catch more of him and his work are in luck: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” is in theaters now, and the hotly-anticipated “Captain America: Civil War” is scheduled for release this summer.

Behind the scenes: Cat Sherwin reveals a day in the life of a Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist on Australia’s leading breakfast TV news lineup

Cat Sherwin


It’s 2 a.m. and her day has already begun.

A short meditation, double expresso and daily horoscope are the kick starters. Then it’s off to the shower, out the door and on to Seven Network Studios in the Martin Place district of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The essential morning routine is the tried and true method for Cat Sherwin, make-up artist and hair stylist for Seven Network’s breakfast TV lineup: “Seven Early News,” “Sunrise” and “The Morning Show.”

“It’s my little bit of Zen time for day,” Sherwin said. “I find it really centers me with an aura of peace and calm for what’s often a hectic day ahead.”

Beginning with “Seven Early News,” followed by “Sunrise” and ending with “The Morning Show,” the three programs broadcast from 5 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. weekdays, with “Sunrise” continuing to air from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekends.

Programming informs Australian audiences on news, sports, weather, current affairs and entertainment. It’s an ongoing barrage of talk-show TV production that only pauses once a year, on Christmas Day.

Audiences have responded and made “Sunrise” the highest-rated breakfast news program across Australia. It originated in 1991 and is carried out in the tradition of “Good Morning America.”

“Sunrise” has covered a litany of major news including the Iraq War, the inauguration of Barack Obama, the 2010 Copiapo mining accident, the 2010-2011 Queenslands floods, the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Hurricane Sandy, the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis, the Pope’s morning Masses and many other impactful stories. Musical guests on “Sunrise” have included Usher, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, One Direction, and dozens more.

For Sherwin, her schedule varies and includes make-up and hair styling up to five out of seven days a week at the studio where she participates critically for the production of all three morning shows. She’s been making up and styling show hosts and guests for Seven Network’s morning lineup since 2008, an impressive tenure that’s featured her outstanding work in hundreds of episodes.

“The wide variety of show types offer a huge opportunity for different creativity and experiences,” said Sherwin, who estimates she styles around 5-15 different people per episode. “News has to be often quite structured and serious. Entertainment and weather presenters can be a little more fun and fashion forward. Current affairs programs are often tailored to the nature of the interview.”

“Seven Early News” is presented by Jodie Speers. “Sunrise” is hosted by David Koch and Samantha Armytage. Also hosting “Sunrise” are Natalie Barr (news), Mark Beretta (sports), Edwina Bartholomew (Entertainment) and Sam Mac (weather). “The Morning Show” is presented by Kylie Gilles and Larry Emdur.

“All main hosts are styled first before we move on to guests. We look at the wardrobe of the presenter for the day and any accessories they may have, and also take into account any particular requests the host may have, or a particular look they may want to go for that day,” said Sherwin. “Each makeup artist is given a main host to style, hair, make-up, hair extensions, lashes, then often a male host as well.”

As to guests and interviewees, Sherwin has made up a wide array of people from all walks of life, from abuse and disaster victims, to brides wanting to get married on TV, to rock stars, writers, actors, directors and many more. She’s styled Duran Duran, author Deepak Chopra and actress/model Teresa Palmer, to name a few.

Sherwin has styled for the show’s coverage of the Melbourne Cup and an Opera House concert with Katy Perry. She’s made up the needed looks for on location shoots in any elements, whether rain, cold, heat or any other challenging conditions.

Just before a guest appears on a show segment, Sherwin’s styling duties actually add a psychological component.

“You’re often one of the last interfaces before a person goes on air and if it is a guest who has never been on television before, they can be nervous,” she explained. “I believe it’s my job to help keep people calm and make everyone feel special, whilst also making them feel and look great – often in a short amount of time.”

The reality of Sherwin’s job requires a world of talent, creativity and poise under pressure. She strikes an imperative balance of keeping calm and centered, while also being upbeat and energetic. The nuances are necessities when considering the importance of her behind-the-camera role.

“Your work is extremely visible on the show for the world to see,” she said. “There’s nowhere to hide. You have to get it right whilst also not taking yourself too seriously or getting stressed. It’s also a lot of shift work, so it’s important to look after yourself physically and mentally.”

Sonya Downie is Seven Network’s Chief Departmental Head for Hair and Make-Up and has worked in supervisory production roles for more than 20 years.

“Cat’s work is superb. I have now worked with her for eight or nine years and her work consistently shines,” said Downie. “Cat is a wonderful, dedicated and extraordinary artist, recognized not only for her amazing creative skills, but her professionalism and integrity in the workplace. She is a joy to work with and inspiration to all those who work with her, making her a key choice for our top talent.”

After each morning show has commenced at Seven Network Studios, Sherwin wraps up by washing brushes, restocking product, organizing her kit, returning calls, e-mailing, invoicing and researching different looks for the next morning’s productions.

Upon returning home, she lays out her clothes for the next day and prepares breakfast to take on the go. Another 2 a.m. rise beckons. It’s Zen time once again. And Sherwin wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s definitely a buzz and fabulous to be part of such a big show renowned across Australia,” she said. “It sometimes blows me away how many people watch and have seen me on behind the scenes shots. Often audience members will call and ask what lipstick or blush we have used. It’s amazing that we can influence viewers’ make-up choices and how many people take an interest in what the hosts’ style is for the day. Television is a visual medium after all.”

Actress Jessie McLachlan Details her Journey to film and television Stardom

Actress Jessie McLachlan

For Jessie McLachlan, the path to becoming one of Australia’s preeminent film and TV actresses began when she was just 6 years old. It was then she started to refine and perfect her skills by undergoing speech, dance and theatre lessons. Before her 8th birthday, she’d become a National Irish Dancer, and McLachlan found her groove by auditioning and performing in front of her Grandmother, Ann.

“I had found a home in performing,” she said. “It gave me a sense of euphoria, a high, but a certainty feeling.”

McLachlan parlayed those feelings and experiences into a coveted career many pursue and few achieve.

She’s accumulated an impressive filmography highlighted by her acting roles in more than 40 TV episodes for series including Village Roadshow’s “The Shire,” Seven Network’s 28-year running, award-winning drama, “Home and Away,” the hour-long comedy drama, “Packed to the Rafters” and Nickelodeon Network’s “Dance Academy.”

She’s starred in Dan Castle’s award-winning drama feature, “Newcastle,” and in Tom Simes’ feature family drama, “Run, Broken Yet Brave.” She’s been recognized for her singing, dancing and modeling as well that has collectively culminated into a rare package of a true do-it-all actress.

“It has given me a greater in-depth understanding of my passion to create,” McLachlan said. “It has allowed me to use each of my experiences in 20 years of performing to lend an emotion, movement, feeling or expression to a performance and do it with conviction.”

Performing often is a family affair and so was the case for McLachlan. Her elder sister, Zoe, studied film and TV in high school and college. Those choices influenced and paved the way for McLachlan’s introduction into acting.

“I was always in her films and projects,” she said, “so that really sparked my film interest. I’ve never wanted to do anything else.”

One of her early performances came in a play called “Parramatta Girls,” which was about women who had served time in Australia’s most notorious girls’ detention center as children. “It was a really powerful piece I did when I was 15, and something I am the most proud to have been a part of,” said McLachlan.

Inspired by the “Harry Potter” franchise during childhood and influenced by the on-screen work of greats such as Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Day Lewis and Martin Scorsese, a shortlist of some of McLachlan’s favorite films include “Schindler’s List,” “Philadelphia” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”

She says the best actors are “those who protect their creative essence, especially in this industry. Those who use every scene as a lesson and find the growth and learning from each frame, even if they are an Oscar winner. Remembering passion is humbling.”

Continuing her specialized acting training into adulthood, McLachlan has studied under the esteemed tutelage at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (Sydney, Australia), Lee Strasberg (New York), Stella Adler (Los Angeles) and with the renowned acting coach Michelle Danner, in Los Angeles.

“I wanted to keep learning and be challenged by different techniques. I live my life by being ‘water’ flexible and being able to adapt and I want that to be able to carry over into each character I play,” she said. “Michelle Danner has been my favorite. She really challenges me to lose myself in a character, and she sets in motion out of the box perspectives.”

In 2006, McLachlan acted in her first film, “Spaced Out,” a sci-fi comedy directed and written by Scott Grenke. While 14 years old at the time, she played the role of an alien character in the cast. The experience proved valuable and guided McLachlan’s pursuit of acting for film and TV.

“I learned so much on that set and from my fellow actors,” she said. “It was also a moment of clarity and really affirmed my passion for film and the direction I would like to take my career.”

Two years later, McLachlan was starring as Rachel in the drama feature, “Newcastle,” that won a FilmOut Festival Award and followed the story of a group of Australian surfers. In 2009, she starred as Anna in the feature film, “Run, Broken Yet Brave.” From 2010-2011, McLachlan played the recurring role of Samantha Braxton for 27 episodes of “Home and Away” and she also starred as Jayde on “Packed to the Rafters.”

“I worked with Jessie throughout the third season of the Seven Network’s wildly successful family dramedy, “Packed to the Rafters,’” said Logie Award winning actress Brooke Satchwell. “Jessie performed the leading character of Jayde Smith, a worker at the yacht club owned by the Rafters and a former fling of son Ben Rafter. After taking a gap year following high school graduation, Jayde returns, still wanting and caring for Ben, who is now engaged. The role required an actress who could convey the emotional burden and yearnings of such a character, and Jessie not only thrived in this dynamic but also excelled in any expectations that were made of her and her character.”

McLachlan’s acted in leading roles in short films including in Jeremiah Cleman’s “Modern Day Saint,” Antonio Orena-Barlin’s “Suburbia” and Omer Zekirovski’s “Tibor – Your Not from Gosford Are Ya.”

McLachlan worked with Logie Award winning actress Jodi Gordon on “Suburbia,” a short drama about a man who gets his girlfriend a job as a florist, but later finds out the unassuming front of suburbia isn’t what it appears.

“Jessie’s leading performance as Monica was as impressive of a performance as it was crucial to the driving plot of the film itself,” said Gordon, who played Tara in the film. “I was thoroughly impressed with the way in which she translated Monica’s character traits from page to on camera. The film was nominated for Australian Film Institute Award for Best Short Fiction Film, an achievement that would not have been possible without Jessie’s extraordinary performance throughout the film.”

Comparing feature film roles to those of her TV and short filmography, McLachlan said, “The pace in filming has a different tempo. Morphing into the character is also a different process. A challenging aspect I found with short films is ensuring the layers of the character are portrayed. I put a lot of pressure on myself in really wanting the audience to feel the joy, pain or journey with the character.”

It is international audiences who have enjoyed the characters McLachlan’s portrayed and they’ve each been made possible through her own journey as an actress.

Cinematographer Andressa Cor Talks ‘Stealth,’ a moving short film that left audiences with ‘tears in their eyes’


Andressa Cor has established herself among the top cinematographers working today. Achieved, revered and celebrated, the Brazil native has shot extraordinary film and television such as the award winning “No Tomorrow Without Merci,” Raja Pothineni’s “60 Eight,” Cameron A. Mitchell’s “Campground” and Dave Bean’s drama TV series, “Mrs. Fitzgerald is Missing,” to name a few.

Chief among Cor’s crowning achievements is her incredible cinematography in the short family drama, “Stealth.”

From director Bennett Lasseter and writer-producer Melissa Hoppe, “Stealth” tells the heartwarming story of Sammy, a brave, transgender tween, played the talented young actress, Kristina Hernandez.

The plot follows Sammy on her first day of middle school in a new town where she sets out to fit in and make new friends. Sammy is pressed with the internal conflict of letting her new friends know that she was born a boy.

“It’s not only a LGBT story,” Cor said, “it has a kid’s perspective of it. It’s sad but it has a nice tone of hope.”

Exemplifying the film’s tremendous international recognition, it won awards at the ATAS Foundation College Television Awards, the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival, the Independent Filmmakers Showcase, the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, the Sacramento International Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, the SoHo International Film Festival and the TIFF Kids International Film Festival.

“Bennett told me people come talk to him after the screenings and a lot of them have tears in their eyes,” Cor said. “We got mentioned at the Emmys this year as well. The story touches people of all ages and genders. I can only guess that is because Bennett’s take on the story was focused on the universality of the feeling of being singled out when you are a kid. And he did it so well that everyone could relate to Sammy’s experience and feel for her.”

“Stealth” was produced by the American Film Institute (AFI), shot in Santa Clarita, Calif. and was the recipient of a production grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for Science.

Cor’s cinematography was work done in tandem with Lasseter, and it was an approach with a shot list designed for camera movements befitting to the story’s tone and rhythm.

“The pace is not fast at all, so there’s no handheld,” she said. “We hold the shots for as long as it’s necessary, and we didn’t shoot much coverage. There are scenes that are one shot only, like the scene after her [Sammy’s] breakdown. Because we were economic on our shot list, we had to be very precise. Being able to hold the camera in a shot for longer than expected helps the audience to relate to our main character before we cut. I think that is the biggest cinematography contribution to this film.”

For a film to achieve success, one of the integral components is the collaboration between director and cinematographer.

“Bennett and I have a great relationship and collaboration,” Cor said, “but mostly because he is really easy to collaborate with. Bennett is completely about what’s best for the story, and he does use all the talents around to counsel him before he arrives in a conclusion on what he will be doing, not only in cinematography, but every other department. I already knew that when we went to shoot “Stealth” because I had already shot a movie with him before, called “Blackout.”

Said Lasseter, “Ms. Cordeiro’s leading role as our cinematographer was absolutely crucial, as her shots were necessary in demonstrating Sammy’s overall surroundings and environment throughout the film. By framing Sammy’s constant surveillance from peers during her transition at her school, there is no doubt that Ms. Cordeiro’s choices in framing Sammy’s story visually on screen impacted how audience’s responded to the circumstances our main character was going through.”

In one of the film’s pivotal scenes, Cor exercised her world-class camera skills to artistically enhance the nuances playing out in the story. It came when Sammy first tells her new friends about her gender.

“I under lit it with a practical in hopes to show her gender ambiguity. The thought process in this scene was that her friends would see another side of Sammy for the first time, so the audience had to also see that,” Cor explained. “I studied portrait photography for that, and gender portraiture. It’s very subtle, and I would feel frustrated if someone came pointing it out to me, that they caught it. I lit it that way not for people to see my lighting choice, but for people to see another side of Sammy. And I believe they do.”

The film introduced Hernandez in the leading role and her efforts didn’t go unnoticed in the international filmmaking community. She won the Jury Award for Best Performance in a Lead Role at the 2015 KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival and the SIFFNYC Rising Star Award at the SoHo International Film Festival.

“Kudos to Ben who didn’t settle for less. He heard it didn’t matter if the actress was part of that world, but he was so sure it did, and stayed on the search till he found Kristina,” said Cor. “She was a kid and the story uncovered a lot of her own fears and insecurities. We were conscious we had to handle it with a lot of care. But her take of it, and because she lives that, elevates the story to levels we could not have achieved without her.”

For more information, visit: http://www.stealththefilm.com/

And follow the film on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stealthafithesis