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Sydney architecture: a perfect backdrop for a portrait shoot

Sydney architecture: a perfect backdrop for a portrait shoot

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Mention Sydney and images of sun, surf and beaches come to mind.  While I love spending time at the beach, I also love incredible architecture and using it as a backdrop for portrait shoots.  And there is a lot to select from where I live.  Not being characterised by any one architectural style, Sydney has some fantastic examples of Gothic, Georgian, Romanesque, Italianate architecture and many other styles.   So when Shirley, a Sydney based Canadian model, actor and presenter, worked with me on a private portrait shoot, we used buildings around Macquarie Street in Sydney  and the famous Rocks area as a backdrop.

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On the day of the shoot, it was one of those overcast days, where rain is only a moment away.  It held off until around lunch time when it came bucketing down (no soft English or French rain for us), so we escaped and spent an hour or so in a cafe chatting away until the rain eased off.

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At the stairs leading up to Observatory Hill.

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At Sydney Hospital, Macquarie Street

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Looking elegant outside the NSW State Library

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All images, copyright Kris Ashpole


One of the things I love about doing portrait shoots is the fabulous women I meet and finding out more about them during our meetings.  Turned out Shirley and I had more in common than we knew at the start, having both previously worked at the same organisation and knowing a few people in common.  She was a delight to photograph with the most amazing smile – and lots of fun too.  Hope you enjoy seeing these photos as much as we loved taking them.

Many many thanks to Shirley for being such a trooper on a wet Sydney day and allowing me to share these photos with you.


Architecture is how the person places herself in the space. Fashion is about how you place the object on the person. Zaha Hadid


Kris xx


PS:  If you’re interested in your own location based portrait shoot – this time in Paris, I have one spot available for a shoot in Paris between end October and early November – contact me here if you’re interested.


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