Hailing from a house on the outskirts of Brisbane filled with sisters and animals, Shirleen Beveridge grew up with an all-too-certain need to document beautiful things. She’s spent the past few years seeking out models and working with them and an expanding wardrobe of vintage treasures to create bewitching, intimate narratives.
How did photography find you?
In Grade 9 I bought my first digital camera and enrolled in a new school after having to move hours away from the town I grew up in. I took a film photography class which I loved, but unfortunately me and my twin had a very difficult time fitting in at the high school and avoided going.
In my time at home I would walk around my property and photograph flowers, my sisters and myself. One day, something ironic actually happened – my camera dropped and it broke the screen. For about a year and a half I photographed like that, being to poor to afford a new camera. I would take images of myself on timer and then run to my computer to view them! I am actually glad life threw me that as it taught me to have a sense of trust in my perception of light.
I feel as though I oddly learnt as my older relatives did! When I was in Grade 11 I was brought my first DSLR, I photographed mainly self portraits. I now understand why, I feel the reason I photographed myself a lot was due to my perspective of myself. Being able to photograph myself gave me comfort and a sense of control as I was able to manipulate how I was viewed by my own eyes and others.
Who are some of your influences?
I actually do not really look at other photographers for influences. I find inspiration in old cult films, sci-fi, games, fashion, anime. Texture and light is everywhere and being able to capture that to set a mood is inspiration within itself. I love films like Only Lovers Left Alive and A Clockwork Orange – films that use colour, texture and light to set the mood immensely.
How does your own recent work as a model change your perspective as a photographer?
That’s a good one! Modelling has opened my eyes in every kind of way that you’d imagine. It has made me realise how in-control you are as the photographer. On many shoots there have been times where I have felt uncomfortable and lost as that is the vibe the photographer has put out. I think also having confidence will allow things to run smoothly. And clear concepts! I cannot express how it is the worst when you have no idea what is going on. Communication is important.
Models: Annaliese McGuire, Claire Neal
MUA: Maud Combrichon
Wardrobe: Models’ own