The Mia Diary ~ Francesca Laude

Issue #8 with Francesca Laude

For this issue of The Mia Diary, we had a chat with Francesca "Chess" Laude ~ Mornington Peninsula based photographer and mum of 3. You may recognise some of the photos below, we work with Chess on a regular basis.

HOW HAS YOUR CAREER TRANSITIONED OVER THE YEARS? HAVE YOU ALWAYS DONE PHOTOGRAPHY?

My career has transitioned quite a bit over the last 9 years. I started out as an in-house product photographer with stationery brand kikki.K. It was a fantastic experience as I worked under a team of really talented photographers and creatives. After 5 years there, I went out on my own and assisted a variety of different commercial photographers before eventually taking on my own clients. I now live on the Mornington Peninsula where I mainly work from my own studio, delivering both fashion and product photography.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SHOOTING STYLE?

I’m always aiming to shoot in a way that is subtle and sophisticated. I love using soft colour palettes, neutral earthy tones allowing the product, garment or subject to be the centre of attention.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT OR PRODUCT SECTOR TO SHOOT?

I’ve always loved shooting fashion and beauty with models (of all types), as it introduces human connection, feelings and vibes. I get excited when I take shots that really connects. That’s where all the emotion lies.

"Most of the photographers I studied under are very talented, confident women and I’m constantly inspired by other females in the industry."

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HOW HAVE YOU LEARNED TO COPE WITH THE EVER-CHANGING AND UNPREDICTABLE COVID LANDSCAPE?
Ahh next question lol! No seriously, these are unique times and I think everyone has there own set of challenges, whether you’re living on your own and feeling isolated or juggling a chaotic family/work life. Running a business that is going down or an online business you can’t keep up with. All I can say is find your way to adapt and as you’re doing that, be kind to yourself if you stumble. We are all stumbling.

WE LOVE SUPPORTING WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY, DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU FACED MORE CHALLENGES AS A FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED?
Oooh good question! For a long time it was a male dominated industry especially in the commercial sector but in my years, I’ve definitely seen a shift. I think women are learning that they too can have the confidence and tenacity, that it sometimes takes to work in a creative industry. 
Most of the photographers I studied under are very talented, confident women and I’m constantly inspired by other females in the industry. It’s awesome to witness the shift as it will continue to inspire our younger girls to be confident and chase their creative dreams.

WHAT IS THE MOST FULFILLING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB?

Walking away at the end of the day, knowing that I’ve just captured some stunning shots that I want to edit straight away!

HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN BASED ON THE PENINSULA?

I grew up in Main Ridge, bumbled my way around the world and Australia for a fair few years and now back again to raise our kids outside of the city life.

DESCRIBE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WORKING IN MELBOURNE AND WORKING ON THE PENINSULA

I think the landscape of working and shooting in the city is rapidly changing. There is a world of businesses starting up across Australia that need regular photoshoots to get their stock online. As small businesses continue to grow, photography services will be able to expand into any location. The Peninsula is no different and I am a huge advocate for small business so I’m happy to be able to support the little guys, as I’m one of them too!

DO YOU HAVE A STRONG PROFESSIONAL NETWORK LOCALLY?

I still work mainly on my own, however there’s no shortage of creatives down here that I call upon on a regular basis. I’m constantly on the lookout for stylists and creatives that I can team up with so hola if you want to work on something together :-) It’s all part of the fun.

WHAT DOES SLOW FASHION MEAN TO YOU?
It means the world, literally! We, as a growing population can not possibly sustain the rate at which we are producing ‘junk’. I rarely buy myself anything unless I know it’s going to last in my wardrobe. I don’t want to be the one contributing to this devastating environmental issue.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING A GARMENT?

In terms of my wardrobe buying habits, I’m a minimalist. I try to buy items that I know will be used frequently and that will mix and match with items I already own. I appreciate opening a minimal wardrobe in the morning and not being overwhelmed by a mess of too many options.

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL DAY OFF. 

It would probably have something to do with sunshine, swimming, a sketch pad and some time to draw.

All Images Featured ~ Francesca Laude ©
https://www.francescalaude.com.au
@francescalaude_photographer