Behind the scenes with Dave Lucas Portraits and Miss Fairyfloss

Miss Fairyfloss is the result of collaboration between photographer Dave Lucas, model Jess-ami and makeup artist Sarah-Jane.

I first met Jess at a model workshop held by my camera club.  Jess was the obliging model while we learned tips from photographer Paul Robinson.  I remember thinking she was very patient as everyone lined up to take their shots, over and over again.  I’m sure she was seeing spots before too long and not surprisingly, Jess has no recollection of meeting me there.  That day I added my old friend Dave Lucas to the group Facebook page and that’s where he met Jess online.  Jess loves to do anything fun and creative and it wasn’t long before a shoot was in the pipeline.

Jess with the paparazzi at Craigieburn Camera Club

Dave had previously worked with Sarah-Jane as both makeup artist and model on some awesome TFP (time for photography) shoots and she was keen to be on board for this project.

As for me – I’ve recently started this blogging caper and having worked with Dave on previous projects, I find myself much more interested in capturing a shoot from an observer’s perspective than actually taking the portraits.  When Dave asked me if I wanted to do a “behind the scenes” story I jumped at the chance.

After weeks of online organising, the day had arrived for the shoot.  Originally planned to be at Dave’s office at a swanky law firm in the city, that fell though and we found ourselves at my little not-for-profit workplace in Braybrook, in Melbourne’s grungy western suburbs.  After scratching our heads a bit as to how many trips we were going to need to cart all the gear upstairs, we happened upon a handy shopping trolley and did it all in one go.  Definitely some advantages to being in Braybrook – Dave is now wondering if he can buy a shopping trolley type thing that will fold up to put in his car…..

Dave blending in with the local stgreetscape

Once we were upstairs it was all systems go.  Dave set about transforming the board room into a photo studio.

while Sarah-Jane began her makeup magic with Jess,

and I floated around taking random photos and making coffee.   Today was to be about FUN and CREATIVITY, and all rules were out the window.

Jess ready for action

Dave bought along his high tech lighting (as well as the old faithful Weet Bix Box) and a grey backdrop painstakingly smoothed out with a spray bottle of water and a hair dryer.  The grey backdrop would later be transformed into other colours with the help of gel filters on the rear light.  Very cool.

The first part of the day had a distinct 1950’s feel to it. Jess had arrived with curlers in her hair, which looked just fabulous combined with her rockabilly skirt and off the shoulder top.  Her tattoos and piercings created a wonderful contrast (or maybe a connection) between the vintage theme and the modern world.  I loved how Sarah Jane held back on the makeup at this stage.  Jess looked natural, wholesome and vibrant in keeping with the theme – perfect.

We played around with a number of different props, lighting and poses and generally had heaps of fun.

Sarah Jane taking a well deserved breather

Before long it was time for a lunch break and optional smoko.  I love to feed people, so had brought along some home made chicken soup and sourdough bread.

Lunch is served – YUM!

With lunch out of the way, it was time for Jess to change into her special creation for the shoot – a candy themed dress, and for Sarah-Jane to crank the makeup up a notch or two.

By this stage the team were into a rhythm – makeup, lighting, poses, props – then more makeup and around again, each time getting bolder – more “out there”.  This is where things started to get interesting, as the candy theme was the main event of the day.  And I mean CANDY.

Even the makeup became candy as Sarah-Jane applied 100’s and 1,000’s to Jess’ lips, then to other parts of her face.  It was all Jess could do to not eat them.

The grand finale of the day was when the liquorice straps came out.  There were laughs all round as Jess took bites between shots – lucky we had a couple of metres of the stuff.


Unfotunately, all good things must end.  It was time to transform the photo studio back into a boardroom, carefully removing traces of glitter, feathers and 100’s and 1,000’s.  Dave re-packed his trolley and we caught the slowest lift in the western suburbs back down to the car park.  Can’t wait for the next adventure!


Jess-ami – Model

I was surprised to hear that Jess has only been modeling for around a year, as she is a natural – it’s easy to see she loves being in front of the camera.   Jess began modeling as a confidence booster after becoming a mum and while her first shoot with a camera club was pretty daunting, the people were really nice and she learned a lot. Since then Jess has gone on to do many more shoots and loves getting creative.  She has enjoyed working with diverse themes such as Maelificent, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and anything to do with rockabilly.  


Miss Fairyfloss Facebook

Jess-ami Instagram

Dave Lucas – Photographer

Dave has spent the last twenty something years practising a broad range of photography styles.  As technology has advanced, Dave has embraced digital post production as an extension of the art.  This passion for photography has become focused (pardon the pun) on one particular theme – portraits – and he has recently begun working with models and make up artists on collaborative shoots.  Dave thoroughly enjoys the teamwork aspect of these projects, as well as the opportunity to meet and work with new and interesting people.


Dave Lucas Portraits Facebook

Dave Lucas Portraits 500px

Dave Lucas Portraits Instagram

Sarah-Jane – Make-up artist

Originally from Melbourne, Sarah-Jane has always had an interest in the arts, often combining photography and digital imagery.  She is self taught in graphic and web design, and moved to Queensland in 2013 where she studied a Diploma of make-up artistry.  After 2 years in Queensland, Sarah-Jane decided to head back to the southern states and now works as a freelance make-up artist in Melbourne.


Instagram #sjmakeupartistry



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