Fulltime Student and Part time Fundraiser Gabriella Thompson came into The Photo Studio Australia after seeing a competition online. Thinking it would be great way to reflect starting a new chapter in her life, she entered.
“It felt a bit like fate, it was something that needed to be done and the universe gave me a sign. It was at a time when I was really trying to build a healthier relationship with myself, or my body rather.” Says Gabriella.
“I wanted to stop picking myself apart so much, which as a young woman, happens so much because social media with a mix of global beauty standards, so my definition of beauty was skewed.”
Gabriella says a shoot seemed like the perfect way to express who she is as a person. Her general rule is that “if I feel good in it, then I’ll wear it like I look good in it,” says Gabriella, “I will say though that I love accessories. A good accessory to me just adds so much more to an outfit.”
Combined with a feel good approach, Gabriella was very keen to incorporate her Zambian heritage into the shoot. With fabrics and textures of various African cultures being a big love hers, it seemed like the perfect combination.
“I like what we call ‘chitenge’, which is like really colourful African fabric. I wanted to have those colours in my photo shoot because they’re a part of who I am. I also wanted to feel tall and powerful so I wore different types of heels that both made me feel majestic. And so with a combination of the two, I felt quite powerful.”
Gabriella draws creative inspiration from all over, but says one of The Photo Studio’s own photographers inspired her for this particular shoot.
“I saw her at a friends birthday lunch not too long ago, but I was too shy to go up to her and tell her that she was part of the inspiration for that shoot. Her name is Ntombimoyo and it turned out that we had a mutual friend in common.”
Ntombimoyo aside, Gabriella says she is currently experimenting with 80s’ and 90s’ styles.
“All the accessories from those eras are just the bomb and seem to be making a comeback like bum bags, cross earrings, bowling hats etc. Kind of a mix between Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, TLC and Salt-N-Pepa – that’s what I want my wardrobe to look like a some stage.”
At the end of the day Gabriella is just hopeful people will look at her photos and understand that this shoot was crafted to be unequivocally her.
“I just want people to know that that is ‘me’. In a corny way, that was a moment when I felt unapologetically sexy and it really came out that day very naturally… Nothing could ruin my day even if they tried.”
“To be honest, I don’t actually care what people may think about it. What I do know is that I did that for me and that’s what beautiful and sexy on me looks like.”