I’m one of three, my father is Italian and my mother is South American. Dad was a massive Elvis Presley fan, so that’s where I got the name, I grew up on the outskirts of Sydney in the western suburbs where I studied fine arts.
Where does your interest in photography come from? Do you think that your childhood played an important role in what you do now?
Ever since I was a kid I just LOVED pictures wherever I could find them, in any kind of magazine or posters – basically, anything I could cut and collage. If I really look into it, I have a genuine interest in people and characters, I love the idea of being able to capture the essence of a person and for that image to be immortalized. A lot of the time a subject will come into my life and I will create a world around their look and that brings me a lot of joy.
I’ve always loved to people-watch from an early age and I have a great memory that goes back to the age of 2 (if you can believe that.) I reference all sorts of things I’ve seen along the way in my work. The world of High Fashion seemed so unattainable growing up in a middle class family far from the metropolitan lifestyle. This imagery in vintage vogue magazines fascinated me more than then the art I was studying in my course, I wanted to know how I could create something to that effect and I suppose that’s how I got to where I am today.
Which is your favorite quote?
I don’t really have a favorite quote but I read Dale Wimbrow’s poem Man in the mirror the other day and it resonated with me.
It’s all about following your passion without seeking the approval of others, I think it’s the best advice anyone could take. The last stanza of the poem illustrates this perfectly:
“You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.”
Tell us about your first photoshoot.
My first big fashion shoot was for GRAZIA Magazine. The Art Director loved my social photography work and invited me to shoot a story replicating the moments captured in my social shootings in a high-fashion format. They loved the story so much they had me In the studio shooting another project only 2 weeks later, consequently I was invited back many times.
Which photographers do you admire? Who are/were your influences?
I admire Helmut Newton, Melvin Sokolsky and a young Terry Richardson. To be honest, I’ve only recently been looking at the photo credits of all the stories I have admired. In the past I had more been inspired by particular publications or a genre and time. In all honestly (not just flattering you here) I have a massive collection of vintage penthouse magazines from the late 70’s and 80’s that I reference from time to time - the photography and concepts just blow my mind.
What kind of music do you usually listen during your shootings?
I have such an eclectic taste in music, all that matters is that it’s fun and you haven’t heard all the tracks a million times before. My mate in Greece (Filep Motwary) makes hour-long mixes every few months and I have the whole collection – they’re always on my playlist.
I go through phases though, the last two were disco and Aussie 80’s power ballads.
How would you describe your work?
My work right now is a twisted parody of things you love and hate. I like to make people see the good in the things they hate and vice versa. I love studying subculture and work it into my art. I feel like that’s a more honest expression than the 2 dimensional illusion we are saturated with in the mainstream media.
Tell us your most exciting tale of girls, connected to photo,
fashion and you.
Once I had a girl at a night club insist that I go to her house and shoot racy photos of her on her own photography equipment. She was an aspiring photographer who loved my work, but the batteries in her external flash were dead. Being a gentleman, I went to the corner store to get some new ones and by the time I got back she was in a bright red lacy thong and bra set. The whole thing was a bit of a drunk haze but those photos were pretty pornographic. She had never done anything like that before so the experience was very liberating for her… Needless to say, those photos are just sitting on my hard-drive where they will stay. And seriously, I’ve had some of my subjects try to seduce me in the past - don’t let anyone tell you that it’s the photographer who is the pervert. I’m sure the subjects had some kind of fantasy of being shot in a sexual way; I find it bit fascinating and hilarious. I’m way too professional to take advantage though, it’s both a blessing and a curse, haha.
What does a typical workday look like for you? Could you describe
it in details? From dawn till dusk.
I can’t go without my morning juice - banana, orange and ginger, then either meetings about future shoots, a shoot or some kind or outdoor activity that involves getting fit and some sun. I’m either extremely busy or relaxing but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My downtime is good for reflection and stops me getting stuck in a rut.
What do you know about Russia? Do you ever come to Moscow?
I don’t know enough about Russia! I really would love to visit and see the people and places with my own eyes. After I read this question it reminded me of this song “Dschinghis Khan – Moskau” and I’m listening to it now on repeat. I’ll add to one of my play lists for a future shoot haha
How would you describe yourself? Which is the worst side of your
I’m a Gemini so I like to blame that for the two sides of my personality. Masculine/feminine, good/bad - I can be dark, but all the comedy and fun on the flip side evens that all out. Also, I’m both spiritual but very logical at the same time.
There is no happy medium with me, it’s a rollercoaster ride for those how are closest to me. I’m very inquisitive, honest and gentle and I show a lot of genuine interest in people. I know what I want and I will make it happen regardless of the support of the people around me or lack there of.
I have a habit of taking things too seriously but I can talk myself out of that pretty quickly - like a said, a rollercoaster ride. haha
Do you plan to make a full-length film? If so, what the story will
I haven’t planned to make a full length film but you never know, I love to make art from the footage I make. My dream is to sample my own footage and do some live VJ work at a festival or rave.
What are you working on currently? And which are your projects for
the near future?
Right now I have a site dedicated to the subcultural youth of Australia. I often go to the subjects’ houses and shoot them ‘doing their thing’ surrounded by their favorite things. The site is
I feel like these days everything is a throwback to something else, whereas this will have nostalgic feel for people in the future. You learn a lot from other people, so it brings me a lot of joy to take my time to capture and enhance what makes them unique. It’s always a collaboration, we tell the story together.