June 14, 2015by Esther

Merlin is a zoologist


“Good art is art that allows you to enter it from a variety of angles and to emerge with a variety of views.”
– Mary Schmich

One of the aspects of this job that I’ve come to really value is the variety of new people I get to meet. Every assignment is different in some way, often because each situation or product has a distinct purpose, but ultimately it is the diverse personalities behind each task that make it enriching. Just in the first two weeks of this month, we’ve had the good fortune to work with an engineer from Germany, a graphic designer, a florist, a Canadian university student, a restaurant owner, a caravan salesman…. and today a zoologist who specialises in researching quolls.

We weren’t doing an assignment for him however. He was doing us a favour. We needed a male with long hair and beard, a male with character, a male who looked like he wouldn’t be out of place wearing a cloak and holding a staff. We needed a Merlin. Enter Scott. Contact had been made whilst participating in a student mentoring program at one of the local high schools and after explaining the project to him, he willingly agreed to be a model. And we couldn’t have chosen a more fitting person. He made the photos come alive. Just looking at the shots on the viewer on the camera, we already knew the pictures were going to be remarkable.

And this is just another example of our typical Sunday afternoons. Nearly every Sunday for the last eight months has been spent photographing models with all sorts of amazing floral art arrangements for a book, loosely titled ‘Flora Mythica’ that has been commissioned by a European publishing house. Based on the theme of literature and stories, the book is a compilation of floral creations made by accomplished florist, Marco Appelfeller, in shots that recreate, with a slightly modern twist, images from fairy tales, Shakespeare plays and Greek mythology and other stories. Often the pictures are taken indoors, but sometimes we find ourselves standing outside in the drizzle and mist, as we were today, in order to capture the shot. Scott was such a good-humoured participant, and in between helping us scout locations and posing in a floral wizard’s hat, we got to hear about his work tagging and studying quolls and lecturing at USC. This made me ponder again on the fact that, without the opportunities this job presents, Scott was not someone that I would usually be given the occasion to meet. And to paraphrase Robert Frost, what a difference these moments have made to my life experience.