photographer armelle habib

I knew it was all going to work out okay. Or so at least I hoped. I had just returned from my overseas trip and was given just over one week's notice to style a major shoot for real living. The good news was that I was going to work with a photographer that real living style director Jason Grant had recommended highly. Armelle Habib earned her stripes training as an assistant not only with one of the country's best photographers (Sharyn Cairns) but also the incredibly talented interior stylist Glen Proebstel. Armelle not only helped me produce beautiful images on the day but was mercifully hands on and helpful as I waged a cold and flu. She's the first photographer that has actually helped pack up at the end of a shoot, and that says a lot about her and her kind, generous spirit. Her work speaks for itself.

Which five words best describe you?
Energetic, creative, meticulous, patient, tall.

What was your first career job and what path have you taken since?

My first career job was to photograph interiors for a restaurant in Melbourne. I was at university at the time.

I’ve always done things a little back to front. I pursued a photography degree after some 10 years of a nomadic lifestyle, of travel and living overseas and taking lots of photos. My first trip to Europe at 15 began an insatiable appetite for discovering new places and my hometown of Adelaide was just way too small to stay. I lived in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Broome. I traveled through Asia for a year. On my return to Australia from living in London I enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts in Photography at RMIT. I assisted for a couple of years, working on my first photography jobs while still at uni.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Go with your gut instinct… but always learning every day, all the time.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Seeing my work published makes me proud.

What’s been your best decision? To travel down the creative path (even though working for yourself is sometimes heavily weighted on the business side of things).

Who inspires you?

Artists, photographers, stylists, designers, film makers, friends, my family, notably my father, an artist, who inspires me by being interested in life. He taught me to try things out… to try the pickled octopus… he introduced me to art, glow in the dark paint, film, food, surfing I’ve been fortunate in having had the chance to assist photographer Sharyn Cairns, a great influence and mentor. And to assist the wonderful and talented stylist Glen Proebstel.

What are you passionate about?

Photography, film, food, front-wheel suspension and disk brakes - but no Lycra… Creating images: interiors, still-life, people, food. Taking an idea and pulling together props and lighting and making a great image Enjoying the process… Collecting unique pieces from markets and garage sales… Working with stylists and creatives who are as interested and motivated as I am.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?

Many: Brett Whiteley, Francis Bacon, Andreas Gursky, David Hockney, Nick Drake, Ian Curtis, David Lynch, Federico Fellini, James Merrell, Martyn Thompson, Ditte Isager, Pia Ulin.

What dream do you still want to fulfil?

To keep taking photos, I love my job.

And I still haven’t been to New York.

What are you reading?

Magazines… rather looking at the pictures. And immersing myself in cinema when I can.

I recently chanced upon a fantastic film Wake in Fright made in 1971. The story of a young schoolteacher in outback Australia in the early 70s. A brutal story with saturated colours in a hot and unforgiving landscape. Loved it.

images courtesy of armelle habib