Building a folio by Bonnie Savage

It's been a busy year for me here at BSP and I'm well overdue for a folio update. This is always a difficult task as I often find that I am attached to certain images and am desperate to put them in my book but sometimes they just don't fit. So I spend many days deliberating over it and having conversations both with myself and others on what should stay in and what should go.

The first step for me is to get small prints of everything that I feel might make it into my new folio and lay them out on the floor so I can see it all together.


Then I try to look at which images stand out as being the strongest, most interesting and appropriate, and also which images I feel will best fit together. The connection between the images could be anything from their mood, subject matter, texture, or colour. At this stage I start organising them into groups and eventually line them up into some kind of connected order.


Then I think about it for probably far too long!

I love having a printed folio to accompany my website as a marketing tool. In my opinion, people spend so much of their day stuck in front of a computer (like you and me right now) that it's nice to have the opportunity to look at prints and to actually have a conversation instead of always communicating online or on the phone. I will never stop producing a printed folio...

Bonnie Savage looking at her print organising the new folio

Experimental Folio Shoot by Bonnie Savage

Stylist Lisa La Barbera and I had a lot of fun putting these images together. We shot at The Establishment Studios which is a beautiful props hire place that also has some really lovely spaces to shoot in.

White Trunk
White Trunk

These images were not commissioned, they are the result of some exploration of propping, lighting and composition that lisa and I were working on. I really love the narrative feel that they have and the subtle use of colour in them.

Viewmaster Self Promotion by Bonnie Savage

I had these custom made with my latest images on the reels to mail out to clients and potential clients.

Each reel has 7 images (they're doubled - one for the left and one for the right eye)

I also made some folded postcards that were designed to fit snuggly into the boxes. They gave a small introduction to myself and Bonnie Savage Photography - thanks to Oli Wright for designing them (and my logo).

I had a rubber stamp made up with my logo (harder than it sounds...) and stamped it on the lids of all the boxes.

I didn't want any postage marks on the actual boxes and wanted the parcels to have more of an older feel to them, so I wrapped them up in brown paper and tied them up with brown string.

Off to the post office!

factory test shoot by Bonnie Savage

This is from an earlier shoot at a Melbourne shoe factory.

If I have the time, I usually try to fit in a test shoot either in the studio or on location before the shoot. This helps me to refine my lighting setup and it gives me a heads up on any problems that I might need to be aware of.

Usually I use an assistant or sometimes a friend as the subject. Other times it's too early on a Sunday morning and no one wants to get out of bed.... so I'm stuck shooting myself!

Industrial Series by Bonnie Savage

I've started a personal series that explores industries in Victoria which have either completely dried up, or are experiencing a big period of change. Here's a shot from a Melbourne shoe factory which now gets half it's production made in China:

Some of the businesses I'll shoot will have already completely dried up - such as tram conductors and others will be forced to adapt and change with the times.

More examples from this series such as a letterpresss printer can be seen on my site.

This is a really great project for me because I love shooting portraits and I especially love environmental portraits. This gives me an opportunity to delve into people's work lives and learn about industries that I would otherwise know nothing about. I'm also trying to concentrate on colour and the use of textures and repetition in this series.

Above is the first from my series and is of Roberto, an ex tram conductor. I shot this in a very dark tram depot - as you can see I've lit it to look as if its out in the daylight (my set had 10 lights in total) and I have photoshopped out the flashes which were in frame.

Japan + by Bonnie Savage

I spent two awesome years living in Japan – a country I’ll always love and feel connected to.  A few friends and I recently published a photographic book of our time there through called Shashin Dayo. The concept was to show Tokyo through the eyes of 5 foreigners who live there.

No worn out Japanese clichés like sushi & bright neon lights & cute girls in costumes & general wackiness, just everyday things and streets and places and people…  Hidden laneways, local shops, neighbourhood festivals & bbqs by the river. It shows the Tokyo we saw when we caught the train to work or hung out at the local tiny sake bar.