Photographer Hannah Scott-Stevensen
Stylist Bridie Gilbert
We are fortunate to collaborate with some of the most brilliant and inspired creatives – among them, Hannah Scott-Stevenson whose images convey a kind of emotional, oftentimes poignant, approach to fashion. To celebrate themes of friendship and creativity, we asked the Sydney-based photographer to turn the lens around and capture her own life at home. Here, Scott-Stevenson shares her thoughts on staying charged and finding fashion’s sustainable way forward.
Your pictures are as much about fashion as they are about capturing a connection – how would you describe the mood of your photos?
“I think the word that comes to mind is playfulness – the idea that a photograph resonates with me when it comes from a place of either playfulness or love. It's a nice way of looking at the world, and I think that approach can also help to make fashion feel less intimidating to the viewer.”
What ignited your love of photography?
“I was always interested in creative projects, in drama and art. I remember a family friend gave me a Polaroid camera to play with at a picnic when I was quite young. I used up all his film but it was so exciting. I then saved for an SLR camera when I was 10 and became sort of obsessed with the idea of taking photos of my friends – of course, all this was before digital, I’d have to go to the chemist and wait for the film to be processed, but it was always a thrill to see the results. I would cut out the photos, make collages and scrapbooks, and I think it was more about trying to capture moments as opposed to creating beautiful imagery. That sense of timing and moment has followed through in my work.”
What other themes do you keep returning to in your pictures?
“I’ve realised recently that I do seem to keep coming back to the idea of photographing girls in quirky houses. When I was younger, I had an obsession with doll houses. My dad is a modelmaker and he would create the most intricate houses for me and then I would make the furniture. They still fascinate me today – and, in turn, there’s something interesting about the way someone's living environment tells a story about themselves. For me, it's like creating a little story within a story.”
In terms of your photography, how are you remaining charged and inspired during lockdown – are you thinking about your photography differently?
“To be honest, I think during [Sydney’s] first lockdown, I felt this immense pressure to still keep working. People were creating lockdown zines or mini magazines, and I felt a kind of pressure to stay creative and actively present. The second time around, I actually felt free to go the other way – to hit pause for a second. I’ve been focusing on smaller creative projects and that has been rewarding. Since having Po [Scott-Stevenson’s one-year-old son], I've learned not to overthink things as much. When you have a baby, suddenly you can’t commit the same amount of time to your work, and that has felt quite freeing and liberating.”
We are so grateful for your collaborations with Among Equals. Can you tell us why you connected with the brand:
“I remember someone bringing an Among Equals Bilum to a shoot, and I looked into the brand and then reached out to Carrie [Caroline Sherman, founder]. I loved the backstory and wanted to align myself with brands that were doing things that I believe in. It’s about using my skillset for a good reason. I love that Among Equals is a sustainable and ethical brand, and most importantly helping women and their communities.”
What are your thoughts on mindful fashion?
“I think social media consciously and subconsciously feeds that desire to consume, so it's about trying to educate ourselves on mindful consumption and ethical fashion. More and more brands, like Among Equals, are coming out and having that conversation, which is so impactful. I think inevitably consumers will start to demand greater transparency in terms of where their clothes come from and who made them, there has to be that shift.”
Lastly, how are you remaining hopeful and positive right now?
“Spending time with Po is how I’m remaining positive. It's funny, I haven’t specifically been seeking out ways to be inspired, I've actually turned this moment into a time to rest and recharge, but that in itself has allowed me to find new energy for my work and I am loving spending precious time.