For Michelle Grace Hunder, the best part about photography is the moment when her subjects let their guard down.CHLOE WARBURTON August 28, 2014 4:17am
‘‘My favourite part is getting to know the people I shoot and sitting down with them — that moment when they drop their guard is just amazing,’’ she said.
Michelle grew up in Shepparton before moving to Melbourne, where her studio is based.
For the past two years, Michelle’s subjects have been artists in the Australian hip-hop scene.
The end result is Rise, a book she calls a photo documentary — 118 photos of 182 hip-hop artists Michelle travelled across the country to meet.
One of the artists is Shepparton rapper Briggs — the little brother of one of Michelle’s friends at Shepparton High School years ago.
She reconnected with Briggs and began going to hip-hop shows in Melbourne, quickly falling in love with the scene.
She began photographing concerts, then setting up portraits of artists to gain more experience.
The idea for Rise first came when hip-hop artists Grey Ghost and Mantra encouraged Michelle to take her portraits further.
‘‘Originally it wasn’t meant to be as long as it became — I was doing portraits of Melbourne artists, people I really admired and whose faces I wanted in my portfolio,’’ she said.
‘‘It was really overwhelming at first. I wasn’t really familiar with the hip-hop scene at the start, so I had to talk to a lot of people.’’
Michelle’s trips across Australia were self-funded, but publishing the book was another matter — she began a Pozible crowd-funding project and was surprised when donations came flooding in.
Almost 250 supporters pledged more than $20
Michelle is in the middle of a national tour to launch the book, which began in Melbourne on Thursday last week and will finish in Adelaide on Saturday, and she said it was an honour to be so involved with hip-hop and live music.
‘‘The whole hip-hop scene really got behind it and was so supportive,’’ she said.
‘‘There’s some amazing talent in Australian hip-hop and it’s been undervalued for a long time, but I think it’s getting there now.
‘‘I love shooting portraits and there’s so many artists that I call friends — I can’t pick a favourite out of the portraits, they’re my mates.’’
Although she jokes photography was not her strong suit in high school, Michelle said a hobby quickly turned into a passion, and now a full-time career.
As well as working with musicians, she shot the 2014 Santa Cruz Look Book and has been the head campaign photographer for iconic clothing label Zoo York Women, along with campaigns for New Balance and New Era.
‘‘I threw myself into it once I realised it was my passion — I found my true love,’’ Michelle said.
‘‘It’s such a great job, I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I love being on the road with my best friends.’’
Hafizullah Mohaqiq was born in Afghanistan, spent periods living in Pakistan and Iran, before arriving in Shepparton two months ago.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Fairley Leadership Program met in Tatura on Wednesday, exploring ‘Water and our catchment’ at Goulburn Murray Water.
Road authorities have made little progress to fixing Echuca’s most dangerous intersections.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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