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.’’
Every picture tells a story and every treasured object has a memory — this is the message behind a call to find Shepparton memorabilia for display.
Police investigating a break and enter at a Mulwala club more than 10 years ago are renewing their appeal for public assistance by releasing an image of a person they believe has information to assist them.
Tatura’s Victory Hall is set for a big year as preparations get under way to celebrate the hall’s 90th birthday in September.
Former district resident and award-winning television producer Joanna Werner will no doubt be shopping for a glitzy gown ahead of the Emmy Awards in New York on February 20.
Rochester Secondary College school captains Dom Atley and Tim Poole have been accepted to study biomedical science in the first step towards becoming doctors.
Will it be Merrigum or Lancaster?
Fire destroys key public buildings in Seymour
Finley Henry Matheson was bestowed one of the highest Australia Day honours.
Heathcote Hostel residents were treated to a visit from Heathcote’s favourite horse, Sub Zero, as part of Australia Day celebrations.
Recent weather conditions have come as a mixed blessing for farmers, with high rainfall and humidity providing a respite for irrigators as well as difficult growing and picking conditions for fruit growers.
Darren McLoughlin only started playing croquet seven years ago.
From orchards to harvest to shelves, a new exhibition will celebrate the Goulburn Valley’s iconic fruit industry. The Photos of the Fruit Industry exhibition will run as part of the SheppARTon Festival in March and aims to share memories and history of an industry that has shaped the region.
Former Benalla footballer Tom Rockliff has been named captain of the Brisbane Lions Football Club.
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