Jake Weisz - freelance photographer, director and all-round creative - is the guy behind the lens for Campbell & Hall’s SS17 campaign. Spending his life living in and around the Bondi suburbs (kindergarten by the beach, primary school in North Bondi, and high school in Bondi Junction) he was inspired by this vivid, scenic setting and dedicated his life to telling stories and capturing beautiful things. On any given day you’ll find him making the most of what this area has to offer: waking before sunrise to shoot something down by the cascading waves as the hot sun reaches over the clouds in the horizon and touches the tips of the white-water.
How did you first get into photography?
I bought myself a small DSLR the same day I bought plane tickets to travel around South America one summer break. I backpacked across Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. You don’t find colours and textures like you do in those remote places, and so what I thought was a small passion for capturing beauty eventually grew into my full-time freelance work, and I’ve never really looked back.
You have a really distinctive style to your work - what inspires it?
Nature, colour, light, authenticity. I try and capture the natural beauty of my subject, whether it be a person, fashion, food, an object or a place. The world, and its inhabitants create such beautiful things, and tell such intrinsic stories, I simply witness, frame and capture them along the way.
You’ve also made the transition to film directing. Do you find you approach it differently to your photography work?
I think I’m inherently a director in everything I do. From a fashion shoot, to styling an event, or cooking for a dinner party - I rarely leave an element untouched, all aesthetically and emotionally cohesive and telling some sort of story. I’ve always said I’m more a director with a camera as my medium, rather then a technical photographer. I find photographs, much like moving pictures, tell stories quite deeply, and so in order to get that emotion and that tale, you must direct the image, the subject, the story. I studied film and time-based art at COFA (UNSW) and have always wanted to make motion pictures. Though I’m still slowly bending my talents into more of a directorial journey my life and work as a photographer keeps me inspired and enriched by the many clients and characters I work with everyday.
Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
I always have a million things going on at once.I’ve been working on my second photography book (following up my debut book ‘Reverie By Jake Weisz’) ‘The Lost Boys’. A series that illustrates and explores the male Australian identity within its relationship to the Australian landscape. Additionally I’m off on a 3 month trip around Europe in the new year, so pretty excited about that.
Do you have a favourite place to shoot in Bondi?
There are so many!! I think my most favourite place to shoot is the secluded nooks and crannies throughout the coastline as you walk from the Sound Bondi headlands all the way to Bronte Beach. So many beautiful, natural shapes and textures. You’ll often find me down there shooting something, whether it be the Campbell & Hall campaign (hehe) or even something whimsical in gorgeous gowns and floral crowns.
What’s an ideal day in Bondi for you?
A Saturday sunrise shoot by the rocks, a coffee at Harry’s, break at Lox Stock, walk with the pooch and friends at the farmer’s market, then back home for a midday nap. Does it get any better?
What do you think Bondi will be like in 10 years?
Unfortunately its losing more and more of its sparkle everyday with the amount of tourists and backpackers swarming each and every avenue. Though it means cafes and coffee shops are thriving, it also means adding another 30minutes to that Messina line, or waiting aimlessly for a table at The Shop. I hope Bondi survives the next 10 years because it is still such an inspiring place to live.
In Bondi, where do you go for:
Food? Brekky at Lox Stock, Lunch at Depot, Dinner at Bondi Best.
Coffee? Harrys, Gould St Deluxe, The Shop, Bondi Wholefoods
Drinks? Hardware, Neighbourhood, Bucket List