The time that Melbourne based photographer Cam Mackinnon spent working in the music industry gave him an innate understanding of the sacred connection between photographer and musician. Through his intimate portraits, he explores his subject’s multifaceted identities, aiding them in the construction and exploration of their all-important artist aesthetic. By shooting on 35mm film and often using minimalist backgrounds, Cam’s work ensures that the musician is always the central focus of his photographs.
Counting Tkaiy Maidza, UV Boi, and Erik Sanders among his recent subjects, Brisbane singer-songwriter Rose Goldd is the latest to feature in his series. Redroom captures Rose alone in a bathroom, bathed in red light and clutching roses – a signature of Cam’s photos. In Redroom, these traditionally romantic motifs are used to represent a more permanent and often far more elusive type of love: self-love. We chat to Cam about the process of creating Redroom, mutually beneficial creative relationships, and what’s up next for him.
Have you always had an interest in photography?
Yeah, pretty much since the start of high school. I have always been interested in anything visual and creative – it’s how I learn and communicate with people best. My older brother was the first introduction I had to photography. He studied it at university and we had a dark room in our garage so I learned the basic techniques of photography at a really young age. Throughout high school, I was always the kid taking photos at music gigs (especially during my emo days), videoing their friends skating and everything in between. I lost interest in digital photography towards the end of high school and I didn’t start back up until early last year when I picked up a 35mm film camera and fell back in love.
When did you first cross paths with Rose Goldd?
Rose and I first crossed paths at the start of this year through mutual friends at a club in Brisbane (Shout out TBC Club).
Your recent work has involved intimate portraits of musicians. Do you find that musicians and photographers work particularly well together?
Definitely. Both musicians and photographers are creatives that tell stories and emotions through their craft so their collaborations go hand in hand. Most musicians have a creative visual mind so working with them in a collaborative aspect is super easy. I’ve been blessed to work with and photograph some amazing artists. We all get along well creatively and personally.
How did you and Rose come up with the concept for Redroom – was it a collaborative effort?
I first developed the concept for Redroom at the start of the year. I’m in love with the colour red and how many emotions it can represent. I knew if I wanted to pull it off the way I had it planned in my head, I had to wait for the right model and location. Once Rose and I connected, I knew she was the right person for the shoot. During the actual day of the shoot, Rose and I collaborated with Racquet Films on a lot of the shots, poses, and lighting – they were a big help in how it turned out.
What’s up next for you?
I moved to Melbourne from Brisbane two months ago so I’ve been taking time to settle into my new house. The change of scenery has inspired heaps of conceptual ideas so you’ll be seeing more photography projects from me soon. Stay tuned!