Queer Fashion Files: ‘Shifting’ by Jade Florence
By: Hailey Moroney
Welcome to Archer’s Queer Fashion Files! Each month, we’ll interview queer trendsetters and tastemakers, showcasing the diversity and talent of the fashion world. You can check out all episodes of our Queer Fashion Files here.
Jade Florence takes pictures of beautiful things and wonderful people. When she isn’t squinting into the lens of a camera, she’s a wannabe chef and dog enthusiast residing in Naarm (let her pat your dog).
All images by: Jade Florence.
Header: Hair and Makeup: Nisal Atapattu. Stylist: Tanya Mudariki. Model: Mary Kakinda. Clothing: MinmingZhou. Location: Got Next Studios.
Hailey Moroney: Jade, how shall we introduce you to our readers? My favourite photographer of all time? A constant source of inspiration? An Archer contributor? Or simply my dearest friend?! How would you describe yourself and your creative practice?
Jade Florence: I guess I consider myself a ‘people’ photographer? I love photographing people and finding magical moments. I didn’t grow up in one place, and moved a lot around the planet as a kid. I think that’s why I ended up always capturing little scenes and documenting life through pictures.
HM: We met when we were young coming up in the industry and have shared some… interesting experiences. Through this, you’ve taught me so much about championing youth, queers and artists, which essentially is what inspired me to create the Queer Fashion Files.
What words of advice would you give to any young creatives that are essentially us 10 years ago?
JF: This is easy to answer, because I made a lot of mistakes when I was younger! Here are my top tips:
- Try all genres of the creative industry you are in. You will quickly learn what you love, and what parts don’t excite you.
- Make genuine friendships in your industry. There’s a little bit of a toxicity in the expectation that creatives should compete with each other. Instead, focus on learning and sharing among your peers. My friend Michelle Grace Hunder demonstrates this skill exceptionally well. She always encourages people to share knowledge, which I aspire to do on set too.
- Pass the ladder down! My lovely friend Tanya is a huge inspiration to me, and we talk about this concept a lot. It’s important to pass on exciting opportunities to others, especially those who are part of communities that do not have enough representation in the creative industries.
- Don’t let social media views or follows be your only validation. It ain’t healthy!
HM: Can you speak to the realities of the elitism and prejudice in the industry? Specifically, I know we’ve both faced a lot of misogyny.
JF: Misogyny is a huge problem in our industry, but I’d also include racism as a constant battle that people in the creative industry need to be able to call out when they have the power to do so.
When more of the industry leaders are femme, queer, Indigenous and people of colour, then we will have a safer industry for everyone to work in and feel supported. You can’t be something if you don’t see it. With more diverse creative workplaces, everyone will benefit, and the artwork and the stories we tell will be better for it.
HM: How do you fight to champion inclusivity, not only in front of the camera but behind the scenes too?
JF: Make the set a good place for everyone. Find people who always have time to speak to the talent or the models so that everyone is comfortable.
Do whatever you can to build a great team. Makeup artists, assistants and stylists are incredible at helping set the mood. My friend Nisal is the best to have on set, because he has such a calm energy and always takes his time to engage with the talent or the models.
HM: I can’t wait to see what you do next! Do you have any exciting projects or creative directions in mind for 2024?
JF: Reinvention and exploration of new styles helps keep things interesting.
I’m in the research and development stage right now, in the sense that I’m exploring different techniques and how I can apply them to the subjects I work with.
I also adore working with musical artists, as it’s a fun challenge to incorporate the themes of their music into their visual identities via portraiture. Stay tuned for more of this!
You can stay up to date with Jade Florence on Instagram.
If you want to pitch an idea for Archer’s Queer Fashion Files, email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘QUEER FASHION FILES’ in the subject line. You can check out the rest of our Queer Fashion Files here.
Hailey Moroney is a photographer, entrepreneur, and digital marketing specialist based in Naarm (Melbourne). Since 2018, Hailey has been on the design team at Archer Magazine, the world’s most inclusive publication about sexuality and gender, curating images and managing the magazine’s Instagram channel. Hailey runs Bedford Studios, a vintage and upcycling studio that is size and gender inclusive. Hailey’s interests include vintage cars, cowboy boots and her three-legged kitten, Puzzles.
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