Words by Tom Disalvo //
Just like the windblown beauty of her models, Brisbane resident Steph Eidse’s portfolio is a masterclass in effortlessness. Shot on film, the frames capture an assortment of sun-kissed and bikinied talent as they breeze airily in front of radiant backdrops. Drinking martinis by the pool or driving vintage Mustang’s on the shore, the 31-year-old’s light-leaked snaps elicit the nostalgia of 70s summertime to shine a light on “the things within [women] that make them feel beautiful or powerful or strong,” Steph says.
This eye for feminine beauty arose at age seven, when Steph’s Mum won a free portrait shoot: “I remember everything about the first time I saw the final photos as she excitedly showed them off,” she says. “I remember the glamour of it all (that only the 90’s could produce); the teased hair, the purple velvet dress, the confidence she wore in the photos that I’d never seen on her before. Every time I saw the portrait I thought about how amazing photography is.”
The glamorous impression of that 90s portrait was Steph’s “first awareness of photography,” and she carried it with her from her native Canada during a “dodgy backpacking gap year” to Australia eleven years ago, where she’s stayed ever since. Here, in the glaring Aussie sun, Steph’s fashion photography – and her gloriously feminine models – really shine:
“Photography can show a woman something about herself that she may never have seen before. You can empower her, encourage her, amplify her, take her somewhere she’s never been before…It’s a privilege to see those things in a woman and to be able to draw on them and give them life,” Steph says.
While Steph has given life to the beauty of her subjects with blissful ease; it hasn’t always been the picture of grace: “I got food poisoning the night before a big campaign shoot, from my favourite restaurant of all places…betrayed by a taco. But the shoot went on and it somehow came together okay in the end, so not a total disaster.”