Cool Earth is a UK based charity that works alongside indigenous villages around the world to halt rainforest destruction. Photography is an essential part of their marketing and fundraising. I had the wonderful opportunity to join the Cool Earth team, on a trip to the Rio Ene Valley in Peru, to document their projects for marketing campaigns.
With local guides, we visited three indigenous villages, during a week of hiking through, and camping in dense jungle. The region includes a major cocaine growing area, a terrorist camp and vast deforestation. The three villages that Cool Earth works with are the only ones in the valley not logging their trees.
Being with Cool Earth, I felt safe at all times and was welcomed into the communities we visited. Situated deep in the Amazon jungle, foreign visitors are rare, so it was extremely important to be culturally sensitive, not making anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable. Being a petite female, I find people become accustomed to me quickly. In situations such as this when I cannot speak the local dialect, I communicate through the international languages of smiling and actions, taking my camera out only once a relationship and trust have been established.
I was working to a tight deadline and even in the jungle, with very limited electricity, I had the images processed within two days, before the Cool Earth team returned to London. Here is what Kitty, Project Manager for Cool Earth had to say about me:
“Alicia Fox captures beautiful images of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. After she visited Cool Earth’s Ashaninka Project in central Peru, we cannot recommend her highly enough for her sensitivity and gentleness in working with remote indigenous people. Her connection with each person she photographs is evident in every picture and has helped Cool Earth to engage people with rainforest protection and brought the voice of our Ashaninka partners to a global audience.”
– Kitty Jenkin, Project Manager, Cool Earth
As an eco-conscious photographer it is important to me to ensure that each client I photograph for is also ethically minded. It is easy to see that Cocoze Shoes is on the same page as I am. A Canadian-based startup company, Cocoze make their snazzy flif-flops from coconut fibre and natural rubber.
Wayne Seto, Managing Partner at Cocoze Shoes, gave me an open brief, simply telling me that he would like a natural setting and for some images to include yoga poses, as many customers are yogis and report feeling “grounded” in the shoes. Being located on opposite sides of the world posed no issues. I organised the models, make up artist and stylist for the shoot, and created a moodboard of inspirational images, which I emailed to Wayne for approval. Finding a beautiful beach to shoot on was easy in Sydney. Wayne posted the shoes to me and with all the planning in place, our sunrise shoot was a breeze.
I shot with natural light and a Sunbounce reflector, minimising power usage and equipment (an environmental goal of mine). Wayne was thrilled with the images, which Cocoze is now using across advertising and social media platforms to quickly grow their company.
“The real value in a seasoned photographer like Alicia is the ability to convey a message or stir and capture an emotion, mood or feeling through a photo. She was able to do this while showcasing our shoes and brand in our photo campaign. The quality and caliber of work was exceptional and exceeded my expectations. Her passion to work with eco-friendly and sustainable companies made her a perfect fit for us. Moreover, she was easy to work with and was very open to any suggestions to improve the photo shoot. I would recommend her creative talents to anyone seeking a professional photographer.”
– Wayne Seto, Managing Partner at Cocoze Shoes
You can read more about Cocoze and see the complete set of photographs here.
Green Lifestyle Magazine
Green Lifestyle magazine is Australia’s leading eco lifestyle publication. James and I were commissioned by GL for a 600 word article with 20 photos. The brief was to write about Cuba as a travel destination, focusing on the country’s steps towards sustainable development as well as their efforts in self-sufficiency and urban farming due to the peak oil situation.
Preparing for the article was challenging as Cuba is very isolated from the digital world and most of the information we found online was outdated. Speaking Spanish with locals opened up another world and we found all the eco leads we needed for the article: Cuba’s best organic community gardens, the country’s only vegetarian restaurant and eco hotel, and the charming countryside where we stepped back in time and met farmers ploughing the fields with oxen.
Being seasoned travellers we found travelling through Cuba easy, even using the local transport, currency and restaurants – all of which was said to be impossible for foreigners. Photographing and interviewing the charismatic Cubans was a pleasure. Below is one of three photoshoots we researched during just 2 weeks in Cuba.
You can read the full article on Green Lifestyle magazine’s website here
Lisa Heinze is a Sustainability Specialist and Author of Sustainability with Style. Lisa contacted me regarding her new book, for which she needed a portrait which was both stylish and professional. We discussed styling options, then I set up studio lights and balanced them with the lovely natural light in her Manly apartment. She was thrilled with the result.
“Alicia is a highly-professional and personable photographer. She and her team put me completely at ease during the shoot for my head shot (used on my book cover, website and other professional engagements), and the end result was perfect. In addition to being a very talented photographer, Alicia offers incredible customer service, prompt work and a delightful personality.”
– Lisa Heinze
St Agnes’ Parish, Port Macquarie NSW
I worked with Pip and Kathy from St Agnes’ Parish on a 5 day photo shoot across the Port Macquarie region. We photographed a variety of the parish’s service areas including Early Education, Family and Inclusion Services, Youth Services, Education, Welfare, Disability and Social Outreach.
“Alicia was a pleasure to work with on a recent project. She took time to understand what we were looking for and she delivered on the brief perfectly. Alicia’s friendly and easy-going personality made all our models feel at ease, resulting in a better image. We are so pleased with how the project turned out – and can’t wait to embark on another one .”
– Kathy Appleby
“St Agnes Parish hired Alicia in late 2016 to conduct a professional photo shoot across a number of its many Service Areas. Alicia is an extremely skilled and talented photographer with a very personable and relaxed nature – quickly allowing her photographic subjects to feel at ease and enjoy the process, which was evident in the shots she provided to us. I would definitely work with Alicia again and recommend her services to anyone looking for an experienced photographer .”
– Pip Owen
You can view more photo from the St Agnes’ Parish shoot here