Stories No One Else is Telling
Chris Loutfy is a fashion photographer based in Sydney, Australia. The color of his works comes from the deep belief in altering what one sees in the photographic scene today through scouting for and providing an opportunity to new faces and talents.
The goal is to bring forward diversity and redefine the streetcasting by highlighting personalities in the work Chris is doing with the Stone Street Agency and the mutual project Filter Zine with Christopher Kevin Au. In Chris' photographs identities are cherished, brought forward with zoom-ins to faces and expressions, and attitude in the street environment.
A street equals a person, what brings him up, develops character, and creates dreams. Supporting emerging creatives, enabling a person to follow his dream and release his potential is a statement that is of utmost importance to shake the status quo and create a new aesthetic and new opportunities.
"My passion in life is making the things in my head exist in real life"
Hi Chris, tell about yourself and your passion in life.
Big questions to start! My passion in life is making the things in my head exist in real life and making good work with my friends. I think that sums it up!
You are a founder of Stone Street Agency, you run an Art Gallery and a Clothing Brand while also being a photographer. How do you manage to succeed with all the responsibilities you have in different spheres?
I just try and do my best and be present and available with everything. What I’ve had to work on most with expanding my output has been attention to detail and making sure everything is done 100%. With most of those things, I have collaborators, assistants or business partners so I’m super lucky to have friends I can trust to work with me.
What was the main turning point in your career that you would say changed your path and let you pivot to what you do know?
It's hard to pinpoint, photography-wise it would be my Adidas Campaign in 2017. It cemented for me that my work can have a higher commercial application and pushed me to take that side super seriously.
Name several albums you discovered this or last year that you listened to on repeat.
Recently it’d be ‘Drillers x Trappers II' - Rv & Headie One, in a similar vein, would be ’The Masked One’ by LD. Dave’s new album is also mad. I recently got back into Mall Grab so 'How The Dogs Chill Vol. 1' is getting good play in the car.
"I try really hard to push away from the typical, safe commercial norms in size, race, skin colour, and gender in Sydney".
You are involved in the art scene and are acquainted with a lot of creators also form your agency. What did you learn from collaborating with the artists or from assisting them to get their thing going?
I’m constantly working in a support role for other creatives, a lot of the time its stuff that no one would see. It’s super valuable for me as I get to see other creatives' processes and then look back at my work and how I approach it. I like to challenge how I make work and try to optimise and shake it up where I can.
How is the photographer’s scene different when you compare Sydney to the US or Europe, in your opinion, in terms of fashion campaigns you see?
The only real difference I can think of is diversity in casting. I try really hard to push away from the typical, safe commercial norms in size, race, skin colour, and gender in Sydney, which is slowly changing but it's a long process. Stone Street is a big part of this push too.
"I try to work with people whose overall vibe I’m into, not just their look".
What is critical for you in casting the right model for the shoot? As the faces that worked before seem to be too similar to what everyone else is doing. There is a prominent tendency to locate people based on the attitude to bring a fresh statement.
I try to work with people whose overall vibe I’m into, not just their look, and who fit the project I’m working on. I’m super lucky to have a few great clients who trust how I work so I get a lot of freedom with casting. I also generally try to work with my friends.
Tell about your and Christopher Kevin’s project Filter Zine. How did it start and where do you want to be?
Filter is a publication founded by Christopher Kevin Au (music journalist, MTV reporter, manager of Triple One) and me. We are deeply invested in the Australian creative scene, so it was only natural that we would join forces to document it. Filter stands for the ongoing support of independent and emerging talents, creating online communities that translate to real life and giving a true depiction of Australia’s creative communities. We are just trying to tell the stories no one else is telling, that's the only real goal.
What are the main challenges a fashion photographer faces today in Sydney?
I’m not sure honestly, I’m super lucky as I’ve said before that I have great clients and friends that I work with, so I can’t really complain about challenges. Taking photos for a living is a dream come true.
What’s next for you this year?
Just pushing all my projects forward and trying to make better photographs.