Hugh Peachey

23 Jun

Hugh Peachey is the best and best-mannered photographer in Melbourne.  Don’t believe me? Well just LOOK at these pictures, and HEAR THIS: he even agreed to answer some questions!

Told you. Polite.


Me: What did you have for breakfast?

Hugh: Avocado, tomato and cheese on sourdough toast, and a strong latte from our studio coffee machine.

Has it always been photography?  How did you get started?

No actually, I did a sports science degree.  It was good fun but it wasn’t for me. I then went traveling for three years — saw Europe, Canada and America and realised I wanted to be a photographer.

I started a part time course just to see if it was really what I wanted, and after the first class I knew that I was going to be a professional photographer. I went on to study a full time photography degree at RMIT and eleven years later I have a successful photography business and am loving every minute of it.

Best shoot ever?  (Real or imagined…)

It’s hard to pinpoint one particular shoot, there have been so many. My test shoots are probably my favourite, no client getting in the way of creativity… So favourite test shoots: Red Army, Girl with green apples, Fish jumping out of can.

Your studio is glorious!  What’s the story behind it?

I was looking for a place to rent so I could set it up as my studio and fill it with designers to help cover the cost. After looking for a while I realised I would be better off buying a place. So yes, I bought an empty shell.

I had a mezzanine built, electricity, gas, kitchen, new windows, gas heaters…the list goes on. I had everything put in and designed it myself. Sounds easy? No, it was the hardest thing I have ever done.

Dealing with councils and tradies is stressful to put it mildly. Trying to imagine a space that hasn’t been built yet is harder than it looks and I changed my mind many times before it was built. Of course every time you change your mind it costs and it costs a lot — the plans have to be redrawn, engineers reports changed and council approval reassessed.

But now I have it as a fully functional studio with designers renting the space.  I’m glad I did it — I have my dream place but now it’s not a dream.

There’s another Hugh Peachey who restores gypsy caravans in the UK.  Would you swap?

Yeah that’s a pretty cool job.  I love caravans, even Gypsy Caravans. Maybe we can do a collaboration – they’d make a great location for a photoshoot.

Would I swap? No way, I’ve tried living in the UK and the weather sucks, it gets you down after a while.

All of these lovely pictures are by Hugh from his super flash website.  You should hire him.  Or get him to redesign your studio or something.

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