This week I had the honour of photographing Nicole Kidman.When I first received an email titled “Do you want to photograph Nicole Kidman?”, I thought "that's a strange title for a hoax email," only to realise that it was real! Immediately my brain kicked into gear thinking of all the ways I would like to capture this influential woman; the background, the props, the poses, and how would I make her laugh to capture those "in-between" moments.
After I said yes the brief came through and was super tight, only two photos on the media wall for Business Chicks. Okay, maybe this could be the introduction and hopefully the first of many shoots together.
Strangely enough I wasn’t nervous, the only thing I was worried about was saying something silly like "I like your hair” facepalm! Luckily I kept my cool, and it was awesome to spend time with Nicole and Global CEO of Business Chicks - Emma Isaacs in the green room.
Initially I thought Nicole was just a celebrity, but she is also one of Australia's most significant women in business, sitting at number 6 on BRW’s self-made women rich list. The core of my business is about creating personally stylised portraits of influential women in business. To have been given this opportunity has really pushed the bar to the next level, and hopefully one day I’ll have another opportunity to capture Nicole and create images for her as a legacy to be remembered by.
As I listened to Nicole being interviewed by Jessica Rowe my eyes welled up with how open and authentic she was about her story, traversing career and motherhood someone to be highly respected for the work she has done on and off the screen and is an outstanding role model for future generations.
Speaking about her relationship with her husband, Nicole emphasised learning about what your partner's needs are, and having the ability to change and compromise to make things work.
It was great to hear Nicole still has her passion projects. After 17 years she returned to the UK to pay tribute to her late father, who was a scientist. Nicole got involved in the production Photograph 51, where she played scientist Rosalind Franklin. She said that "every night before I would go on stage I would kneel in front of his photograph and look into his eyes and he would give me strength to go and do it".
The discussion we had in the green room about our childhoods reminded me how your purpose and calling can really be ingrained from a young age. Nicole would hold theatre productions in her backyard, writing, producing, selling tickets and directing the neighbourhood kids. We had a laugh about when the little brother from next door threw a tantrum and refused to wear a tutu, when clearly it was a part of his role in the play. And Emma’s entrepreneurial tact when she would gather all the kids, stand on a box and direct them to go collect money from their parents to buy bags of lollies. They would then bring them back, open all the bags and re-package them in mixed bags to sell on for a profit!
There were so many things Nicole mentioned that resonated with my path in my career and as a mother. She talked about the moments that break you down, like when her father passed away and she was on the floor banging her fists feeling like she couldn’t go on. It is these moments that make you stronger than ever and push you further. The most important message was to set your sights on where you want to go and be totally clear about it “focus, discipline, and hard work”. Nicole celebrates getting older by saying “you know what is important to you, so you worry less, and let things go”.
Nicole has been an independant women - she knows what it takes and is prepared if she needs to do it again. It is so important for women in this day and age to be financially and emotionally secure, with or without a partner. It is so important to “take care of your emotional health - no one else can do this for you”.