Meet the local photographer who worked with a Vogue model
FROM CAPTURING VOGUE MODELS IN HER HIGHFIELDS OUTDOOR STUDIO TO WEDDING AND FAMILY PORTRAITS, LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER APRIL HILDRED OF MUST BE APRIL PHOTOGRAPHY HAS DONE IT ALL.
AVogue model is in your outdoor studio, ready to be photographed by you. To mention a few, she’s been in The New York Times, People magazine, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, Woman’s Day, CNN and ABC.
She is internationally acclaimed model Madeline Stuart, an advocate for diversification in the industry and the first professional model with Down Syndrome.
The photographer, however, is Highfields woman April Hildred of Must Be April Photography.
“When I was a little girl, my father lent me his film SLR and showed me how to use it,” April says.
“I would spend hours outside looking at nature and choosing the perfect angle before taking a precious shot.
“I love that no two images can be exactly the same, that each photograph tells a story and it is up to the photographer to relay that story told through the eyes of the subject.” And April certainly built on that. April grew up in Highfields and, while she moved to Brisbane and Toowoomba, she eventually returned to Highfields, where Must Be April Photography grew.
“I love the culture that Toowoomba and Highfields has developed over the last decade,” she says.
“The colour and vibrancy of the creative district, mixed with the beauty
‘‘ I love that no two images can be exactly the same, that each photograph tells a story and it is up to the photographer to relay that story told through the eyes of the subject.” APRIL HILDRED
of the landscape and the historic buildings, makes for a lovely place to live and work.”
April’s shoot with model Madeline Stuart was one that influenced her greatly, both in a creative and developmental sense.
“I have been an admirer of Madeline’s work for quite some time, and I followed her on Facebook back in the early days of her career,” April says.
“My beautiful cousin had the opportunity to work alongside Madeline’s mother and mentioned my little studio here in Queensland and how much she knew I admired Madeline.
“We got in touch, and discussed doing something a little bit different for her portfolio – a milk bath, which was an idea she instantly took to, and she came from Brisbane to my Highfields studio for the portrait.”
Madeline’s portrait was one of April’s first milk bath portraits, and was the very first in her new outdoor studio in Highfields.
“I really enjoyed the photoshoot with Madeline,” April says.
“It was a wonderful experience which has helped grow my confidence and admiration for those who step up and speak out in an otherwise very typecast industry.
“The photoshoot with Madeline was my first leap into the fashion and modelling industry and I look forward to doing similar shoots in the future, however, I do not currently have any planned.”
It was April’s father, grandfather and close family friend Graham Burstow who inspired her to become a photographer.
“Graham Burstow, a well-renowned and award-winning photographer, took the time to teach me about composition, light and, most importantly, the passion required to produce a photograph,” April says.
“Many years later, I revisited my passion for photography and decided it was time to stretch myself by photographing different subjects and people.”
April studied a Diploma of Visual Arts at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, and furthered her portraiture studies with intensive hands-on workshops and mentorship over the years.
Working predominantly in maternity and newborn milk bath portraiture, family portraiture and wedding photography, April loves the creativity and variety of her work.
“I always like to try and do something different, and create an experience for my clients,” April says.
“I love the saying, why be a copy when you can be an original?”
There are, however, particular things that April always has at every photoshoot.
“My trusty camera and back-up second camera, a variety of prime and zoom lenses to create different effects, a reflector shield to bounce light, a smile, and a few lame jokes to keep my subjects at ease and most themselves,” April says.
April believes that all of her work has contributed to the development of her career, with it continuing to grow.
“I am proud of the journey that has led me to this point in my business – every portrait, every wedding has helped shape the photographer that I am,” April says.
“I always strive to do the best I can each and every time, so I’ll have to be cliché and say that my favourite work would have to be the one I am working on at that time.”
April places a high importance on giving yourself the space to create.
“Give yourself the time to develop and enjoy the creative process – perfecting a skill takes practice and it is important to take that time to find your own voice and style,” she says.
For now, April is enjoying living and working in the Highfields region at Must Be April Photography.
“I love that Highfields values their landscape, with larger blocks, beautiful parks and lovely cafes and boutique spaces,” she says.
As for her future aspirations, April has some things in the pipeline.
“I am always looking for something a little different to help shape my style of work. I have a few ideas in the works behind the scenes at the moment … stay tuned.” Just one question remains for April. “My muse?” she says. “That would have to be nature and light.
“The way that natural light can delicately or drastically change a scene.
“I spend a lot of time researching and developing my skills and style, however sitting and observing is the best way to learn.”
Owner-operator of Must Be April Photography April Hildred.