Grace Petrou is Melbourne-based photographer specialising in fashion and wedding photography. Whether in studio or on location, Grace employs a deft touch with her use of light that imbues all of her images with a genuine feeling of beauty and romanticism.
How did you first discover photography and what was it about this medium that attracted you?
Photography frustrated me at high school as I was used to having the flexibility of paint on canvas where I could paint and repaint over the top until I was happy with the end result, whereas photography had to be relatively right from the get go. It was only after I started to mature as a person and as a creative that I began to see the beauty in photography and the control it took to create something which couldn’t be manipulated afterwards (or at least not much in my work). It took a while to get used to it, but I found it exciting and challenging.
How would you define your photographic style?
I would definitely say it’s all about the classic female form for me; lots of soft femininity. If my lighting is harsh or dark, it’s balanced by elegant lines or a gorgeous face.
Who or what are your main sources of inspiration?
I do have a huge arts crush on Tim Walker who can create the equivalent of novel in one image and Peter Coulson’s legendary use of light. I also deeply admire the Renaissance artist Caravaggio. You could say his skills were inconceivable in paint, his use of light and dark, chiaroscuro and deep expression all to evoke powerful emotions in the viewer.
Which single image are you most proud of and why?
I love this image, the tones and texture I feel work so well. The light on Olivia’s skin and the way she’s holding herself sit well with me. It was a shot I didn’t expect would work with absolutely no assistance as far as lighting goes other than the sun which to my frustration decided to set behind a big fat cloud, but it worked in the end and added the drama which I couldn’t have achieved any other way. That’s actually another reason why I love photography; sometimes you create a beautiful accident because you take the photo anyway.
What is next for you? What do you hope to achieve with your photography?
Well, I have no idea. I feel like I’m achieving what I want because I’m doing what I love, but I hope I can continue to do it for a very long time. Of course, we always want new work, new experiences, new briefs; I’m hungry for it! I’m always looking to experiment more, find new ways of doing things and I suppose that’s what I want most.
See more of Grace’s work at:
All images copyright Grace Petrou.