In Profile: Phoebe Hofsteede

| January 29, 2014

Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede

MM: Who are you?
Phoebe Hofsteede is my name, and I am a photographer currently based in Brisbane.

WHAT the hell is your work about?
My art falls into multiple categories, as I combine elements of fine art, portrait, and fashion photography. The concept of my work is based on my interpretation of and reaction to the world, my imagination, my dreams, desires, fears, and emotions. I work very intuitively and often try to communicate a sense of harmony and balance in a series of images. For example, my most recently completed series Shadow & Light explores the identities of female fairy tale characters, depicting both good and evil through the use of fashion/costume, make-up, hair design, and set design. Shadow & Light, being the direct translation of Ying & Yang, indicates that one element cannot exist without the other.


Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede

WHEN did you realise you were in tune with the right side of your brain?
The right-side-of-brain thing runs in the family, so I was aware of it from a very young age – there are photographs of me as a toddler doing finger paintings and hosting tea parties with my toys. My favourite part of playing as a child with my younger sisters was designing the interior of our dolls’ house and making clothes for them. Strangely enough, I remember my daydreams as a child better than I remember actual events. Once I was old enough for school I was known to always be crafting and creating things out of recycled materials and sketching my favourite fairy tale characters.

WHERE do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration for me comes from many different elements. Initially I’m driven by my personal experiences – whether that be a feeling, a reaction, or a dream. When it comes to visually communicating this, I draw from other artists and photographers who I admire – Tim Walker and Kirsty Mitchell to name few. Their ability to give life to their daydreams, nostalgic references, and committed work ethic really motivate me. Sometimes music will play a part in the inspirational process too – I’m still crushing on Lana Del Rey. For me, her music is also nostalgic, beautifully dark, and heart felt.


Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede

WHY do you create? 
This question is always a tricky one for me, because I guess ‘to create’ just seems natural. It’s instinct – as corny as that sounds. It’s my way of figuring out life, and a means to escape it at the same time. Why do I choose to work with fine art, portrait, and fashion photography? Because I believe that fine art and portraiture are the backbones to fashion photography; fashion is a creative venture all in its own. Despite the fact most people only ever see the surface value of fashion and get caught up in the trends and lifestyle, fashion has very deep roots in human history which a lot of us forget. After all, it’s a reflection of us and our identities.

HOW does the magic happen – creative process or candid creativity?
For me the magic is a process. Starting from basic intuition, I work very hard at figuring out why and what my intuition is telling me, and then research the best possible way of communicating this. I have so many folders of inspirational images saved on my computer, each categorised and themed. Only the very special ones get printed out and glued into my visual diary that I carry around on me, which are also filled with badly done sketches and scribbled down ideas for fear of forgetting them.


Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede

Once my ideas are developed I begin planning – this involves location scouting, prop making and contacting makeup artists, hair stylists, models and assistants. Up until recently I created my own fashion/costumes from secondhand clothing, off cut fabric, or borrowed items from friends; however, more work puts me in contact with fashion designers and costume makers that I am able to collaborate with, creating bigger and better things than my clumsy fingers could ever manage (sewing machines and I aren’t the best of friends!). From there it’s a pretty big day starting in the morning with prep (hair & make-up), then eventually ending up on location where the set has been created, shooting until the sun goes down, followed by a few hours of deciding on which frames to choose and edit (my least favourite part!).


Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede

Plans for 2014?
2014 is already filling up fast which is very exciting! I kick started the year with my showcase at the RAWards in January as an Executive Director’s Favourite, and from 7–19 February I will be featured in the Roses Are Red group exhibition at the Art & Design precinct in West End. Following this I have another creative showcase on 23 March with Urban Canvas being held at Rabbit & Cocoon in Miami/Gold Coast. I’m currently in the midst of several collaborative projects with other creative beings, filling my diary up until April. Hopefully by the end of the year I will be somewhere overseas holidaying with my partner and taking snaps!

So we can stay in the loop, what’s your dot com(s)?
I’ve got a couple – the best places to find me are: | W | F | 500px |

  • Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede
  • Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede
  • Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede
  • Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede
  • Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede
  • Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede Photographer: Phoebe Hofsteede


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