THE DAME NELLIE

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Photographed and written by Walter Grio.


In 2009, when I was working and traveling back and forth from the US to Europe, I borrowed a few dresses from a local designer in Seattle to use for my shoots. During that summer, I wanted to visit London and do a shoot in this hotel I found.

I asked model Jessica Niederberger and makeup artist Alison Cameron if they would be interested in doing a photoshoot to help build my portfolio for Shoot for Change. They both agreed and I flew to London to work with them. (I was in Germany for business at the time).

The Gore Hotel in London is an amazing hotel to do a photoshoot. Much like the Altstadt Hotel in Vienna, this boutique hotel featured rooms with different themes and names. Each room is impeccably decorated with various paintings, detailed furnishings, and various period pieces from different eras. This particular shoot was in the Dame Nellie Suite, named after the famous Australian operatic soprano, Dame Nellie Melba.

Although these photos were from three years ago, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality. I was just starting out and just learning about “off-camera flash”. As a photographer, it’s difficult to gauge your progress until you look back at your previous work. And when you do look back, you hope that you’re actually getting better. Granted, there are so many things I know now that I didn’t know back then. Surprisingly though, sometimes, it’s better when you actually know less.

Model: Jessica Niederberger
Makeup: Alison Cameron
Dress: Vivian Hsu
Location: The Gore Hotel (London, UK)
Date: June 2009


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