It's May and it's time for the next in Maxted's series of Inspiring Women and this month we've turned the focus on the creative Jess La Frankie, photographer and friend of Maxted's owner, Caroline.
Jess is a freelance photographer in Victoria and she has helped Maxted produce all of its look books and e-commerce photography for the last 2 years.
Jess' skills and experience opened our eyes to the importance of working with a supportive and understanding photographer to capture our collection in just the right way.
Caroline launched Maxted after designing for internationally renowned fashion brands, but she was new to running her own brand. As you'd expect, the first year was a huge learning curve and the first season's photo shoot was a big part of that curve. Maxted's first photo shoot was run by a male photographer and Caroline found the experience unpleasant; not because he was male, but because he was pushy, unhelpful and short-tempered.
Caroline went on the hunt for a new photographer and found Jess. Together they have developed an incredible working relationship which has helped build Caroline's confidence and the creative assets of Maxted's brand.
Jess is an inspiring woman thanks in part to her talent and ability to capture the themes of our collections and express the beauty of the fabrics and Caroline's passion for the products she designs. But, it's also thanks to her support and kindness working with Caroline and Maxted. Working with women that support other women and building businesses together is key to Maxted's Inspiring Women campaign and Jess personifies this.
Unfortunately, due to Covid, we weren't able to shoot our 2021 collection with Jess and this was a huge disappointment for us.
Maxted: What inspired you to become a full-time photographer?
Jess: Well it started when I transferred high schools, instead of putting me in a business class they accidentally put me into a photography class. From that first lesson I knew I wasn’t going to switch back. I won a bursary scholarship at my graduation and bought my first camera. At the time I had quit my after-school job at Big W and I was highly motivated to find something that aligned more with my creativity and challenged me in ways I enjoyed. Full-time photography was something that came out; taking photos of everyone that I knew and being motivated to get better at it.
Maxted: What inspires you in your job?
Jess: Being surrounded by other creative people on a daily basis fuels so much creativity for me. I love to learn and improve so this is something that drives me. I’m inspired by diverse beauty and being able to capture a scene in my own perspective.
Maxted: Where is your favourite place to photograph?
Jess: It would have to be the beach, hands down. There are so many elements at play. It can feel like a blank canvas, constantly changing with a soft connection to reality. It's so open it forces a sense of exposure that helps when you’re trying to capture someone’s essence. It really brings authenticity to my fashion photography.
Maxted: Who are some women you find inspiring?
Jess: It’s a great time to look around and find multitudes of inspiring women who are being recognised for their work. I’m particularly inspired by women who navigate the world of politics, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jacinda Ardern, for example. Even though they are in a completely different industry to me it’s inspiring to see women lead and make a difference.
Maxted: What do you love about Maxted knitwear?
Jess: Literally everything. Living in Melbourne means I’m a huge fan of knitwear and all the pieces I have from Maxted are staples in my wardrobe. Every collection is filled with really great choices. It’s really special for me to work with brands like Maxted not only because I get to collaborate with Caroline, who is incredibly talented, but it’s exciting to get behind products that are genuinely so comfortable to wear and that I’m always recommending to family and friends.
Jess is wearing our Sage Pullover in charcoal from our Australian Merino collection. This collection is new to Maxted, this season and is 100% Australian sources Merino wool. A high range collection of natural fibres that's a fraction of the cost you'll pay from some retailers. We're incredibly proud of this collection and we've had incredible feedback from customers and stockists.