friends on film: chloe nour's fearless photography

The total dream girl gives us the down low on working with her model bff, her favourite designers and her beautiful puppy.

by i-D Team
31 August 2015, 7:40am

Chloe Nour is, frankly, super cool. She's a stylist and a photographer, plus she owns both a killer Instagram and a gorgeous puppy. Chloe's colourful practise sees her shoot her best mates around the world - with a focus on Sydney, where she's based. We spoke to Chloe about her unconventional photographic equipment, working with her bestie, model Mateja Buila, collaboration and, of course, her dog.

Hey Chloe! Can you tell us about the essentials in making your images?
I use the least amount of equipment as possible and avoid using digital as I hate editing and photoshop! I love imagery that is beautifully shot on digital but personally, I have much more freedom with a small compact plastic camera and lots of natural light. I shoot on the cheapest 35mm film available, 'cause I'm a broke ass bitch. I use a $3 point and shoot camera I bought at value village, which I replace every 6 months with another when they finally give up on me from overuse and abuse.

Chloe's pal Brendan Morris and her husband James Freeman

I've noticed you've shot your husband (James Freeman) and your bestie (model Mateja Bula) - pretty cool to have next-level babes all around! How does it shape your work when your subjects are people you're so close to?
Being married to a hot babe definitely has its pros, but surprisingly Jimmy and I for the most part avoid shooting together 'cause he doesn't like being bossed around by me! I'm actually shooting him for a lookbook this week which will be an interesting experience for everyone [laughs]. I do shoot my bestie Mateja a lot, which I've been doing since high school many moons ago. We basically taught each other about being behind and in front of the camera. Anything we do together is really fluid, easy and fun.

Yeah, I always prefer shooting people I know and love, it allows for intimacy and honesty. It also means I feel more comfortable asking them to do weird stuff for the camera and they're usually keen. That's especially true of my artistic practice, which is first and foremost a celebration of the incredible women that inhabit my universe. I think that by capturing the diverse palette of women I share my life with, I'm examining my own femininity and experience, which can only be explored via real relationships.

Mateja by Chloe

So how much does collaboration colour your practise?
Most of my work involves collabs with friends, and all of my art is shaped largely by the creative women I choose to shoot and their individual flavours. I only started shooting outside of my art practice last year, so commercial and editorial photography is still a very new thing for me. I've definitely fallen in love with the teamwork that goes into bringing a collective vision to life, and the opportunity to work with creatives that push me to work in new ways.

from Chloe's 'Well Behaved' series

Tell me about some of your favourite people you've shot and, of course, why you loved shooting them.
'Well Behaved' is still my favourite series, despite being shot over a year ago. I photographed some of my favourite women in suburban settings, mucking around, misbehaving; playing with the archaic yet still existent belief that women are meant to be 'well behaved'. I think this is a very exciting time to be a woman, we are on the verge of some big social changes; feminism, womanhood and censorship are such a huge part of the conversation lately. Being a female artist and exploring that as it's happening is a very invigorating experience. Even more invigorating are the women who embody this movement of empowerment. Olivia Fay is an incredible woman to shoot. She is one of the sexiest women I know with the most dynamic aura and her selfie game is off the charts.

What's the naughtiest photo you've ever taken? And conversely, what's the nicest?
I don't know about naughtiest, but this is definitely the cheekiest and this is definitely the sweetest!

The cheekiest photo Chloe's ever taken

Let's do some quick favourites: fave item of clothing?
My Gerlan basketball shorts!

Fave designers at the moment?
Emma Mulholland is my go to girl, I honestly wear at least one piece of hers everyday. One of my best friends Brendan Morris creates some pretty incredible imaginings, which are so fun to wear. I'm stock piling some custom pieces that I will unleash on the world when he's the next Raf Simons and they will be worth millions. I've also just discovered a couple of fresh young thangs. I'm really into Becca Carrington's wacky wearables and Claire Barrow's thoughtful pieces.

Favourite styling you've ever done?
This Floral on floral on floral!

I have to ask about the puppy on your Insta. Is she yours?
Yes! Tilly is our puppy. We love her like a human baby and she comes everywhere with us. She's a rescue mutt, we think maybe she's a ridgeback cross and she's the friendliest, most fun, most lovely puppy in the world. Having a dog is the best. It means we get to go on puppy play dates with other cute puppies and we get to snuggle up to her every night like a giant teddy bear. Sometimes I freak out when we're hanging out on the couch and she's all nestled up on me and I'm like, 'omg this huge wild creature actually loves me and I love her.' It's the coolest thing.

chloe nour