This is exciting. I have loved Akila’s work for so long. She creates the type of images that make me want to dive right into their grainy, saturated, sun-drenched worlds and just live there, happily, forever in that moment. The girls are smokin’ and the water is cool.
I am totally thrilled to share this exclusive little feature with you…
After a conversation last weekend about how we forget to look back on the year and acknowledge all that we have achieved – forever looking forward and wanting to go further, faster, I decided to ask photographer Akila Berjaoui if she wanted to pick out some of her favourite images from the past year and tell us a litle bit about each one…
“This was so hard because I love so many of the girls and places that I shoot. This year has been full of beautiful people, places, faces and wonders. It’s crazy looking at these now – such a whirlwind. I’m so, so happy!”
This was a sneaky shot taken at the recently renovated Surry Hills Pool. A slice of Euro-summer in the middle of our city. I love how the water is dripping off her lovely face and how her focus is elsewhere. She was so deep in thought. It’s a special moment.
The Amalfi Coast in Italy. Heaven on earth. I have such a deep connection to this country, I feel so torn between the two places. My heart nearly broke when I had to come home this year – visas, you know! I shot this on 400 film, my favourite. I love grain and it suits this aesthetic just perfectly.
This is a photo of Bella looking so serene and pretty. I love the blues, I love the water, I love the tones. I especially love the calmness in her face. I love the tiles. I love how it looks like it could be Italy, but its Sydney. Beautiful Sydney.
This is probably still my favourite photo that I’ve ever taken. I’m not sure why exactly. I think it’s because it’s my swimsuit with the same hair, same stance, same everything – it reminds me of me. That sounds so narcissistic, but its not like that… It’s so reminiscent of my Australian childhood: laying out on the hot concrete in your togs, trying to dry off. I just love it. It evokes a lot of emotion and happiness within me.
This is my home, and it really is where my heart is. After spending so much time away this year, I’m so very appreciative of where I come from, who I am and what this country is all about. And I’m telling you, you won’t see prettier teens anywhere else! They’re so natural and raw and effervescent here. This pool, it brings me joy on a daily basis.
This is where dreams come true. Enough said!!
This was a really special day. I was in a city in Scandinavia and it was viciously HOT and then there’s a pretty beach there. I love that. Scandinavia holds a very special place in my heart for personal reasons. I was so happy and yet so sad this day. Something ended and something started that day. It was a very emotional, yet happy, time for me.
I love this photo of Nicole and Jess. Two beautiful young women I had the pleasure of travelling with for a Contiki job. It’s so EURO! The boys in the back with their tiny togs. I love it. And Nicoles eyes – they say so much. I never see nicole being shot like this. She has such a pretty face.
This girl is very, very special to me. I’ve been shooting her over the years and I’ve been watching her grow into such a beautiful woman. And she’s just oh-so-pretty. She’s pretty cheeky too you know! To me, she encapsulates Australian beauty. The colouring, the freckles, the messy hair, her smile, her eyes. I’m sometimes so overwhelmed with nostalgia when I look at Eva – in a good way!
What a babe. I met this girl in Bali – a hot little Americano surfer-girl traveling on her own. So we just hung out, I told her I liked her bum and she said I could shoot it. Et voila, magic happened!
This place is epic. I’m simply madly in love with the south of Italy. It’s so raw and so hardcore. I got robbed the very next day, my camera, everything. But it makes sense, they’re so poor there. It’s just a mind-blowingly picture perfect. This day was extremely hot and I was so enraptured in the surroundings. I couldn’t get enough.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this girl from the bottom of my heart. She’s family. I love her natural beauty, her moody face (lol) and engaging eyes that all say so much. So, so much. You can literally get lost in her eyes. She inspires me greatly, and vice versa. She’s cool and easy to shoot. I’ll forever take photos of Sarah. This photo was taken in Coogee, a beach not far from where I am now. Just another perfect spring day in Sydney.
Bombshell! Val has been in my life for many years, and hopefully many more to come. This was shot at a friends pool with my film camera. I shoot a lot here. I love it there. I always feel like I’m here, but not. It’s hard to explain. It’s so Australian because it’s so raw but then it’s so opulent and grandiose, so it feels like Europe at the same time. Oui?!
This girl!!!! She’s another I’ve been shooting for a long time. She’s like a little cat. So quiet and softly spoken and slinky. Very sweet and very sexy. She has qualities that are very unique and special which draw people to her. She’s like Kate Moss in that sense. This was shot in Bondi at the boat ramp one steamy day last summer.