Updated: Aug 21, 2020
This week's Throwback Thursday we are back in 1999. I've been asked by Pavement Magazine to be part of their special local talent issue for January 2000. I was told to go see photographer, Craig Owen to get my photo taken. Since his studio was a short distance away from my workroom on K-Road, I decided to walk there. I remember wearing the corduroy top that I designed and made myself, as well as the polyvinyl leather-look skirt that skimmed my ankles that day. I threw on a red pashmina because it was a little chilly, but I was shivering a little more out of nervousness, I think. I was quite used to being photographed but not by a person I had never met or knew nothing of.
I needn't have worried because Craig welcomed me with his humble demeanour. We had blond curly hair from what I recall, he was thick-set and about 6 foot at least. He was alone with no assistants, but I felt completely comfortable being there. I quickly relaxed, and he got to work. He put on a fan and aimed it at my face from my left. The whole event passed so fast; I don't remember much of the details. All I know is at one point, he asked me to close my eyes, and so I did. The shot he took at that moment was what landed in the magazine. Now that I am a meditator, I so appreciate this photo; its as though he saw something in me that I didn't recognise at the time.
He asked me a little bit about myself, while I talked about the little bit that I had done in the fashion industry, I had a chance to look around his studio for the first time. I was shocked! Photo after photo of celebrities he had photographed lined his walls. The face that I recognised immediately was that of super-model Elle MacPherson. She was a super hot ticket item, at the time, and plastered all over billboards and magazines all around the world. It was only then that it dawned on me that Craig Owen was not just any photographer! I was relieved that I had no idea before he took my photographs or else I would have really had the shivers.
Craig Owen worked for publications such as Vogue Australia and Harpers Bazaar and had photographed celebrities Miranda Kerr, Elle Macpherson and Academy Award-winning actress Anna Paquin. When I searched on google for more details on Craig for this post, I was shocked and saddened to hear that he had passed away back in 2012. I found article after article on the gaping hole that Craig's passing has left in the industry since his passing. He was not only one of New Zealand's top photographers; he was an all-round nice guy.
Thinking back to that day, I cannot believe how fortunate I was to be seen and photographed through the eyes of this immense talent, as well as a kind and humble person who was Craig Owen. He died in his mid-40s. May you rest in peace.