Behind the Image: Nicole Bentley on the Strength of Femininity

Behind the Image is an ongoing series taking a more personal look at both established and emerging creative talent.

Nicole Bentley, photographer

Hometown: Perth, Western Australia
Based: Sydney, Australia
Representation: M.A.P Management & Production (Sydney)

How would you describe your work? What’s your trademark?
I try and capture timeless images of femininity and strength.  A trademark of sensual and intimate imagery that captures the essence of a woman’s innate beauty.  

How did you get into your chosen career?
I fell into photography through a Bachelor of Arts in Design.  Photography was a compulsory part of the course.  I fell in love with the medium and went on to pursue a career in fashion and beauty photography.  My early career started with model test shoots and that’s where I was able to explore my personal style without any restrictions.  I was living in Perth when I was approached by a Sydney agent who admired my test shoots. Within 12 months I had relocated to Sydney and was shooting commercially.  

What have you watched/heard/read lately that has inspired you?
I’m spending a lot of time watching and reading about mindfulness.  

What do you love about what you do?
I love the collaborative process with other creative minds.  I love the freedom and spontaneity of my work.

What have been the biggest challenges you have faced professionally?
The biggest professional challenges have actually been to juggle personal life and family at the same time as career opportunities.  

What’s one thing outside of your work that you would like people to know about you?
I’m first and foremost a mother to my 3 children.

Selected Work

courtesy Nicole Bentley

Emily Ratajkowski
I was so excited to shoot Emily, but unsure if she’d be into raw skin and wet hair. She was so cool and on board with my vision.  I loved seeing her this way.

courtesy Nicole Bentley

Aylah Peterson
Everyone on set fell in love with this image and there was a question of whether it was too blurry to print.  I tried to re-shoot it with less blur and it lost its magic.  I was so excited when Eugenie (editor of Harper’s Bazaar) loved it too and sent it to print in all its blurry glory.

courtesy Nicole Bentley

Rosie Tupper
I shot this image of one of my dearest friends, Rosie.  Rosie has just had her little girl and decided to chop her hair off.  It was a personal shoot with some of my favourite creatives. 

courtesy Nicole Bentley

Zoe Barnard
This image of Zoe is one of my favourite location images.  I love the narrative and sensuality in this image.  The winter sun was perfect this day and I was working with beautiful people.  The images and the day hold fond memories for me.

courtesy Nicole Bentley

Georgia Fowler
I had this shoot idea in my head for a few years and finally the stars aligned to capture it.  Georgia was our dream girl for this Aussie camping story.  This was one of the memorable images from that story.  It was my last shoot before our country locked down from Covid19.

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