Photographer | Actress
Those who say you can’t do it all — haven’t met Brydie Mack. The Sydney-based natural beauty can seamlessly inhabit every role on the call sheet — photographer, model, actress, stylist — and on most sets (including ours!) she’s wearing two of those hats at a time. From her insatiable collection of film cameras to spotting undiscovered fresh faces, Brydie loves every gritty and glorious detail of dream-weaving visual stories.
Brydie never backs down from her aesthetic vision, (just look at her striking portfolio), and it’s exactly that passion, mixed with an easy-going collaborative attitude, that sparks magic on set. “Have a positive outlook on life, always remember the bigger picture and in darkest times, you've just gotta laugh. Magic is aaaall around us,” Brydie exclaims about her philosophy. We expect no less from this uninhibited child of “tree-hugging hippies,” whose earliest memories are playing completely nude and covered in mud. On-or-off-duty, find her in the wild air: bathing au naturale on the sand or swimming in rock pools with her girl squad, her camera is always within reach.
You’ve shot the past 3 campaigns for Amuse Society, however what people might not know is that you also style these shoots. Each season you are vibing a new style of jewelry, shoe, or even type of fruit - where does your style inspiration come from?
I’m always watching films, reading books or spending probably too much time browsing the WWW. I save anything I find beautiful or interesting, to a reference folder on my phone. I just checked, I have 21,400 images saved. Never-ending mood-board is worth the storage woes.
You also have an impeccable eye for discovering models before they are a household name (including fellow Society babe, Joanna Halpin, who you first shot in early 2014). What are some traits you look for in a model when searching for a new face to shoot?
A natural beauty. A woman who can be sexy, soft & androgynous all at once, without necessarily trying. I really love the European look – strong bone-structure, moody eyes, interesting beauty, basically anyone who resembles Daria Werbowy ha.
It also helps if they don’t take their job too seriously. At the end of the day, there are more important things in this world than a photo-shoot. With that perspective, they’re usually more laid back & relaxed, which makes my job/style of photography much easier.
When I was 18, I went through an unfortunate phase of dressing in vintage furs. I think I was trying to channel Mary-Kate Olsen, but instead, I looked as if I was playing dress-ups in Grandma’s wardrobe. Anyway, due to this choice of attire, my bestie started referring to me as ‘Wolfcub’ & it stuck.
While on the topic of Instagram… your bio reads “Photographer & Actress.” Explain the actress part ☺
Ohh well observed :) I was acting long before I ever picked up a camera. It always was & still is the grand plan/priority. Photography is an unexpected detour, but welcomed nonetheless. The two worlds do overlap, so it’s worked out to be a complimentary combo.
You live in Sydney, one of our favorite cities in the world! What are some of your favorite places in Sydney (restaurants, shops, destinations, or other!) that non-native might not know about?
For Beach: Little Bay Beach & Little Congwong Beach are my go-to spots when I need a secluded beach day, or want to give the areolas some sun. Both are down South, about 30 mins drive from the city. Congwong is a nudist beach, but is the least creepy I’ve been to, promise! The Coogee Women’s Baths are another hidden gem. Natural rock-pools, for females only. You can’t help but feel some sort of primitive female unity when swimming there. Love it.
For Eats: Iku Wholefoods is my jam. Vegan, mostly gluten-free & organic. What I love is that they’re the only vegan franchise we have in Syd, and unlike most franchises, they don’t take shortcuts. Oh wow, I sound like advert.
For Drinks: Coogee Pavillion. It’s not underground or alternative, but it’s close to my house, has a rooftop bar & v attractive bar staff, so is good enough for me. I took Mands & Curt (Amuse fam) there when they visited Syd & got their tick of approval!
What are your favorite types of locations to shoot and why?
Nature, nature, nature. Anything with organic, untouched surroundings - no human structure on earth can trump that beauty. I also think humans just always look more beautiful in their natural habitat. If any kind of structure is involved, I love the raw, minimal French/Spanish style homes, from a previous era . Imperfect white concrete walls, stone floors, straw baskets, faded timber & linen everything. When I was in University, studying my design degree, I did a case-study on two interior designers who's work I fell in love with & still admire. Their book is called Interiors by Atelier AM. Their style had a huge impact on my design eye & helped to mould my personal aesthetic. Have a google & try not to drool.
You’ve said that you grew up with hippie parents. Did you grow up spending a lot of time at the beach, in nature and being in an au naturale state? What did you learn from them that influences your photography, styling, or whatever you’re doing?
Absolutely! One of my earliest memories is running around our backyard with my sister Haley & her best friend Sophia, completely nude & covered in mud. It was a hot Summers day & we were having construction done on our house, so the garden was all churned up. Big pile of dirt + toddlers + garden hose, aand thats how you keep children entertained for hours. Mum always let us eat the dirt or touch the prickly plant, she was big on letting things happen naturally & allowing us to enjoy/experience our childhood without prejudice. We also went on family holidays regularly, but ours were anything from camping on the beach at Stradbroke Islands, to hiking the Flinders Rangers - pretty much any form of integration with nature! So spending time & connecting to our natural surroundings, is such a sacred part of my family's being. Mum really taught us to not only appreciate mother nature, but to respect her. Which explains my love/need to incorporate this into my work.
What is your go to look for day? For night?
Black leather shorts or skirt, slouch tee, beach hair & patent ankle boots. I usually dress the same for day & night, just add an extra shlick of mascara.
What are you listening to now?
Yesterday I had the day off & watched The Sound of Music. So naturally, today I’m listening to the entire soundtrack on repeat…possibly karaoke version. Christopher Plummer too.
Who is your ultimate fashion muse?
Those easy cool girls, who make a tee & jeans look groundbreaking. Jane Birkin, Charlotte Rampling, Daria & Mossy.
What does it mean to you to belong to Amuse Society?
La Familia! My Amuse Family makes going to the other side of the world worth it. I always feel so looked after, with like-minded women who hustle to create magic together.