From Melbourne to London and back again, Frankston South’s Bronwyn Kidd has created awe-inspiring photographs and developed her skills from analogue to digital, rising from a photographer’s assistant to an award-winning photographer over her 20-year career. After first showing an interest in photography during her HSC at high school in Ivanhoe, where she spent her time chasing a rock band, taking actions shots and developing the film, Bronwyn’s style evolved when she studied photography at RMIT before heading to London in 1992 with a one-way ticket.
Her fashion and portrait photography is characterised by a steadfast commitment to precision, timelessness and elegance. Having created award-winning campaigns for Covergirl, advertising for L’Oréal and Olay, and acquiring agents in the UK and Asia, you could say she’s found her aperture. With her portraiture held in permanent collections in the National Portrait Gallery London, her ‘hit the ground running’ attitude certainly paid off. After arriving in London, Bronwyn hit the pavement with her portfolio, which resulted in her landing assisting roles with celebrated British photographer Clive Arrowsmith and fellow Australian, artist Polly Borland.
“The right people came into my life,” Bronwyn said. “Clive Arrowsmith left a message on my home phone. The message said: ‘Hi Bronwyn, you have a Welsh name too, so I called. I don’t normally call people back.’ I was in shock.”
At 23, she was lucky to be under the wing of the Queen’s couturier, the late Sir Hardy Amies, working exclusively for his Savile Row seasonal collections and advertising using famed British model Paula Hamilton. Since then, her natural talent for fashion reflected in a distinctly modern photographic style has seen her work featured in global campaigns for Gossard, Renault, Adidas, Levi’s and Mikimoto, and editorial for Tatler, Harpers & Queen, Cosmopolitan and Vogue.
“If you worked for someone great then it opened a door for your career — but it didn’t cross my mind; I was naïve. I wasn’t strategic; I didn’t come from that.”
Twelve years in London saw Bronwyn working for the big stores on Oxford St, creating packaging, window displays and point of sales material for such brands as DKNY. She loved the retail space. The advertising industry was a whole other world. Likewise, her hard work also resulted in her photographing in Paris and New York. London was new and exciting, and during her time there she embraced every morsel of it.
“I only knew Melbourne. It was a very different experience for a girl from Melbourne, but you just had to absorb it. I couldn’t get enough. It was so different. My mind was opening up — it was just incredible.”
This modern portraitist has worked with jockey and The Funky Farm owner Chris Symons and professional polo player and model Sam Stott. Bronwyn appreciates the Peninsula art community, and has supported school fetes and art shows, including the Mount Eliza North Primary Art Show in late 2018.
“Every direction you go on the Mornington Peninsula there’s something beautiful to look at. However, when I look at a landscape I just want to put a model with a huge frock in the scenery.”