“Personal projects are so important in photography,” says Cybele Malinowski. “They inform and inspire your commercial work. As so many people say in the game, create personal work that you want to get hired for.” Malinowski, an Australian photographer – who has been published in Yen, Frankie and Marie Claire – recently launched her own creative personal project to sit alongside her dynamic portfolio. It’s called Model Maison.
The idea behind the website is to represent models in their homes in an honest way. Featuring a wide variety of models shot in their own homes, from Elizabeth Bay to Shoreditch, Shanghai to Laurel Canyon. Each post is a bewitching balance between undone glamour and raw, untouched beauty. Each model styles themselves, and Malinowski works closely with them and a hair and makeup artist to create a series of shots that captures their individual allure.
“I walk into a model’s house, sometimes great, sometimes shit, and it is my challenge to represent the house and model in an unsentimental and yet stylised way,” says Malinowski. “I focus on the unique elements of the space, the personality of the model, the suburbs they live in… and [we] work together in creating an editorial that represents the model.” Part sneak peek into a diverse range of living spaces, part high-gloss editorial, the blog is, as Malinowski says, “a fusion between fashion and reality.”
Since the website’s January launch, Malinowski has been shooting one or two editorials a week. “This is my baby!” she exclaims. The editorial freedom that comes from being your own creative director is something that she craves. “I can take it wherever I want, whenever I want,” she says. “It’s a project that I hope will grow and evolve as I do. I really hope to still be working on it in 20 years.”