Auf einer Modenschau in Brisbane erzählt die damals 17-Jährige Madeline ihrer Mutter, dass sie auch Model werden möchte.
Vier Jahre später ist Madeline das erste Mädchen, das mit Down-Syndrom Model geworden ist. Bis heute ist sie in London, Paris, Dubai und New York bei über 60 Fashion Shows über den Catwalk gelaufen.
„Bei ihrem ersten Auftritt auf dem Laufsteg waren alle im Publikum begeistert. Es war das erste Mal, dass sie wirklich akzeptiert wurde“, sagt ihre Mutter Rosanne, die heute gleichzeitig ihre Managerin ist.
„Menschen mit Down-Syndrom können einen sehr, sehr starken Willen haben, und manchmal sind sie auch sehr stur. Wenn Madeline eine Show nicht machen wolle, würde sie sich stattdessen einfach auf den Catwalk setzen“, erzählt ihre Mutter.
Die Modewelt unterzieht sich derzeit einem Wandel. Man ist nicht mehr nur auf der Suche nach dünnen, weißen Mädchen. Magazine und Designer wollen Mädchen verschiedener Herkunft, Größe und Talent. Eine Veränderung, die nicht nur Madeline den Weg in das Modelgeschäft geebnet hat.
Der Fotograf Andrew Kelly hat Mutter und Tochter eine Woche lang in der New Yorker Modewelt begleitet, in London wurde Madeline von den Reuters-Fotografen Hannah McKay und Henry Nicholls betreut.
First of all we’d be interested to know what you experienced during the photo shoot and what made you pick that particular theme? How did you come across Madeline Stuart?
I first came across Madeline during New York Fashion Week in around 2015. I recall thinking that it was excellent to see the fashion world opening it’s doors to her and how well she was received by the people in attendance. It was the beginning of a movement in fashion to celebrate diverse models and Madeline was at the forefront of this. I saw her at a few more Fashion Week shows in New York and a she seemed to be a lovely person who was so excited about what she was doing, so I reached out to her mother and manager, Rosanne, to see if I could document them for the Spring/Summer 2019 New York Fashion Week and present it on Reuters Wider Image. She said yes and away we went. It was an exhausting week. Madeline and her mother are incredibly busy, I really had no idea how hectic her schedule would be. But Madeline is such a delight. Any time she walks into a room she really lights it up so it was awesome to be around her for a week. We had loads of fun.
When and where were you born, where have you been educated und what are the stages of your professional career?
I was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1978. I studied a Diploma of Arts and Photography at RMIT until 2006 then from there worked in newspapers in Australia. In 2010 I moved to New York and became a freelancer. I count Reuters as an excellent client. I've been working with them since 2011.
What is your standard camera equipment? Is there any special or favorite gear?
I use two Canon 5D mark 4 cameras and a wide variety of lenses. It’s an excellent camera.
How do you process/edit your images? What particular software or apps do you utilize?
I do very minimal editing. I will ingest images and caption in Photo Mechanic and then do color correcting and cropping in Photoshop and that’s really all. Reuters is incredibly strict about their photos resembling reality as closely as possible. Which is a good thing.
Do you have photographic role models?
Early in my career I really loved Jason South and Angela Wylie at The Age in Melbourne. They were big inspirations. Now I am inspired by the people I work alongside in New York City from a variety of agencies. It’s a wonderful city but it can be a grind. Guys like Lucas Jackson from Reuters, John Angelillo from UPI and Justin Lane from EPA constantly create amazing photos from even the most mundane assignments. I find that really inspiring.
Is there a portfolio or photobook that inspired you?
When I first started out I poured over Elliot Erwitt’s “Snaps” book for years. I still love that book. Such incredible compositions, such humor and such class in all the photos.
Where can one find more of your photographic work? Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…