April 2018

Shoot First

Text: Jill Greig Images: Mr Blanc
Mr Blanc

At an age when most kids were preoccupied with puberty and teenage angst, Cory White was shooting his peers in beautiful fibre-based prints, captured on a Yashica SLR (a gift from his Dad) and brought to life in his home darkroom.

Mr Blanc

“I first started taking reportage style photographs in high school. I was super young, probably twelve, just running around school events taking snaps. It soon turned into a passion and I was in our darkroom at home being taught by my dad how to roll film onto a 35mm spool in the dark.”

Mr Blanc

“I remember the day Mum and Dad bought me my first serious camera – a pre-loved Nikon FE2, 35mm SLR with a 50mm lens. That exact camera lives in my glove box to this day.”

Mr Blanc

It’s not the only thing that’s stayed with him. Fast forward several years and as a self-proclaimed ‘tradesman of the lens,’ White has clocked up an impressive folio of commercial work for a range of big name clients. But in spite of this mainstream success, White’s true passion lies in the spaces in-between – creating series of portraits for his Selby-esque profiling site, Mr Blanc.

Mr Blanc

“Fashion evades the truth, advertising distorts truth, so that really leaves portraits to tell the truth.”

Mr Blanc

“I realised I had an amazing network of friends doing great stuff and decided I’d document it.”

Mr Blanc

“The images are really personal. I kind of just shadow people while they do what they do. Some like it more than others.”

Mr Blanc

But reluctance doesn’t show in his subjects, which have, to date, included creative Melburnians like Johnny McKay (Children Collide), and Anneliese Tesselaar (Tesla).

Mr Blanc

In the future, White hopes to cast his net wider, taking his portraits interstate and even overseas to pursue subjects on his Mr Blanc ‘wish list’.

“I have goals to feature a whole bunch of people who I respect a lot. But the top subject I’d like to hit up now would have to be Sir David Attenborough or (South Australian culinary queen) Maggie Beer. Both are incredibly inspirational, heart-warming, passionate souls. I love them.”

Next story: Polo Opposites – Tom Polo