Vanilla Life Issue 2 is Out Now by Mike Stacey

Vanilla Life Issue #2 is out now. Subscribers to the newsletter receive a 10% discount to the mag in either print or digital versions. I highly recommend the print version - I'm personally very happy with the quality of this one - MagCloud have got their printing sorted.

What's in it?

124 pages of:

  • Magazine quality, editorial-style fashion nude and portrait photography, both film and digital
  • The first in a series of articles to help you develop your own creative self which will help shift your work toward something acceptable in an arts based forum or gallery
  • A brief summary of each of the three editorials in the mag
  • Info on my workshops and mentoring programs

Newsletter subscribers will receive another email (sorry!) with a unique link to the discounted copy. It's the only way that MagCloud can do it unfortunately so I need to send that other email via MagCloud as they generate the unique link for you.

Coalesce Magazine

Very soon, Lauren Michelle (Loz Lightyear) and myself will be releasing a series of magazines called Coalesce. The first one is ready to go to print, we're just finalising some details. Coalesce is an arts-based publication containing images and text, most of the work being based on a particular concept. Keep and eye out for it, I'll send a reminder soonish when it's out - the first issue is looking really amazing! Much of the content you won't have seen before as we're trying to keep content for this exclusive and out of social media and personal websites.

Cheers and thank you so much for supporting me. All feedback welcome. Let me know if you like the mag and also if you don't like it - let me know why.

My MagCloud shop is here: but if you're a newsletter subscriber don't use that link for purchasing, I shouls have alreasy sent you a unique lknk to a discounted copy.


Here's a little preview of Issue #2

Comprehensive Photographic Art Nude Course - Shoot then Edit by Mike Stacey

During April, Lauren and I ran a half day Photographic Art Nude course at WEA college in Sydney. As a follow up to that course, and also a response to some enquiries, we have put together a course that will suit the most people so as to reduce costs. The cost of the WEA course was very cheap and affordable, but unfortunately we just can’t price it the same way. As far as content goes, we think this will work:

Day 1 - 4 hours (afternoon)

 Shooting at a selected location at La Perouse that has great and varied natural light.

  • Genre: Art Nude
  • Lighting: various natural light configurations are possible
  • Working with models and/or non models
  • Developing your creative voice 

Day 2 - 4 hours

Editing and style guidance at an indoor location. You will need a computer with one of these programs installed. We’ll have one computer available at the workshop with both programs installed for demo purposes. If you use a different editing program, let us know.

  •  Lightroom: using LR for cataloguing and editing
  •  Photoshop: editing
  •  Developing your creative voice and style (cont'd)

We’ve left this workshop content fairly open in order to address and accommodate the specific needs and desires of the individual participants. We would really like you to come away from this workshop having learned want you really needed to know. 


  • 2 people  $520 pp
  • 3 people $350 pp
  • 4 people or more : $300 pp

If you are interested, let us know what you think - the next thing we need to do is arrange two dates that will suit; please give us some days that work for you and we can take it from there. Let’s make this happen!

We will both be away early July for our exhibition in Melbourne, and after that, Lauren returns to live in New Zealand. This leaves us only a small window to arrange and run this course before then. 

PS: If the above course content doesn't suit your needs, we are available for private workshops but the cost will be more than quoted above. Let us know if you are interested in this option. 

One of the images from the WEA workshop

Lauren at the La Perouse location

Lauren and Waiton at La Perouse

Waiton and Lauren at La Perouse

What Are You Looking For When You Look Through the Viewfinder? by Mike Stacey


This article is a snippet from a larger article that explores how to achieve your personal voice as an artistic photographer. The full article is in Vanilla Life Issue #2, which will be out soon - 15% discount for all newsletter subscribers. More specifically it discusses how to find what it is you're looking for when you look through the viewfinder, and then how to go about creating the images that represent whatever it is you are looking for. It's for mature photographers looking to take their work beyond a visual snapshot of reality into a more artistic space and it's based within the context of shooting a muse or model. 

I always think back to something a gallery owner said to me years ago. “Your work is fantastic Mike, technically perfect in every way, but any technically proficient photographer could have taken it - what are you saying with your photographs?” This is a fairly typical comment from a gallery owner/curator, or from any art critic for that matter, and it made me think long and hard (after getting over the initial shock!). Art galleries need to see meaning and depth in work, they care little about aesthetics and beauty if that’s all there is to it.

Whether it’s painting, sculpture or photography, an artist’s personal style revolves around what they feel, how they see, and what they look for - inside themselves and in life. Many think it’s the particular editing style (photography), or colour palette choice (painting) that gives the work it’s final look. That helps, but it’s only a very small component of an artist’s personal style. 

Article continued in Vanilla Life Issue #2, where I provide a 4 step approach to achieving your personal artistic style. Issue #1 is available here - print or digital download versions available.

Personal Mentoring

I am available as a personal mentor to help photographers develop to the next level. You work on your own projects and I provide goals and exercises for you to complete each month. We review the work together and I provide feedback and guidance to the next phase of development. I'm also available for limited time during the mentoring period on an informal basis via email or Facebook messenger. 

References are available from photographers who have been a part of a mentoring program. I do love this style of teaching/tutoring - don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to know more about it.

Just get in touch via the contact page on my website.

A group of happy photographers! The lovely folks who attended the one day Photographic Art Nude course at WEA College in Sydney last month. This course was written and tutored by Lauren Michelle and myself and was the first course of its kind in the country as far as we know.

NO HANDS - The Exhibition by Mike Stacey

Lauren Michelle and Mike Stacey are excited to bring the multi-media presentation 'NO HANDS' to SOMA Gallery in July 2018.

NO HANDS is an exhibition of photographs, drawings, paintings, poetry, installation artworks and a short film wall projection.

Through various mediums, both artists disentangle the varied emotional states of depression and bring light to the surrounding misconceptions.

We feel the work is powerful, while at the same time being thought provoking and emotionally stimulating. It has all just 'come together' really quickly - like it was meant to happen. 

On show at SOMA Gallery, Melbourne. 11th-21st July 2018. Opening night to be announced!

A Note on the Photography in the Exhibition

A large sector of my current photographic network is centred around model photography, often 'art nude' or 'portraiture'. The stills in the exhibition are neither art nude or model photography. They are probably portraiture - with many being conceptual representations of the theme, and while they are images of Lauren, the intent was not to portray a particular person. It's also not intentionally about 'beauty' - although I see much beauty in all of the work - through all the mediums that we're using. The work has a strong intent and concept underpinning it. We both look forward to sharing this work with you in Melbourne.

Instagrams: @lauren_michelle_artist and @staceymikephoto


And there is another announcement coming soon - for the work we did last year during a road trip to the South Australian desert. Coming soon...