Pettifleur Berenger photo shoot for her book ‘Switch the Bitch’
I was fortunate to meet and work with the gorgeous Pettifleur Berenger on her first book ‘Switch the Bitch’. Pettifleur is the star of the hit reality TV series “The Real Housewives of Melbourne” and to add to her credentials she is also a very successful property developer and now a published author.
So where did it all being…
In the first week of March I had an unusual phone call from Lucy Laurita from Leiela Ladies Evening Wear, asking if I would be interested in collaborating on a photo shoot with a “TV personality”, where the images would be used for a book that would be published in April. When I asked about the subject of the shoot it was all kept very under wraps, but I was told there would be a lot of media attention on her over the next few months. Once I had a few more details about the rest of the photo shoot I was happy to get on board, as we would be working with some of the Leiela designer gowns and it all sounded like a lot of fun.
So on Wednesday the 11th of March I drove to the city with my photography assistant Megan Raphael and during the car-ride we tried to guess who exactly the “TV personality” would be, but were quite certain it would be someone from The Real Housewives of Melbourne. When we arrived at our destination we were greeted by the concierge who asked if we were here for the photo shoot with “Pettifleur?” admittedly I had not actually seen the TV show at that point, so looked vaguely at Megan who was nodding at me with a big smile (as she is a fan of the show). We were then lead to a private elevator and told to go up to the penthouse suite and as we rode the stories up and up, Megan filled me in on some details about the show.
As we knocked on the door we were greeted by make up artist Daniel Tan, who then led us to the bathroom where Pettifleur was having her make up done. She gave us a very warm welcome and told us all about her ‘self help’ novel and how she would like to be captured in the photographs. The first shot we needed was a headshot, so Megan and I left Pettifleur and Daniel to finish the make up and began setting up my strobe lights. As we waited for the rest of the crew to finish preparation Megan and I mapped out other possible shooting locations and really took in how amazing the inner city penthouse was!
Shortly after, Pettifleur stepped out in a stunning Dizingof dress and looking amazing. We began shooting the headshots and as the shots were popping up on my laptop screen, the team realizes something wasn’t quite working and we decide the dress didn’t suit the look we wanted for the headshot. So instead we choose to head out to the balcony and take some high-fashion shots with the Melbourne cityscape in the background. We got a great shot quite quickly and decide to have an outfit change to continue the headshots. Pettifleur came back in a striking green fitted Versace dress and once we began shooting more headshots she appeared vibrant and engaging in all the images.
So with some successful headshots captured we decide to move the shoot outdoors and took to Collins Street. In a stunning peach Leiela gown, Pettifleur looked very elegant as she walked down the middle of Collins Street. It was a bit challenging dodging trams and cars for the shot, but when the breeze caught the flow of the dress it made for some truly magical images. It is at this point in the photo shoot that I noticed Pettifleur’s mischievous character and good sense of humor.
From Collins Street we then headed to ‘Mon Bijou’ where Pettifleur had made a private booking for us to spend the afternoon capturing some stunning looks in the luxurious penthouse space. The interior décor had a sophisticated French style, which complemented the impressive panoramic view of Melbourne’s skyline. It is in this space that we captured some very stylish and elegant looks, including a setting with high tea and flowers against a magnificent purple mirror. The stylist Gustavo Pallacios created some amazing looks for the shoot, which exuded old-style Hollywood glamour; with Pettifleur wearing unique garments by Melbourne label Fame Agenda and a blue silk backless evening gown by Leiela.
Once we had successfully captured some key looks at Mon Bijou, Pettifleur changed into her seventh outfit for the day and we were able to capture this look on the way back to her Penthouse in front of Regent Theatre. This look turned out to be my favorite shots of the day, as Pettifleur looks so elegant and timeless in the frame. Once we were back in the comfort of Pettifleur’s penthouse we then finished the shoot with some casual and relaxed shots around the home, including some yoga poses in the evening sunlight on her balcony.
After a full days shoot we were able to capture nine different looks and Pettifleur was extremely pleased with the end result. I was relieved to know she wanted to use the images in her book ‘Switch the Bitch’ and enjoyed my time with her gallivanting around Melbourne and having a few laughs. It was nice that Pettifleur was so engaged during our photo shoot and although she was quite particular with the progress of the shots, it was reassuring to know we were capturing what she envisioned for her book. Having no preconceived persona of her, I found Pettifleur very down-to-earth, honest and I like that she tells it like it is, with a smile and an infectious laugh.
I was flattered that in April Pettifleur invited me to her book launch of ‘Switch the Bitch’, which was held at St Hotel in St Kilda. I was asked to take some photos of the book launch that could be used on Pettifleur’s website. The book signing ran for four hours and in that time a huge amount of people came to support Pettifleur including friends, family, fans of the Real Housewives of Melbourne and even Lydia Schiavello from the series made an appearance. It was lovely seeing the way Pettifleur interacted with all her fans and gave each guest her undivided attention as she personally address the copy of her book. She was very lovely to give me a copy of her book and I was so glad the launch was such a success for her.
Pettifleur’s book ‘Switch the Bitch’ is based on her formula that is all about teaching women to discard their erratic, emotionally-based thinking to be able to make a positive shift in all their relationships. This formula is what Pettifleur has lived her life by and she admits it has lead to her success of happiness, power and peace of mind and control of her life. ‘Switch the Bitch’ is based upon real women and their stories and the book holds a valuable lesson that you are no value to anyone unless you value yourself and to do this you must convert your unhappy energy into positive energy spent on yourself.
After reading the book I found the rawness of the way Pettifleur writes utterly refreshing and I’m looking forward to putting my new insight into practice. Both Pettifleur Berenger and Lucy Laurita from Leiela were a pleasure to work with and I hope to collaborate with them again soon.
You can purchase a copy of ‘Switch The Bitch,’ and see some more of my images at: www.pettifleur.com
For more information regarding my photography services and for an obligation-free quote, please get in contact.
'Switch the Bitch' Book Launch