BOSS BABE: JOSIE CLOUGH
Josie Clough is one of Australia’s most recognised photographers. Coined this generation’s ‘Helmut Newton’ by the Sydney Morning Herald, the Perth-Born, Bondi-Based photographer has earnt worldwide acclaim for her sexy, sporty aesthetic. Josie has shot the likes of Jesinta Franklin, Elyse Knowles, Steph Claire Smith and our very own, Elle Ferguson as well as international models and celebrities, including Ashley Graham, Kate Bock and Vita Sidorkina. She says the imagery she creates possesses the raw energy and fun that she enjoyed growing up as a child; in essence, a quest for the never-ending summer.
Josie’s work on home soil led to her work with Sports Illustrated where she first shot the hugely popular body painting section of the 2017 Swimsuit Issue.
When did your love for photography begin?
When I saw the 2016 Pirelli calendar by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
How did you establish your signature shoot style?
I never learnt photography – so I would study and obsess over old 90’s images online. I love Hans Feurer and Gilles Bensimon and used to google all the major swim supermodels. I think my aesthetic was trying to get back to this era!
You founded your globally renowned online shopping platform, It’s Now Cool in 2015. Was there a defining moment you knew you could offer something unique to the swimwear market?
I was shooting a lot for swimwear brands and getting a lot of positive feedback about how things would sell well so I thought I can do this too, so I worked with a lot of brands I had relationships with and launched the business. I wanted to offer something a bit racier, a bit more forward, 90’s feeling and bring in some brands I know from the US and UK that weren’t yet in Australia.
Did you ever aspire to be your own boss?
I have always wanted to do my own thing. Working for myself was always a dream of mine and to be able to do this is something I love so much and am passionate about it amazing.
What is your most memorable swimwear shoot to date?
Sports Illustrated this year in the British Virgin Islands and last year at Kangaroo Island. Last year, I was 16 weeks pregnant and this year I had my 8-month-old son with me so both of these will always be incredible memories for me. Last year I got the Sports Illustrated cover and that’s always been a massive goal of mine so that will probably always be my favourite shoot!!
The ideation that you must try swimwear before you buy is now a thing of the past. How do you ensure your customers feel assured and confident when purchasing swimwear online?
We do our best to provide as much information as we can on each product, offer Live Chat so customers can talk to us about their body type and which styles would suit them, we shoot everything studio as well as outside in campaigns. We also offer returns if things aren’t perfect!
Running It’s Now Cool, INC Swim and shooting around the globe sure means a busy schedule. What is your version of self-care?
I run two businesses, work as a photographer and have a one-year old baby… not a lot of time for self-care let’s be honest! BUT to be truthful, for me it comes down to getting a lot of sleep, reading a book for 20 minutes at night, listening to music and a hot shower every morning (even if you have a 4am call time)! Catching up with good friends when you’re in the same place (Elle and my friendship was really born in NY/LA!) and enjoying good food and a drink.
If you could have any five women sitting around a dinner table with you, who would they be and why?
Annie Leibovitz because she is an incredible photographer
Naomi Campbell because she is the ultimate
Margot Robbie because she looks like a legend to hang out with
Greta Thunberg because she is changing the game
Elle of course, because I would need someone to talk about this dinner later with!
What three things would we always find in your beauty bag?
MILK vegan moisturiser, paw paw, sunscreen for obvious reasons!
What's the last song you listened to?
Van Morrison is on our record player at the moment.
Parting words of advice for being a #bossbabe in work and in life?
You have to love what you do so that you obsess over it! Work really hard, be nice to everyone no matter what (be positive not competitive), keep evolving and take time for you (even if it’s just to sleep!).