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Sonia Payes

"Sonia Payes has lectured on both photography and visual arts while establishing herself as one of Melbourne's leading portrait and thematic photographers.

Although her commercial work is based from her Prahran studio, she also travels widely for her artistic practice. The defining characteristic of Payes' artistic practice is her desire to capture the ‘essence’ of her various subjects; there is a palpable candour and directness about the finished image. Payes’ series of portraits of Australian artists and key figures in the art world is one of her most popular series.

Payes is concerned with pushing the boundaries of form and physicality with her work, and exploring ideas of individual expression. Payes' dramatic, provocative, and atmospheric images both seduce and challenge her audience, beckoning them into a world of heightened sensation.

Drawing on her extensive travels, Payes has also produced studies of the landscape and culture. She seeks to avoid predictable or expected routes in her work, and is always looking to forge alternative interpretations.

Some cultures believe that photography can steal a part of the soul; Payes seek to redress that balance by aspiring to put a piece of hers into all of her work."

(Sonia Payes 2007)