She Is Aphrodite aka Michelle Pitiris


Your photography is creatively diverse. How would you describe your work and approach to each session?

Thank you! I always aim to differentiate each shoot that I do. Repetition is the bane of my existence and it helps to push me to continually think laterally on how I can bring something new to each shoot I approach. So whether it’s the styling, a prop, the editing- as long as something makes it unique then I’m happy.

Do you think the day-to-day achievements are just as important as the momentous ones? Why?

Yes of course. Without the day to day you’re missing out on the learning and the journey. If you can make the everyday tedious little things enjoyable then the momentous becomes all the more sweet!

In Happy, you said, “I don’t ever want to be a square peg in a square hole.” - What did you mean by that?

What I meant was I don’t ever want to be pigeon-holed, predictable and fitting to a mould. It crushes my creativeness and spirit at the thought of moving along with the current when it comes to my photography.

What is something you have learnt and grown from in your series, Battlehymn?

I’ve learnt that each woman, no matter who they are, has an absolute goddess in them and I love helping them find it and bring it out in my imagery. And also, there are some absolute BADASS women in the music industry. Watch out!!

“…I don’t ever want to be pigeon-holed, predictable and fitting to a mould.”

What sacrifices have you made to make this your full time profession?

A lot of a social life over the years. For so long I worked my full time retail job and would spend lunch breaks emailing, arranging shoots, travel, styling etc. Or I would go to gigs after work and shoot until late at night, come home and edit, hit the sack then get up and go to the secure job. It took a great leap of faith to trust in my ability that I could keep myself afloat. So far it’s working!

What does ‘innovation’ mean to you?

To be honest I haven’t thought a lot about it, but off the top of my head I would say it would mean to take something that is perhaps “ordinary” and making it “extraordinary”. Make people see something new in things you wouldn’t have thought could be re-invented.

Who do you think is leading innovation in the creative industries today?

Just anyone who is doing what they love without creating to an audience. If you’re brave enough to just say ‘Fuck it!’ and make the art you want to make then you’re miles ahead of the crowd already in my opinion.

In times of high pressure, how do you empower yourself and others?

Follow my gut. There’s been many times where circumstances have changed in the middle of a project, and I just believe in the universe providing the solutions to me and being intuitive enough to recognise the helping hand. Then, I can direct everyone else. It usually works out better than the original plan too. Oh, and meditation is a powerful tool on finding the strength to endure.

Why do you think it’s a good time to be a woman?

Women are finally being allowed to be heard, seen and recognised for their contributions and it will be able to open up the world to a dormant volcano of compassion, creativity and power that will change the world as we know it.

What advice would you give to someone who dwells on the past, or the negative side of life?

It takes a very conscious level of effort to find and appreciate the positives in life and the current now. Practice gratitude everyday, without fail, you will eventually begin to believe it. As someone who suffers PTSD and has suffered many losses, I can tell you that waking up everyday and being so thankful for where I am now changed my perspective immensely.

Lastly: Quick-Fire Response! When you hear the word:

Patriarchy - Antiquated

History - Fascinating

Plant-based - Health

Sex - Instinct

Privilege - Blessed

Sustainability -The future

Bravery - Recovery

Freedom - A privilege

Home - Wherever I lay my hat :)

Larissa Ryan