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This Photographer's North Sydney Home Is An Art-Lovers Dream

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we turned the camera on Sydney-based interiors and lifestyle photographer Jacqui Turk, and the results are as expected: her home is a sanctuary deserving of its own feature spread.

Nestled in Sydney’s Upper North Shore, Jacqui’s family home is an ode to her relaxed, contemporary Australian lifestyle. In the living room, ornate high ceilings exude heritage-style elegance as natural light floods through a wall of French doors. To each side, sweeping crème linen curtains bookend the garden view.

Industrial floor lamps punctuate a sleekly designed living area featuring slate coloured MCM chairs and a deep Jardan sofa. Each space reads like a love letter to symmetry and composition, as if Jacqui arranged it all through an imaginary camera lens.

Ceramic sculptures and vessels line surfaces and shelves, and an impressive art collection hangs from every room. In the dining room, a stunning gallery wall boasts the work of both local and international artists, whilst in the bedroom an exquisite stained glass window acts as the centrepiece. Let’s just say if Jacqui ever invites you over for a visit, keep the rest of the afternoon free. You’re going to want to stay awhile.

Hi Jacqui! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?

I make imagery—I am an interiors, portrait and lifestyle photographer.

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue photography?

I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a photographer but have always been drawn to images. When I was in my teens I watched an SBS documentary on Annie Liebovitz and that sparked my interest in the medium. I studied Photography at TAFE after school but ended up working in fashion as a stylist for a magazine for a decade. After having kids I started to feel myself being drawn back to photography.

Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?

For me, a shoot is always a collaboration, whether it is with a stylist, a small business or a large company. The process usually starts with an idea or brief and expands from there. I find that shoots are organic and evolve throughout the process. No two shoots are the same, as many factors come into play such as the client, the location, the light and the product. I guess it's fair to say that my creative process is flexible and changes depending on the job.

What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?

Time management. My job is not over when I walk off set, and being efficient on the back half of the job is important in order to deliver images to my clients.

What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?

There have been so many wonderful things that have happened since starting out, it’s hard to single out one. Being published in a magazine for the first time is definitely a highlight, as well as getting to work with top stylists I’ve admired, having my work on a front cover, and collaborating with great magazines and blogs.

Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to go out on their own?

Know your worth. Images can be powerful and useful tools for businesses, so don’t let people underestimate what you are providing them with.

Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?

Almost three years.

How did you initially know this was the space for you?

We walked in and saw the lounge room with beautiful high ceilings and moulded details and knew straight away this was a place for us!

Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?

We painted everything white because the whole house was an early 90s mocha colour.

What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?

I am a minimalist at heart, although it doesn’t always translate that way! Family life always involves some sort of clutter and messiness so I love to have clean white walls and furniture in muted colours to help keep things calm.

What are your favourite pieces in your home?

Definitely our art collection! We have paintings by Mason Kimber, Evi O, Eliza Gosse, Bec Smith, Louise Tuckwell, Fiona Barret Clark, Linda Olstein, Emma Gale, as well as prints by Caroline Walls and ceramics by Keiko Matsui. I have photographed some of those artists in their studios which make the pieces even more special.

Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?

I am a little obsessed with the Pierre Jeanneret armchair at the moment!

Which is your favourite room in the house?

Our lounge room! I love the light in there, the high ceilings and the feeling of openness. I enjoy sitting on the sofa and looking out to the courtyard, it always feels tranquil to me.

Shop Jacqui's look with an Oatmeal Bedding Set and Rust Pillowcases.

Tell us about your bedroom.

I love to read in bed! I have piles of books and stacks of magazines next to my bed—some have been waiting a while to be read! We don’t have a TV in our bedroom and no devices are charged in there. The colours are muted and the lighting is kept low. It's my calm space, and I go there to unwind. I love spending Sunday mornings in bed with my coffee reading the paper (online of course).

What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?

For me, keeping it simple is always best. Uncomplicated and functional spaces are what I strive for at home, although with a family it is always a work in progress!

Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?

For the near future, it's work, work and more work! I will also be releasing a new print collection in early 2020.

For more from Jacqui, follow her @jacqui_turk and on jacquiturk.com

Loved this home tour? Take a rare look inside Craig Waddell's converted Annandale home and studio.

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