Michelle Norris is a Wonder Woman.
One half of insanely creative duo Tropico Photo, we first came in contact with Michelle after receiving an email from her a number of months ago. Immediately we fell in love with her vivid, astonishingly unique eye for photography and styling and so of course it was an instant YES! to sending out a pair of Hasten Slowly Navy/Jade Stripe toe tappers to be shot on the couples next trip to Portugal and Morocco. Step into the exotic world of Tropico Photo as we chat to Michelle about her journey to now.
Interview by Alex Birch
Tell us about the moment it became clear to you that photography was your future. What drew you to the medium? Had art always been on the agenda?
I've always been expressive and felt like I had a lot to say, but writing was a medium that made it hard for me to convey what I was feeling. I took a photography class in college and that was the first thing that didn't feel like work. With photography [I could] speak to people with a clear voice.
I try to arrange every part of my life in a way that is visually appealing and stimulating. I also love creating these visuals and finding them out in the world with photography. I think that's art.
As one half of creative team Tropico, you produce striking, super intense imagery in playfully surreal contexts. How did the two of you meet? What’s the idea behind the project?
Forrest and I met in the photography program at college. We've been bouncing our ideas off of each other for a long time, and finding inspiration from one another. After combining our skill sets and ideas on different projects, we decided that we work better together and joined forces to create Tropico Photo. The idea is that we can be a one-stop shop for all of the complex parts that go into creating successful and exciting imagery.
It’s hard to find a single location favoured in your collection. What draws you to these remarkable countries? What are you looking for in a locale?
We love to travel! Ideally, we'd love to go everywhere. My favourite places are ones that have the beach or the desert. Not only does that aesthetic compliment our work, but outdoor activities are a favourite and we can never get quite enough Vitamin D.
Tell us about your idea to bring Radical Yes! into the very vivid world’s of Portugal and Morocco. Talk us through a couple of your favourite photographs and the stories behind them.
I was so excited what I saw this playful shoe! A large part of my inspiration to reach out to brands that I admire comes from how specific pieces can enhance and compliment our aesthetic.
The image of the hands and feet out the window was actually created moments after we arrived in Portugal. We really liked something about the fact that there were two little windows in the apartment where you could look out at one another. We decided to play off the idea of waving to the other person from the window.
The photograph where I am standing by the gate underneath the plants is a favourite of mine. It was our last night in Morocco and we were walking back from the beach as the sun was setting. There was perfect golden hour light on everything around us. These little plants popping up from behind the wall were such a sweet sight! This walk and the light that accompanied it felt like a lovely way to close our chapter in Morocco.
What are three things you always say ‘yes’ to?
Travel, walks, and chocolate
What does being radical mean to you?
Being a kick-ass lady who tries to inspire the people around her.