Photographer and vintage-lover Sasha Dobies has always had a keen eye for detail and an appreciation of the female form.

In Queensland, we’re used to warm balmy days almost all year long. But we’re about head into our short winter season and for some, it’ll be a shock to the system. So why not celebrate and send summer off in a completely new way – by coming along to the retro-style Candifornia Pool Party at The Spring Hill Baths.

At least, that’s what Sasha Dobies thinks. The brain and beauty behind local business Sherbet Birdie Photography Studio, is all about embracing the fabulous female form and finding any excuse to show it off. So she decided to throw a Sherbet Birdie luxury pool party so women (and classy gentlemen) can laze about on retro-inspired pool toys. Spend the day with friendly and fun-loving people all the while lounging upon inflatable doughnuts, cupcakes, ice creams and watermelons. Sounds good enough to eat!

But behind all the light-hearted intentions and excuse to shimmy into a cute bikini, Sasha is passionate about helping women acknowledge their inherent beauty. With body image issues and eating disorders on the rise, her mission is to help women appreciate themselves, rather than comparing and complaining about their appearance.

We pinned the busy photographer down to talk about all things glamour, fashion, photography and fun.

Why have you decided to throw a pool party like this?

I love to surround myself with the fantastical and am constantly creating a wonderland for my clients in the Sherbet Birdie studio. My team and I thought it was about time to take our little dream world beyond the studio walls and into a bigger, even more glorious space. I also happen to adore women, and am always striving to reveal to them their beauty. It’s my quest. Here I am creating a non-competitive space where we can all celebrate and support one-another all the while surrounded by the beautiful turquoise waters of Spring Hill Baths, filled with a cornucopia of inflatable floating cupcakes, donuts, lollipops and icecreams. Dreamland!

What’s been your experience with women and body image?

Sadly most women have a tendency to focus on the few negatives they feel about their bodies and in doing so forget to acknowledge the spectacular parts, but that’s what I’m here for! I love taking women through the transformation of a photoshoot where, after hair and makeup, professional vintage styling, beautiful lighting, guided posing and photography, the fog is lifted and they finally see themselves as beautiful again, or even for the first time ever.

Do you think we overly body conscious as a society?

We are as body conscious as we are taught to believe we should be. We are utterly bombarded with aspirational imagery, marketing messages, unrealistic expectations of having and doing it all and it’s hard to dodge the messages (ie ‘anti-ageing’ or ‘weight-loss’). I like to teach woman to focus on their wonderful parts. We sometimes can’t have it all so it’s about embracing and being grateful for right now. Screw those messages that tell us we aren’t good enough. We absolutely are.

What do you want women to feel when you’re photographing them?

I want them to reconnect with their powerful inner female. Their little minx that’s hiding there on the inside because life stresses, career stresses, motherhood or family expectations have gradually dimmed the ability to explore her anymore. I want them to feel loved, nurtured and heard. Mostly though, I really want them to realise their beauty. With the help of my incredible team, Lucy Topp and Sorelle Amore who feel equally as passionate as I, we create a situation where our clients are able to see themselves through our eyes. Reveal their beauty back to them.

Can you tell us about your craziest shoot?

Hmm, can crazy also mean crazy cute? That would have to be our baby animal, farmyard pin-up shoot day where I hired a petting zoo with all of the adorable baby animals. We photographed, cuddled, snuggled, fed and played with them, styled in 1950′s country pin-up clothing. I’m taking about baby bunnies, ducklings, kids, lambs, piglets and chicks. It was one of the best days of my life.

Advice to women about glamour and style?

Look to the 1940s and ’50s for your inspiration, when clothing and under garments were not exclusively designed for model-type body shapes. Express your curves and work with your body not against it! Find yourself some great shapewear to emphasis those curves and shapes (or come in for a photoshoot with us and we’ll teach you how to).

Are you excited about your pool party?

Absolutely. It may not be as adorable as the petting zoo day but it will be almost as cute (have you seen the candy inflatables?). So come to our pool party, float on a donut, sip on a soda, eat an icecream and swan around the pool perimeter looking fabulous. Perhaps float on a giant cupcake or splash a mate in the face – most of all come and support each other in a space where compliments are welcome and competition is not! Gents and gals of every age are of course are invited!

For more details about Candifornia Pool Party on Saturday April 18, head to our event guide listing.

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