With hair as bright and colourful as her photographs, exotic Vietnamese heritage and artist inspiration behind the naming of her daughter, I bet you can guess who this interview is in honour of?
It’s amazing where the simple art of capturing your offspring via smart phone or camera lens can take you, and for one Mum in particular it has sparked not only online renown but a career in photography. Thu Pham-Moore, affectionately known by her Insta Moniker Thuie, has garnered an incredible social media following with her uniquely creative illustrated series, so called ‘Banskii Antics’. Transforming regular, though expertly styled, shots of her baby girl, Banksii, into funny, cute and relevant mini-stories has seen Thuie’s star rise exponentially through the Insta-sphere!
“Being a parent I had numerous photos sitting on my phone doing nothing and the thought came to me when I was nursing Banksii,” says Thu. “It was only meant to be a one-off thing but friends and family encouraged me to do more and that’s how the #banskiiantics series started. It’s been so fun drawing different scenarios and it’s been quite addictive, 20 months later I’m still drawing!” Drawing her daughter into ski lift adventures, a weekend at Coachella, disastrous supermarket shopping exploits and more, Thuie’s knack for capturing the spirit of possibility, adventure and relatable events in everyday #mumlife is what keeps her 13.9k-strong audience coming back for more. “People talk or should I say pictures do,” she says. “Social Media has helped my professional growth in avenues that I would not have thought to be a part of, for example, product photography. 80% of my work derives from social media and I have nothing but love for Instagram community.”
Pretty pictures and her passion for them have driven Thuie’s creative journey. With a background in fashion design it’s not hard to see why those pretty pictures revolve around apparel and their endless possibilities. “Fashion has always held a special place in my heart,” says Thu, “once I knew I was having a girl, I was ecstatic. Playing dress ups have never been so much fun. Money that was spent on me is now being spent on her.” Adding to her illustrative repertoire, Thuie added expertly crafted flat lays to her online oeuvre, theming the magnificent outfits that we would later see modelled by baby Banksii. “I follow so many great brands and other influencers so naturally I’m exposed to all these wonderful clothes out there. Instagram is the perfect place to do some serious damage to the wallet.”
Acting as brand rep to a number of those brands in the early days certainly gave Thuie a step up in solidifying her relationships with Australian businesses and opened many doors. One iconic Aussie brand in particular came a knocking after Thuie incorporated their trademark Wondersuits into Banksii’s wardrobe. “After tagging them in a few photos and being reposted by Bonds, I was directly contacted about becoming a Bonds Blogger,” says Thu. “It’s a wonderful feeling when a household name sees your work in a favourable way.” From there her repute has only grown, and she recently added a regular spot on The Ministry of Talent team, a feature in The Huffington Post and an interview on a radio breakfast show.
“People contact me either for product shoots or illustrations,” says Thu of where her social media journey has taken her professionally. “I do get a lot of mums asking me to do illustrations over photos of their kids. It’s a real mix and I love that I can’t get bored.” As for what the future holds, #banksiiantics are still very much on Thu’s agenda. “Something that I’ve thought about but still working out the logistics,” she says of incorporating her beautiful Alaskan Malamutes Utah and Iowa into an extended series of her famed illustrations, though she admits “shooting with a kid is one thing but keeping an animal still enough is another!”
Everything about Thuie speaks of excitement, creativity and individuality, a sense of self she has conveyed with perfection through her collection of captured moments that showcase her eye for colour, style and what makes a great picture. “I’m a live-in-the-moment kind of gal and that’s what I want to show through the emotions of my photography,” says Thu.