“It was during dinner one evening just before the first publication of my photographs that Helmut asked me what name I intended to use. Jean Seberg and her Spanish boyfriend, Ricardo, were among the guests and Ricardo… asked for an atlas which I produced. He opened it to the map of Australia, asked for a pin, told me to shut my eyes and aim. The pin landed at the center of The Continent—Alice Springs. ‘There’s your name,’ he said.”
Her own photographic oeuvre began with a bout of influenza suffered by Helmut Newton in Paris in 1970. June Newton had her husband show her how to handle the camera and light meter and in his place photographed an advertisement for the French cigarette brand Gitanes. The portrait of the smoking model would be the jumpstart of a new career. In the early 1970s, Alice Springs shot several campaigns for the French hair stylist Jean Louis David; the photographs appeared under her byline as full-page ads in renowned fashion magazines. 1974 saw the first Alice Springs cover image adorning French Elle.
Alice Springs does more than document the appearance of celebrities and anonymous contemporaries; she captures their charisma, their aura. Her eye for people is mostly concentrated on people’s faces. Occasionally she narrowly frames her subjects in a half- or three-quarters’ length portrait, where the hands receive special attention as well. It might be that her deep knowledge of acting helps, how to simultaneously look at and beyond the human façade. This is particularly evident in her double portraits, in which the protagonists’ interaction is perfectly staged.
In 2012, June Newton was honoured as an Officier des Arts, Lettres et Sciences in Paris.
Maconochie Photography is the sole worldwide representative for syndication and licensing for Alice Springs.