PROFESSIONAL COMMERCIAL SYDNEY PHOTOGRAPHER
Born in Rockhampton, I grew up in Brisbane, I work in Sydney and now live in Wollongong.
Communications are key in so many aspects in life. I love the challenge of creating imagery that conveys a message… subtle, or loud and clear.
I’ve been a professional sydney photographer for nearly all of my working life. I started out in the days of large format film and darkrooms, when a light meter hung around your neck and polaroids were warmed under your arm. Since then there have been massive changes and although the craft have diminished in some ways the challenges have only increased in others. Such as now shooting video which has opened the skill set to becoming a script editor, a director and thinking about colour and movement in rather than static compositions. It’s these ever changing dynamics to the industry that makes the challenge that engages the mind and keeps the passion strong.
I spent the first four years working as an assistant for well known advertising, fashion and corporate photographers. I learnt their tricks, taking bits from here and there to build up my own style. Meantime I worked on my own personal shoots, building a commercial folio to find my own clients. Initially I got work with magazines and was soon shooting full time. Through assisting photographers I knew the big agents in town and was soo signed up myself. Having an agent gave me access to some large clients which was great fun for many years. After a while however, I decided to self produce photoshoots so I could liaise with clients directly. I now organise the talent, locations and handle budgets. Working directly with clients makes things simpler, faster and cheaper.
Looking back I miss the technical skills required before digital cameras. I don’t think I’ve used my light meter for over a decade now. There was more discussion and consideration for the quality of light and how to shape it than you find these days. It just felt more creative with the unknowns. Driving to the lab to check test strip, waiting for a polaroid to develop and telling the client we probably got the shot and that we’d find out in a day or two. Digital has made everything immediate and less about crafting the result from a technical perspective. With digital what we get is the chance to alter, adjust and slowly build up a shot making it stronger. Digital cameras, better flash gear and laptops have made life a photographers, and our clients lives, a lot easier. One of the biggest improvements in technology after the digital camera has simply been the faster flash sync speeds. We can now shoot with flash set to shutter speeds in the thousandths of seconds rather than 1/60th. This allows more creative work outdoors. We can now compete with strong daylight and at the same time get sharp low depth of field. This is big! Controlling the given light in a scene key to good photography. The fast flash sync is one thing that has actually changed what is possible in photography which wasn’t before. Otherwise light still enters from the front and comes out the back.
For me the challenge of seeing opportunity and bring the best out of a scene is where I find the most enjoyment. It’s the creative process of working with the given elements in a scene. Combining the creative and the technical to make something simply more interesting to the eye. Working an angle or finding way to simplify a messy location light is what brings the joy of being a photographer.
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