Q&A

-How did you first become interested in photography?

I bought my first Polaroid camera when I was 12 and was given a 35 mm film SLR and a 1-megapixel digital camera shortly after. My best friend and I were in ballet and loved dressing up and doing photo shoots of each other. I wanted to be a model, but as I got older, I realised I was more comfortable and talented behind the camera than in front of it.

-What words best describe your style of photography?

Ethereal. Emotional. Intimate. Abstract. Modern. Arty.

-Is there a theme or concept that runs throughout all of your work?

I don’t consider everything I create to be conceptual, but I’m always interested in relationships and hope that comes across in my work. Whether that be relationships between subjects in the photograph, me and the model, or just spatial relationships within the composition.

-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot?

This year I’ve gone completely film which is exciting, so I only bring my 35 mm Olympus OM1 and the 3 lenses I have for it; 35 mm f/2.8, 50 mm f/1.4 and 85 mm f/2. I also bring various Polaroid and Fuji Instax with me which I love.

-You describe your work as ‘Fashion Inspired – Film Portraiture’. What exactly does this mean to you?

I don’t think you could classify my work as simply fashion photography, but I certainly get most of my ideas from looking at great fashion photographs. Most of my subjects aren’t signed models so this brings a certain realness to the images. Essentially my images are portraits, more about the individual than the clothing.

-You studied photography full-time. What are the advantages to pursuing photography in this way?

I think for me there were advantages because I’m a fairly technical person and I wanted to know as much about photography as I could before launching into it as a business. I also learned to think like an artist which I believe comes across in my work perhaps a little more than someone who didn’t study art. However, in this industry I don’t think formal education is always necessary, it just depends on personality and drive. I know many amazingly talented artists and photographers who didn’t study formally.

-What is your post-production workflow like?

When shooting film, there isn’t much post production needed thankfully (unless you’re scanning your own negatives which I no longer do) I typically get my scans back from my lab (shoutout to Dunwoody Photo!), bring them into Lightroom, tweak colours and contrast slightly and export them to Dropbox for easy sharing. I’d much rather be shooting than post processing so that’s one reason I switched to film.

-What is your dream project?

I would love to shoot an editorial for Vogue.

-What is your approach to lighting like? How do you achieve your look?

My approach to lighting is generally very natural and intuitive whether I’m actually using the sun as my primary source or not. For instance, I might put a strobe outside and shoot it through the window of the room I’m in so it emulates natural light. Lately however, I’ve been experimenting with harsh on-camera flash or mixing tungsten light with natural light, just playing around to see what I can come up with. I hope my style can be defined more through the feeling of my image than the type of lighting since the latter isn’t always consistent.

-How do you go about posing and direct your subjects? What techniques do you find works best?

I’m a very quiet person by nature so I usually preface my shoots by telling my models, “I might not say much but that means I’m loving what you’re doing.” I try to let their personality come through and then, once we get comfortable, I direct the posing a little or tell them to take deep breaths and just relax. If the project is conceptual, I’ll give them a little backstory to the character I’m having them reenact, or tell them a certain feeling to portray.

-Do you see your work as documentary, commercial or art based?

I definitely come from an art-based background and I hope my work is always viewed as art, but I’m hoping to cross the line into more commercial work as well. That’s why I love editorial fashion photography because it merges art and commercial so well.

-What was the best career advice you were ever given?

’Shoot through it.’ It’s really great life advice too. Being in art school helped me view photography and my art and as a job that I needed to work at daily, not wait for inspiration to strike. Becoming a great artist isn’t about talent or luck, but about how much time and effort you put into it.