Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.
I only smoke after yoga & medieval reenactments & think banana yogurt is largely underrated. I’m obsessed with trying to reveal the human soul by creating interesting, layered, texture photographs. I have no fixed boundaries or rules, style or format to my photography work – basically anything goes. So long as I’m following the emotions on a shoot the rest will just fall into place, somehow! (I say with my fingers crossed behind my back). I shoot anything with people, Families, Weddings, Editorials and Commercial. I’ve also had a few exhibitions for my creative mixed media works. I’ve been in business for 6 years (but whilst raising 3 children – so in the real world, that’s more like 1 year right!) in Indonesia, Malaysia and now Australia.
What makes you the most nervous during a session?
That question needs to be what DOESN’T make me nervous! So, yeah,basically everything, and especially the irrational nervous are the strongest. I’ve been known to throw up on the way to weddings, forget own name (no joke) and think up a million-an’-one reasons why I’ll have to cancel the shoot. But that’s great – fear is good, it keeps me sharp and interested. It also makes me prep real hard. I know everything about the family before I meet them, and I don’t mean I’ve made them answer a tone of questions via email (this works for some people but not for me, for me that doesn’t make me feel close, it’s like having answers to stuff but I don’t understand how I got there so its meaningless). I chat on the phone about everything and anything rambling, just letting the chat drift into everything I need to know. I also visualize the shoot, frame by frame, I visualize the laughter, the stupid jokes, the hand movements, how Dad doesn’t quite know where to put his eyes (again, I don’t write down a shoot list anymore – I used to, but now I just play it like a film in my mind) so by the time I do the shoot, it’s almost like a re shoot. I think if I stopped getting nervous I would probably quit.
What about this session was most memorable?
The end of the shoot, when we all just lay down, me included and talked about Michelle’s catering business. We talking how food really is a symbol of love, about our joint joy for fresh coriander, Greek yogurt and lentils all the time subconsciously playing with the yellow flowers which then turned into a ‘thing’ in the shoot.
Were there any hurdles?
Not massively – the wind had dropped so we had to create alot of the movement ourselves and the watermelon keep getting dropped in the sand which brought on some tears.
Your best photographer/session advice?
Get close, and I don’t just need physically, emotionally to. Become part of the family, make them basically adopt you so when you suggest the crazy nobody feels uncomfortable. Have a vision of the shoot before you rock up but be open and fluid to the changes in front of you. Take, Your, Time. I write ‘slow down’ on the back of my hand to remind myself. Bring yourself. That sounds dumb, but I mean be open and show yourself so your clients can be open back, it only works both ways. Remember your clients have seen your work, and they want you, not a carbon copy of someone else, so be true. Be experimental, be brave, don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never done before at a client shoot, it might turn out rubbish then you don’t have to show them those few frames or it might turn out EXTRAORDINARY.
What is one goal for your business ?
Oh soooo many goals. We only moved to Australia last year, with no family, no help and no childcare so all the goals got thrown out the airplane window on the way over unfortunately, but I’m slowly getting them back. My goal for this year is to exhibit again, I have to skip it last year and to move my session work in-line with my creative artwork. I’ve got so many ideas how to do this, but so little time. I also want to be more open and help more photographers by being passionate/ blunt and honest. I’m not sure my bluntness will make me a very good teacher though, ha ha ha! But the MAIN goal is not to go mad in the process and to know and respect myself enough to allow myself some grace. I’m pretty hard on myself so I’m not sure how easy thats going to be!
What gear was used to achieve these?
Nikon D810 and Sigma 35mm. Normally I swap between the 24mm and 50mm but I’m finding at beach sessions it’s easier just to use the one lens. A prism and in camera Double Exposure
Any presets used or hand editing?
Never use presets, all hand edited. I’m a firm believer that pre-purchased presets, created by someone else shouldn’t become our voice.