From a very young age I had always been interested in the creative arts.
I was always that kid at school drawing random pictures in the back of my text books, or getting excited at the prospect of having an assignment due with any hint of artistic element. Anything that could set my creativity loose, I loved.
Painting, drawing, graphics, crafts, they had all been of immense interest to me, (even though I was never really that great at doing them!)
Photography however, was not something I had ever considered, or really even thought much about until my years as a teenager.
My early inspirations
When I was 14, my parents took my brother and I on an around the world trip. It was the first time I had ever really travelled, ever been overseas, and it was also the first time I’d ever really held a camera in my hand.
Well, apart from one time at school camp when I was 11. My parents had gifted me a disposable film camera and for some reason I had thought it was fun to continuously open the back of the camera, where the film was constantly being exposed to the light.
(The photos not surprisingly, didn’t turn out well.)
Anyway, the start of my photography career evidently was not a successful one. Maybe that’s why I never had much interest again until I forced to carry around my Dad’s camera bag overseas.
I started taking photos, and I decided I liked it. I don’t know whether it was the subject matter that I loved, or whether I loved the feeling of being behind the camera and creating something new.
Either way it was a new hobby that decidedly gained interest quickly.
After I returned home, I remembered having a much more keen interest in photography.
I began browsing internet sites searching for new inspiration after school daily. Sites like DeviantART and Flickr were pulling me further into the photography realm. Especially because this was a time, potentially the first time, that young people were able to create their works of art and post them on the internet.
I began to discover so many people my own age who were posting incredible photography. Amazing and conceptual pieces of work that appealed to me in a way I had never considered before.
Searching for the right camera
I then decided I needed a camera. I had been gifted a small digital Sony camera the previous Christmas which I had used to experiment with, however I decided that I would buy an SLR camera. The Canon 400D had just been released and I knew that I wanted it more than anything.
So I begged my parents, and they bought me the camera, with the expectation of me paying the money back to them through working at my casual retail job.
Immediately after buying the 400D I began to realise that it wasn’t the camera that would magically make me a great photographer.
So I experimented… alot.
I started to take more self portraits, and tested out my Photoshop post-processing skills as well. Looking back to that time now, I really liked to edit my photos excessively and I’m definitely glad my retouching skills have improved since!
Struggling as an introvert
As I was a very shy teenager, as much as I wanted to start photographing people and models, I could never have imagined organising a photo shoot at that time and having to converse with complete strangers. (It was legitimately my worst nightmare!)
So I continued with self-portraits, and portraits of family and friends. Eventually I built up the courage to start doing photography assisting for weddings, then soon realised that genre wasn’t really for me.
I then tried out photographing families and babies, and even actors head shots. I tried photographing landscapes and travel scenarios.
But with all of those genres I tried, I felt like I was being confined. It felt as if my creativity wasn’t as free as it should have been.
My First Photo Shoot
I organised my first photo shoot with a model in December 2010. I was 19 and had been doing photography for nearly 4 years already. I’d finally built up the courage to organise a photo shoot through Model Mayhem.
Surprisingly it went really well! (Apart from the torrential rain and leeches we encountered on the mountain location.) However the model was very nice, and she wasn’t very experienced herself, so that definitely put me a bit at ease!
It was a snow white themed photo shoot, and I loved every minute of photographing. It finally felt like my creativity had been set free again, and it started the ball rolling for photo shoots in the years to come. After that photo shoot, I never looked back.
It was sometime during the following year that I realised conceptual photography had a strong presence within fashion photography. I knew nothing about fashion at the time, but the thought of having creative freedom really excited me. And it had finally given me career direction for the first time with photography. It was a long road in my fashion photography journey from there, (but I think that’s another blog post all-together!)
So fast-forward 14 years later and here I am today. A 28 year old beauty and fashion photographer with no regrets. Even though it might have been a more sensible idea to give up along the way, or not bother with such inconsistent income, I kept going. And I’m proud to say that photography has now had a presence for half of my lifetime.
I hope with this blog that I am able to inspire you all. Maybe not always with images, but with words of support and motivation. I hope that I can help guide people who are struggling with their creativity or their businesses, as it’s something that’s given my career a much larger meaning, particularly with being on YouTube for the past 5 years.
Until the next time, I hope you have all enjoyed my first post! Thanks for reading x