How I became a Photographer
I was never one of those people who knew from the first day of high school what I wanted to do. You know those people. We’ve all had friends in high school who were set on becoming a lawyer, neuroscientist, or physics teacher all the way through high school. Their whole student life was dedicated to getting the best marks in each subject, so they could go on to study their desired field, and then ultimately get a high-paying job at a well known, prestigious and respected company.
I knew some of those people. Maybe it’s a commonality among more science oriented subjects, whereas artistic and creative people have a harder time settling on one subject or knowing what they want to do in their life.
Whatever it is, I could always imagine (and still can) doing a wide variety of things (people call it multi-passionate). So, not having a set direction to go in once I graduated high school, I set out to travel New Zealand. I got a one-way ticket and a working holiday visa, made friends in a country half-way across the world, picked blueberries and kiwifruit, and put on a good amount of weight working at a small cookie shop in Christchurch. ;)
Somewhere along the way my dad mentioned photojournalism to me. It sounded intriguing. I looked into it. All I could find online were some non-encouraging posts from people telling me that it would be a hard field to get into.
Nevertheless, the idea stuck, and I ultimately got into one of the best photojournalism and documentary photography courses in London. While studying I spent considerable amounts of time learning avenues related to publishing and branding, wrote, photographed and designed a magazine as part of the course, and created photo essays.
While still at uni, I also figured I should build up a blog and business, so that I wouldn’t end up getting a random job (working at McDonalds?) after graduating, like I could foresee so many people doing that didn’t have a plan. I had to make it work, because one thing I always knew for sure was that I could never see myself being employed working for someone else.
I started blogging, sharing my photography knowledge online, got a few initial clients, hosted workshops on photography, and built up a considerable Pinterest following. It still wasn’t quite enough to support a life in London, but once I graduated and met my back-then co-founder, we started a content marketing agency, and it all started to grow. We gradually hustled our way through the London food scene, getting clients that I would do the photography for, while my co-founder was focused on strategy and writing.
About a year in, I got my visa for Australia approved and moved to Melbourne. So there I was, pretty much starting from scratch again. It wasn’t easy, but I stuck with it. Over the last few years (including my time in London) I’ve worked across various fields of photography - starting out in documentary photography, then interiors and lifestyle photography for mostly startups and co-working spaces, food photography, weddings, portraits and travel.
While “figuring out my path” (I don’t believe we’re ever done figuring out our path, but we continually evolve and morph, change and adapt), I continuously spent time learning about branding and psychology (applied to business and entrepreneurship), got to meet plenty of startups, founders and entrepreneurs, and experimented with a few different business ventures along the way myself.
The psychology of branding has always fascinated me. Throughout that whole journey, it feels like I’ve been led to where I am now - specialising in personal brand photography for entrepreneurs and influencers.
I know the entrepreneurial world. I know branding. I know documentary photography (which basically includes every single area of photography), and I know how to make people feel at ease in front of the camera, while blending in and working “as if the camera isn’t even there”.
It’s the perfect blend of my skills and passions.
Finding your path and journey to your current situation isn’t straightforward. I don’t think it ever is. Even this story is a very rough summary of how I got to where I am right now. I didn’t include plenty of the entrepreneurial paths I embarked on (sustainable female hygiene products, a health, fitness and hormone programme for women, minimal sustainably designed products, a jam business, painting + drawing, gym towels, lingerie, a travel magazine, and even another content marketing agency, among many).
Lots of experiences which have led to this current situation and which have been beneficial in so many ways, teaching me and adding to my skill set, which I can now apply to Personal Brand Photography.
I hope this gives you a bit more insight into me and my photography journey. I believe it’s important to know the person behind the camera if you’re going to be in front of that camera. It builds a connection and leads to a more personal experience :)
What’s your story and journey so far? Let me know on Instagram.
Want free photos?
You can get them right here.