Seniors Photography ~ Sunshine Coast ~ Queensland Australia

‘To love beauty, is to see light’

~Victor Hugo~

I am a mum. I am a wife. I am a nurse. I am a lover of light.

My love affair with ‘light’ started from an early age. I used to lie in bed, snuggled under the blankets and watch the particles of dust gently float through the rays of sunlight that streamed through my bedroom window. My sister Katy called it ’fairy dust’. Everywhere I went I saw light that I wanted to capture forever. My Mum was a beautiful photographer. Through her I began to ’see’ all the different types of light and quickly learnt how to’read’ it {without the use of a light meter}. It proved to be a valuable skill and one I’m very grateful to have. On reflection, I feel the nicest aspect of learning this way is it became very natural to me. There was never any pressure ‘to get it’, as I didn’t even realise I was learning.

teenage photography water lake sunflare

For many years my focus was on ’staying safe’ and in my comfort zone {shade}. Developing film was expensive and of course there wasn’t Photoshop to assist with editing. Everything that came out of the camera remained as it was. It was nice and stress free. For me everything changed when the digital revolution started. Such a learning curve and of course I’m still learning how could I not? I started by buying a little compact ’point and shoot’camera. It was fun, easy as auto, no lenses to mess about with and I could upload them to the computer and use the basic editing software. It was great as my boys were small, and we were travelling. Eventually however, I knew I could do ‘more’, I was feeling frustrated. To do more I had to return to the SLR camera. With a deep breath I plunged in and brought myself a digital SLR. It wasn’t easy to begin with. Everything was different, lots of buttons and dials, and I’m pretty sure to this day I never got the most out of the camera as I simply didn’t know all of its functions. I found the inbuilt light meter readings way off, so I ended up going on my gut instinct to adjust the aperture, shutter and ISO to achieve correct exposures. Slowly, over the months I got braver. I practised in different light situations; low light, natural ’available’ light and studio. I felt most comfortable using available, natural light and learnt how to use my camera to its maximum to achieve the results I wanted.

girl in lake at sunrise

I think my biggest mistake in the early days, was going full throttle with Photoshop. It wasn’t intentional, in fact I didn’t learn how to use Photoshop for a few years. My friend installed it on my computer and I let it sit there for about two years before I took the plunge. One evening while the boys were sleeping I started playing around with it. Once I’d learnt one skill I wanted to learn more. I never took any formal Photoshop lessons, I’m totally self taught. Like everything I look back at my ’over edited’ pictures and think ’what was I thinking?’ I live in the knowledge that other photographers have done this as well. It’s OK, it’s a learning curve. My advice to any JSO {just starting out} photographer is less is more. Enhance your images and be creative but do it so it doesn’t destroy the natural essence of your image. If you love an image SOOC {straight out of camera} then why change it?

I think developing your own unique style is one of the hardest aspects for the modern photographer to deal with. It is unfortunate, but with your Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr news feeds being bombarded with everyone’s images, it’s easy to become influenced in a particular style. The best advice I received from a fellow photographer was to simply ‘switch off’. Trawling other photographers blogs, websites and facebook pages takes up valuable time, time you could be devoting to developing your own style. It’s important to remember you are not them, you are you. Embrace you. Embrace your style. Own your style. Let it grow naturally with the more experience you gain. The biggest compliment I received was an email from a photographer overseas. She told me she was casually browsing Facebook {oh the irony} when an image of mine came up in her news feed, she didn’t see who posted it but instantly knew it was mine by my ’use of light’ and editing style. I was so excited, I squealed.

girl on chair in lake at sunrise

It is still important to be inspired. I’m inspired by the little things; story books, music, objects {props} my friends and clients. Other photographers also inspire me, my mentor Mikael Wardhana is one of my biggest inspirations, as is Danny Tucker. Both are fashion photographers. This doesn’t mean I want to be a fashion photographer or shoot the way they do, it simply means I adore their work and feel inspired by the little things like their unique use of light.

Finally, I still find it incredible that my love of ‘light’ has led me to where I am now.  They say that if you love what you do, your enthusiasm will radiate through and become infectious. I’m no rock star in the photography world {horrid phase really}, but I hope that by opening up my journey, you will understand that your journey as a photographer is worthwhile and is important. Every photographer has a story. You simply don’t go in to your nearest camera store, buy a $4000 camera and decide to make money out of it. You pick up a camera for a reason. To document your life, your child’s life or that of your friends. You do it to tell a story. It becomes a passion. It becomes a love. It becomes a way of life.

xx Annie xx

{images are from gorgeous Miss Taylor’s early morning senior session}

girl in lake on a chairtaylor moss australia

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