Mentors and Role Models

To succeed in any career you need a sense of what, when, why and how to do something. My background is slightly obscure as I have had no formal training. I do feel however, I should give a shout out to those who have inspired me and my pursuit to be a successful photographer.

Me beginnings, if you can call it that, start with my with my father, who works for a reputable photographic company (rhymes with ganon), and as a result I was always surrounded by camera equipment. It started with family holidays and progressed through to covering my sisters dance concerts. Having the access and understanding good gear, while not so important in becoming a good photographer, does go so far as to inspire a curious desire to improve and take that next shot, further catalyzing interest and inspiration. but mostly having my dad there certainly made that happen, working with each at dance events to capture different perspectives, and encouraging each other to improve.

My next big inspiration came in the form of a kind of mentor, that was Mark Boyle. We met in unconventional circumstances at a factory in Mt Evelyn making a massive 8 x 4 meter canvas for the motor show. However, Mark was shooting fashion for a dear friend of mine Lowana O'Shea at Vanayanis. I offered to lend mark a hand at a few shoots and the relationship grew from there. Mark has a really amazing sense of light, and how to illuminate models for a great look. He truly pays a great deal of attention to perfectly placing highlights and shadows. I have learnt a great deal from mark about 2 point lighting techniques, especially as far as height and distance. Cut to the present and Mark and I both shoot on a frequent basis for Vanyanis, and I certainly enjoying shooting with him. Mark also teaches photography at Swinburne University, and you can check out his work on Flickr.

The next stage of my learning career came from youtube. There are two in particular I would like to mention, firstly I'd like to mention is Robert Rodriguez Jr. This guy has several videos on framing, shooting and Lightroom basics. His photography and techniques inspired many an early morning wake up to go shoot beautiful sunrises, that and his Lightroom videos are simply stunning. The second I would like to mention is Matt Granger (known as the Nikon Guy when I first subscribed to his channel). This guy has hundreds of info filled videos covering lighting techniques, working with models and running a successful business. I've purchased one of his video series and can testify to it fantastic quality. He is also dedicated to his business, I sent an email asking a question on a late night session and was suprised to get a kind, courteous respond within 15 minutes packed with information. This guy loves teaching, shooting and gear!

Last guy I wanna talk about here is Gerard Assi. This guy is a stunning photographer, I can testify to this as he shot my wedding (you can even see a picture of us on his site!). Just like Mark, I met Gerard years back as he is also and equally amazing guitarist, and we both played a few musicals together. For me, Gerard really excited me to become more than just an amateur shooter. His interaction with clients and professionalism really set the bar high for me to aspire to. Not to mention his incredible knowledge and ability with a camera. This guy really knows his gear inside out, and has been a great friend and mentor throughout the years.

In all, success comes with the networks you surround yourself with. I feel privileged to have been surrounded by these guys mentioned. They have and still do inspire me to push my limits and grow as a photographer. So to them, I say a big thank you. My success is your success.