Where are you based?
When did you first pick up a camera and what was it?
The first 'proper' camera I picked up was a little Canon 550D. I just had the kit lenses and a 50mm 1.8 but I learnt so much with that camera.
There are still a few images in my folio that I shot with it which goes to show it's not all about the gear. I did however get to the point where I was pushing the camera and the files to their absolute limits on basically every shoot. That was when I knew an upgrade was definitely in order.
Tell us a little about how you shoot?
I like to keep things quite fluid. I am definitely a roaming photographer - being locked off on a tripod for too long makes me uncomfortable. I am always moving around, shooting high and shooting low, hunting for those magic angles and compositions. Telling stories is one of my major focuses and being able to interact with my environment in an organic way seems to result in the best imagery for me.
What gear do you use?
I recently made the jump over to Nikon from Canon. I researched for a very long time before I did finally decide to switch - the main reason being the crazy things I was hearing about the D750. I just had to get one and see if what everyone was saying was true (It was all true). So that's my main body - it's light enough that I don't get tired holding it on a long shoot and the files do everything I need them to and more. There is seriously a ridiculous amount of latitude in the files it spits out. Lens wise I stick with primes, 35 and 50 are pretty much always on my camera. But I'm looking at switching up my lens selection in the coming months. I'm a firm believer in not overcomplicating things. I'd rather have a smaller kit that I know like the back of my hand than 4 different camera bodies and 12 different lenses. The more natural the camera is to use the more I can focus on getting the best images possible.
I've also got an old Minolta SRT-101. It was my Dad's graduation present so it is getting on in years but I've never had any issues with it. It is built like a tank so I suppose that helps. I picked up a Mamiya 645 1000s fairly recently as well but haven't shot all that much with it (sadly).
If you had to choose only one lens, what would it be and why?
The Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art really is pretty unbelievable.. It would probably have to be that. Being able to shoot at 1.4 with no worry about loss of sharpness is fantastic.
Do you have any thoughts about being younger and entering the industry, do you feel there are any challenges/ do you feel there is a community with emerging photographers? Difficult to gain credibility?
I recently went through the scholarship programme offered by Kingsize and met a bunch of unbelievably talented emerging photographers. It was really nice building up a support network with all those guys. Aside from that I also think there is a good sense of community with the younger photographers - a large part of that I think is down to Instagram. We're all on it regularly and it makes it super easy to see what everyone else is up to. It definitely helps gets rid of some of the disconnect that occurs when everyone is working separately from home or tucked away in offices somewhere. I haven't really encountered any issues with my age so far. I think if you act professionally and deliver images that are of a high standard then it shouldn't matter how old you are.
What is/has been your greatest challenge as a photographer?
Learning the business side of things has been a big learning curve - at the same time though it has been great. Getting a firm grasp on that side of things has been one of the best things for me going forward. It's quite hard starting off - a lot of systems to set up and upfront costs but I feel like I'm moving past that point now which is a really nice feeling.
What do you feel has been your greatest photographic achievement to date?
I had a billboard and bus campaign that was pretty wicked! Walking through the city and seeing my photograph on a huge billboard was pretty surreal. Other than that it's always a buzz when my work gets published - some of the assignments I have shot for Metro have definitely been highlights.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
I studied Graphic Design so I would most likely be doing that. It was only towards the end of my degree that I realised that I was getting more out of photography than design.
Could you describe your dream client/job?
Something with travel and food - it hardly feels like work when that combo is involved. Visually telling the stories around food production is one my favourite things to photograph so anything around those lines. Somewhere tropical wouldn't go amiss either...
What do you enjoy the most about doing what you do?
Every day being totally different is a simply fantastic way to work and live. Meeting a whole bunch of different people is something I really enjoy too - photography does let me access places and talk to people that I never would have been able to without it.
Could you take us through your typical day?
I'll get up usually around 8:30 and try to have a nice leisurely coffee/breakfast without thinking about work. I like to be at my desk at 9 as it makes me feel like I have a real job. It's so hard to think about a typical day as every day I am doing something different. Most days consist roughly of a mix of editing, heading out for meetings, shooting, getting some lunch somewhere, going for a walk. Oh and emails... lots of emails. I try to stop work at 5:30 or else it can just take over - having the evenings to relax is really needed for getting that work/life balance right.
Do you have any tips for emerging photographers?
Be a nice person. This industry is all about relationships - if you are personable and easy to get along with people will want to hire you. Simple as that.
You've also got to get used to the hustle. Work isn't always going to fall into your lap. Keep networking, shoot personal work, promote yourself on social media etc, have coffee with other creatives - it all helps.
What do enjoy doing to take a break from photography, what recharges you?
Shooting personal work is actually one of my big ways I recharge! Just can't escape that camera I guess. Apart from that though, going somewhere for a nice meal or taking a drive out west is a good way to relax for me.
Who motivates or inspires you to keep doing what you do?
Getting home after a shoot, loading up the files and seeing that you've just shot some really wicked stuff. It sounds pretty bad but I guess I inspire myself? When the shot all comes together brilliantly I just want to keep shooting! There are a bunch of guys in Melbourne doing similar work to me that are absolutely killing it. Seeing that stuff pop up always gives me a buzz. A lot of my friends work in the creative industry (graphic designers, artists etc) so bouncing ideas around and chatting with them is always good too.
Do you have an editing playlist? -what's on repeat at the moment?
Oh boy, a pretty massive mix of stuff really. Currently; Tame Impala, The Black Keys, Boy and Bear, Fitz & the Tantrums and Kishi Bashi. Some local lads, Mice on Stilts have been getting some good play time as well.
Where to from here? Do you have anything in the works?
I've got quite a lot on really - a big mix of stuff. I have a few personal projects that are on the go - one about bees and beekeeping. It's a super rewarding project to shoot - getting kitted up in a bee suit and being able to shoot super close is great. I've got some really cool client work coming up too which I'm pretty excited about. I'm also starting to push a slightly different way of working I've called 'picture packages' (You can read about it on my site) - the response has been really good so far!
If you want to see more of Josh's work check him out on these links: