Inspired by his father, a press photographer for 25years at the Daily Express in the UK. Sean McCabe hopped behind the lens 28 years ago and hasn't looked back. Based in Auckland Sean works mostly in the commercial, public relations and corporate sector, photographing people in their working environments. He also enjoys shooting architecture, in particular construction work.
Where are you based?
I have a studio in Penrose - Auckland, but I also work on location a lot so my car is my other office. I travel NZ wide for jobs.
How long have you been a photographer?
I have been a photographer for approx 28years. My Father started the business in the 1980's, he was a press photographer for the Daily Express in the UK for 25yrs before that.
Tell us a little about your style of photography.
Most of my work fits into the commercial, illustrative and corporate genres. I started in PR which has changed a lot over the years. It's now about corporate communication. I shoot mainly people in business and the products and services they produce. I also enjoy some architectural photography in particular in construction.
What gear do you use? I shoot Canon.
I use a 5DmkII which I've thrown a lot at and it stands up well. I use speedlites, pocket wizards with gels/modifiers and Bowens lighting in the studio.
What is/has been your greatest challenge as a photographer?
Being a business-man as well as a photographer, always being mindful of the business side does change the way you think and approach jobs. But maintaining the business to stay employed as a photographer is the biggest challenge.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
I did a job in Hong Kong one year. My client sent their staff of nearly 300 on a week long trip there for a conference and workshops. They also had a few days of down time, I went along and covered what they did.
If not a photographer, where would you see yourself?
Well I have 5 kids ranging from 4-19yrs, so I'd probably just be home with them. I'd go dirt-biking everyday, or might give farming a try. I studied as a carpenter in my teens before I went into photography, not sure if I'd like to do that for a living now though.
If the chance arose, who or what would you most like to photograph?
I'd like to take a photo of the Earth. I think the journey getting there would be quite something. I'd also like to do a study of the different ethnicities of people round the world and show them in a set together.
What tips or advice do you have for budding photographers?
If you're going to make a successful career in photography, you have to learn how to be good at the business side. Doing a business course or degree I think is a good idea.
Has the advent of digital been beneficial or detrimental to professional photographers?
We as professional photographers have lost that mystic "of the little black box" which we used to take away and bring pictures back to our clients. Imagery now is so instant and accessible to everyone, but I think it's kept us all in the game. Film was expensive, material intensive and time consuming. Digital has enabled us to keep viable.
Can you see clients moving from stills to video, with the advent of HD video capabilities in digital SLRs?
Yes, I have started to converge a little bit. I have shot two videos in the last two months. I think the fence that was up between stills photographers and videographers is starting to come down and we're starting to do the same things. I think the difference will end up being between the portable guys and the 'big rig' video guys.
Are you a fan of using a flash in photography?
Yes, most definitely. I utilise flash in a lot of my work.
What meal would you cook to impress somebody?
I have made quite a few desserts lately for a marriage course I was running with my wife. One was choc mousse, with a toffee spoon. Another was a half-pear, cored, baked and glazed, with a pistachio cone filled with coffee ice cream in the middle. My home-made pizza's always go down a treat too!
What do you do to get away from the grind/to de-stress when things get too hectic?
I really enjoy dirt-bike riding, it's the total change of scenery and departure that I like.
Visit Sean's Website here