Simeon Patience is an Auckland based photographer who works mainly in the advertising field. He loves studio and flash lighting, using it greatly in his work. He's a keen mountain biker, and also likes to shoot it for Spoke Magazine.
Where are you based?
I live and work in Auckland.
How long have you been a photographer?
Ever since I finished my Studies at Uni pretty much, so that's about 10 years now.
Tell us a little about your style of photography.
Well for the last 4 years it's been very commercial and big client focused. While working for the advertising agency .99, I've been honing my skills in the studio, there is lots of lighting on set. I miss the outdoors a bit, but I still get out and shoot mountain-biking for Spoke Magazine. It's a great change from the daily studio work.
What gear do you use?
For cameras I shoot on Canon, and for lighting I shoot with Broncolor.
What is/has been your greatest challenge as a photographer?
There are many day-to-day challenges that come with problem solving in a technical way, but that stuff becomes second nature after a while. So I'd have to say that being put out of my comfort zone is the biggest challenge, the mental game is tricky for me sometimes. I was sent on assignment to China to shoot for 14 days straight with full on 12-14 hour days. That was as much a fitness/mental test as it was a photographic one. But challenges like that also bring me the most satisfaction we had a great time.
What do you feel has been your greatest photographic achievement to date?
I don't really put it down to one defining moment because for me it's more about the day to day. I feel making a career out of photography is a big achievement in itself.
If not a photographer, where would you see yourself?
Well this is a really good question because before I was considering my moves to shoot for a living I was going to be an architect or a product designer. Still would like to go down one of these paths one day. My family has a big architectural/design influence on me.
If the chance arose, who or what would you most like to photograph?
This is interesting; it's like saying if you won lotto what would you do. I think id like to photograph the very talented Clint Eastwood. Don't ask me why, its just a dream anyway right?
What tips or advice do you have for budding photographers?
Don't do it… nah I think if you're in love with image making then follow the dream. There are many avenues to photography, just make sure you choose one that your passionate about, be it wildlife, sports or fashion just focus on it and make it work.
Has the advent of digital been beneficial or detrimental to professional photographers?
This was once an issue for me but because digital cameras are so good now we can't look back, and in particularly with advertising work and its fast turn around we rely on it no end. Plus I'm a fan of post production work too, its really a nice process when you figure it all out.
Can you see clients moving from stills to video, with the advent of HD video capabilities in digital SLRs?
Definitely, I've already have seen this happen in some respects. People still need images but they like both now. It's sometimes tricky because the days shot list will double in size to accommodate the video side of it.
Are you a fan of using flash in your work?
I think the real question here is how many or which flash do I use. I love the control you can get with flash lighting on everything from little products to big cars in the studio, flash all the way.
If you can change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Too many things really, lets start with making 3-day weekends standard practice.
What do you do to get away from the grind/to de-stress when things get too hectic?
During the week I definitely need to de-stress, so I'll jump on my road bike for a few hours after work. Then when the weekend comes around I'll take the mountain bike out to Woodhill or Rotorua. I think people don't put enough emphasis on this side of their lives. It's really an important thing. Once you've burnt yourself out it takes a long time to crawl back.
Who has been your greatest influence / role model?
My family and friends are the best, as well as a few people who have encouraged me photographically, Victor Carter is one of those amazing people who can get the best out of you. Cheers Vic for the push in the rite direction.
Check out Simeon's website here