Please introduce yourself and tell us how you got into photography?
I am Troy Goodall, an advertising photographer based in Auckland, also working in Australia and Asia. I was your average kiwi boy who had dreams of becoming an astronaut, a policeman and then I eventually settled on becoming a chef till I was 15 and I came home from school one day then my Dad gave me an Olympus OM10 (that a friend of his no longer wanted). I shot a few unsuccessful rolls of film, became obsessed and I decided that I was now going to be a Photographer.
Who (or what) would you say influences you and your photographic style?
My photographic style is influenced by life.
What are you thoughts about getting a formal education in photography? Would you recommend against it?
Formal education totally depends on the person. I studied but struggled with what I wanted to make and the expectations of the tutors at times. I can't say it wasn't worth it as I was offered a full-time studio job right out of Uni based on our final exhibition. But I also think the hands on experience that assisting gives is a great way to start a career. And if I had known more about it at the time of leaving school I probably would have just jumped on that.
At what point did you realise that photography is what you wanted to do as a career?
I knew I wanted to make a career out of photography the day I developed my first roll of 35mm black and white film in the darkroom. So much anticipation to see the images only to have overexposed the whole roll. That moment of disappointment and frustration got me hooked.
How do you go about connecting with your portrait subjects? What have you learned about that topic over the years?
When I shoot portraits simplicity is my best friend. I try not to get overwhelmed with technical details. My approach is not to 100% show who that person is but I often imagine that I were them and construct a narrative in my head about how I would feel if that were my life. I give a little direction to start and as I am able to shoot and see how and what's working I get stuck on a pose and spend time on it. Often this is a gut feeling rather than stopping and reviewing what's been shot.
Is there a genre you prefer working most on?
I love working with people so there is not really one genre I prefer, it's more about the subject matter.
What has been your favourite project/work to date?
Personally, I am enjoying working on a current project photographing kids with chicken pox. It's a little weird and uncomfortable especially when it is not your own kids but has lots of challenges that create these little pressure shoots that can be quite intense. My favorite projects are generally the ones I am currently working on.
What was your first camera, and what equipment do you shoot with these days?
My first camera was an Olympus OM10 with a 50mm prime, which I still have. These days I am shooting with Nikon, either the D5 or D810 and Profoto lighting.
How would you describe your photography to someone who has never seen it?
I would describe my photography as simple and emotive. Simplicity is a big part of my process whether that’s in planning or within the actual image I am trying to make. I am always trying to break down larger components of the job or image to smaller parts so that the process becomes easier to deal with. And means you can be more flexible. Simplicity for whatever that means is a theme that has carried throughout all my work and I am often removing elements and stripping back from where I start.
Your dream project?
My dream project would be a trip around the world shooting whatever I wanted.
How important is it to adapt and reinvent yourself as a photographer to keep up with the latest technological advancements?
I think it's important to stay up with the technological advances in the photo industry but not to the detriment of your work. All the gear these days at a professional level can really do pretty much most jobs. If you have systems that you love and work you don't need much else. It can be pretty overwhelming the number of new gadgets popping up daily.
You are one of the most established photographers in New Zealand today. How did you land your first photographic job and how did it go?
I landed my first photographic job by winning the Canon Young Photographer of the Year award in my 3rd year of uni. Part of the prize included a paid editorial for Metro magazine. I think it went well. It was shot on Medium format film and I didn't over expose it that time.
Your conceptual photography series involves a fair bit of post-processing. Do you carry this out yourself or prefer working with a team for this?
Any time a substantial amount of post processing is involved I outsource to specific people depending on the work required.
What advice do you have for an aspiring photographer looking to follow in your footsteps?
Advice, make the work you want to make and be prepared to have no said to you. Then keep making the work you want to make.