Getting To Know Vagabond Photographic Creative Guide Nush Freedman
Hey, my name is Nush (like bush but with an N) I am a 24 year old underwater photographer, presenter and content creator living in Exmouth Western Australia.
What excites you about getting out there and creating?
The ocean is definitely what inspires me to get out there and create. I love documenting marine life and hope that by doing this people will want to protect all of the amazing creatures that live in our oceans. Marine life is also so full of surprises and this excites me. Coming face to face with a humpback whale or up close and personal with a whale shark feeding gives me a feeling like no other and taking a snapshot which saves a moment in time of these incredible creatures will never get old. I love creating as you have the ability to change people's perspectives and how they see the world.
What fascinates you about the ocean?
The ocean has forever been my home. Where I come to escape, adventure and learn. I love the way the water moves, the people you meet who also feel a deep connection to the seas and all of the life under the surface. I have always felt drawn to the water and I can even remember the first time I went snorkeling. I was in coral bay on the Ningaloo Reef. I put my face in the water aged 3 and as soon as I saw the beauty of fish and corals below I stuck my head out and said to me mum “ Did you see what's down there Mum”. It felt like a secret that I had to share and I guess that's what fascinates me about the ocean, all of its hidden secrets just waiting to be unlocked.
Over the last few years, what type of photography/videography have you been doing?
My photography journey really only began for me about 3 years ago. I like many others just started with a Gopro and 50/50 dome port. Every day after work I used to go off exploring on the reef and take photos and videos of the smallest things (and yes probably even sea cucumbers) just to practice freediving, lighting and interacting with wildlife underwater. From there my love for photography grew and grew and I now shoot with a Canon 5D mark iii in an Aquatica housing. I have now done a lot of different photography and videography including weddings, lifestyle shoots, promotional videos and documentary pieces. My day to day job at the moment is working as a photographer on board a whale shark and humpback whale tour boat (@Ningaloodiscovery) and it’s a dream getting to swim with these creatures and photograph them on the daily. Over the last year I have also been doing a bit of directing and presenting and was lucky enough to be selected as a presenter for National Geographic on their show Only in Australia. While I wasn’t behind the camera on this one I learnt heaps about directing and shooting for documentary style work. Getting into directing is something I am really interested in and would love to do more of this in the future.
Projects I am working on at the moment?
At the moment my partner and I are working on a project for Marine Parks Australia on Lord Howe Island. We were lucky enough to travel there earlier in the year and spend almost every day in the water. We are working on a 15 minute documentary which shows the beauty of the Lord Howe Marine Park, the research being conducted there and how Marine Parks keeps this island as Pristine as it is.
What type of gear are you using at the moment and what do you wish you had?
At the moment I am using a Canon 5d Mark iii in an Aquatica housing. I also have a Gopro that I put on top of my housing for quick filming when you have only a second to push a button. I would love to upgrade to a Panasonic Gh5, this is what my partner uses and it's such an epic camera for both film and photography. It's also super lightweight so great for traveling.
What are your sources of inspiration? Has there been types of photography you would like to move on from?
I get inspiration from a lot of things, the ocean, all wildlife, people and definitely my partner Andre. He’s a guru and definitely the first person I ask for advice for both photography and Videography advice. I also get super inspired by the Australian bush and one of my nicknames is “Nushy in the Bushy” hahaha. I spent a lot of time living in a national park in Exmouth WA and the bush and Australian outback is now a part of my soul. At the moment I am loving surf photography, specifically girls grinding on longboards! I love the way the boards move through the water and watching the girls use their twinkle toes walking up and down the board is so magical. I have done a few product shoots with materials I am not super stoked on. When I work for brands I really only want to work with products/services that are ethical, environmentally friendly and are trying to do good for our planet. I don't think I will work with brands or services in the future that don’t have the same ethical values as me.
What is the worst piece of advice you have heard given to someone that wants to make a career out of photography?
To be honest I have been really lucky and have mostly had so much help with my career! I feel super lucky to be surrounded by some serious guru photographers who have helped guide me in the right direction. The worst piece of advice I have been given, however, is that you have to do lots of stuff for free before you will get booked for any jobs. I think volunteering is important and I am definitely always keen to help out friends or shoot for worthy causes for the environment (a lot of scientific research projects don't get much funding for example) but I think it’s really important to know you worth. If you are providing a quality service, professional gear and delivering what is asked you should be paid properly like every other job!
If there was one destination you could travel to and photograph where would it be?
The top pick of my list at the moment is Africa. It has always been a dream of mine to go and see all of the beautiful animals and explore the African bushland. Going on safari would be an absolute dream and I would love to immerse myself in a completely different culture. There are also some incredible freediving spots on the African coastline I would love to go to with some pretty untouched wildlife. Another spot high on my list is Hawaii, the marine life is out of control and it's a great spot to practice all different kinds of underwater photography.
Where can we follow your work? (Website / Social)
You can see my work on instagram at @nushfreedman. I am currently getting things together for a website so this should be up and running soon!