Love & Water
When did you develop an interest in photography?
Adam: Through an injury when l was 22, I couldn't surf, so l bought a camera and started taking photos of my surfing safari clients, very soon l found myself back in the water but without a board and with a camera in hand.
Shawn: In high school (actual darkroom days?!) I learned to love photography. To be honest, I always found changing film and the development process so tedious but did love watching the photos appear in front of my eyes! When I moved to Australia, I ended up working with Adam as a photographer at Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island. I think it was there I started becoming interested in photographing people. Before photographing portraits, I'd stick to interiors, pets and landscape because truthfully didn't think I had the social skills to interact with people. It snowballed from there, and when I finally got my first Big Girl camera, I took an interest in weddings.
Can you give me a breakdown of the equipment you use and why you selected it?
Adam uses Canon 5D Mark III bodies, and we have a few L lenses as well, 24-70mm, 135mm, and 35mm are our go-to trio unless we're shooting a wedding where we'll use 70-200mm for ceremony shots. Adam also uses Aquatech housings and has for years, they're dependable and allow us to maintain confidence in the water.
Which Photographers inspire you the most?
Adam: Trent Mitchell, Tyler Rye, Luke Shadbolt and Ray Collins
Shawn: I love any photographer who does something different. Lisa (The Wandering Lens) constantly inspires me with her travel photography; I also love the work of Charlotte Curd because those pink tones are so consistently gorgeous and she seems to think out of the box when shooting which is refreshing.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a Photographer?
I think every stage of your business presents different challenges. When you're starting, it's figuring out how to make a living using the talent you've learned or have been given. When you're more established the biggest challenge for us is staying inspired, being sure we are shooting what makes us happy and not just to pay the bills (although that's a huge part of it). Staying on top of our game and not becoming comfortable has been a big one.
What inspires your creative vision?
Our family is the driving force behind every decision we make. If we're feeling stuck creatively, it filters down to our work, we become less inspired, and shooting starts to feel like a chore. We regularly try to think of new ideas for our business that keep us feeling fresh because we know it makes us want to work on something we love to do, which means we want to work harder on stuff we love. That motivates us to get more business, allowing us the flexibility to spend time with our kids and one another as we can make our own agenda. So, in many ways, our creative vision is inspired simply by love!
How would you describe your photography style?
True to ourselves. Salty :)
How do you think social media has changed the photography industry?
In a way it's made it more accessible, most of our bookings come from social media. At the same time, we've noticed there's so much amazing work out there it can be tough to feel as if you stand out enough.
Do you have a favourite destination to shoot?
Anywhere there's an ocean in sight!
What is it like working as a couple?
It's really fun most days. Adam does our shoots, and I do the editing, so it allows a lot of flexibility looking after our family which is most important to us. We don't shoot together anymore which I miss sometimes, but we get to spend a lot of time with one another still.
You split your time between Hawaii and Australia if you had to choose which location is your favourite and why?
Adam was born and raised on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, and we lived together there for six years. We moved to Hawaii as a last big adventure before settling down, but Australia is home to us both, and where we both see ourselves raising our family, so we're moving back in June after five years on Maui! We're looking forward to rediscovering some great spots to shoot at home.
You create the most beautiful natural light images what do you love most about shooting at sunrise and sunset?
Both times of day are peaceful and exciting. Sunrise is empty at the beach and is more predictable regarding the tones it produces, and sunset can be anything from soft to vibrant depending on the afternoon. Any time you can work outdoors is a good time!
How do you continue to develop as photographers?
These day's it's been less about developing our shooting and more about streamlining the backend of our business, so with every few sessions, we learn a new way to make our business more efficient and make management easier on ourselves. And wanting to stay fresh and see things through fresh eyes.
Lastly, you have any advice for someone trying to improve their photography?
Shoot as much as you can. Allow yourself to be inspired by others' work but don't copy, create a unique vision that's true to yourself and you'll stand out from the crowd!
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