Marc Llewellyn - A decade of Marketing to freelance Photographer
Marc you have been head of marketing for the label Rhythm for the last eight years and have recently decided to pursue your photography full time, why the move and what would be your biggest concern regarding the change?
Ahhh, well, firstly it was a hugely difficult decision to leave a brand I love and which my lifestyle so closely aligns. For me, I had begun to lose passion for the fast-paced Marketing game which was leading me down more of a number crunching avenue and less creative. I found myself no longer travelling or shooting which wasn't making me happy. I'm also in a somewhat fortunate position of not being tied down to one place, so it's an opportunity for me to take a leap of faith, travel a whole bunch and captain my own ship. I think the biggest concerns are the natural ones, like letting go of stability, comfort and a regular pay check.
What type of photography are you focusing on?
I'm really drawn to documentary-style photography. Travel, landscapes, cultures, wildlife etc. I will also be working as a photographer at Pitstop hill in the Mentawai Islands shooting a ton of surf stuff. I have also recently acquired a drone so I'm excited to capture some unique perspectives of various landscapes.
What’s the biggest advantage to you as a photographer having a marketing background?
Having spent so long in the industry has afforded me the opportunity to create a very wide network of media, brand and character contacts which might otherwise be more difficult to acquire. Understanding the digital communication landscape is also huge in this day and age where sharpening your skills at marketing yourself is just as vital as your creative service.
No doubt you have worked with a number of incredible photographers while with Rhythm, who are on top of that list and do you think they had some influences on your own work?
I've been fortunate enough to work with some incredible photographers during my time at Rhythm. People like Trent Mitchell, Woody Gooch, Dane Petterson, Duncan MacFarlane, Felix Gansicke, Morgan Maasen, John Witzig etc. These guys all approach their work differently but are uniquely individual in how they capture their subjects. Being exposed to their work and approach has been instrumental in teaching me framing and lighting techniques.
Are going to be based in Australia for work or are you hitting the open road?
Yeah so the whole goal is to set-off for a bit of a global wander. I'm trying not to plan too much but let journey dictate the next destination. I will be kicking off riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle around northern India from Feb-March, then working in the Mentawai Islands from March-June. For sure Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Iran, The Azores and Iceland are on the list of countries to tick off on this journey.
What type of equipment are you using at the moment, what’s on the wish list?
As I'll be on the road and need to be wary of weight, I'll be keeping the gear quite minimal. Canon 5D mkiv, Canon 100-400, Canon 24-70 f/2.8 and the DJI Mavic Pro drone. However, if I wasn't already so deep in canon gear, I'd switch over to the Sony A7RIII in a heartbeat. The size, weight and quality appear to far exceed it's DSLR competitors.
There would be a number of photographers wanting to give away the security of their day jobs to become a full time photographer, do you have any tips on how you made that transition?
Life is short. Do what makes you happy. Don't get to the end of the road and say "I wish I gave that a shot". I'm not putting any pressure on this new journey to turn me into a full time professional photographer, but if it works out then great. Otherwise I'm sure to have a hard-drive full of memories, experiences and things I'll never regret.
What one photography skill would you like to improve over the next six months?
I'm fascinated by astro photography and light-painting. Learning how to capture the night sky and the movement of the stars would be amazing. Light-painting a unique foreground object would really add to the composition too.
Where can we follow your work? (website / social media links)