Please introduce yourself in 20 words or less –
I’m living in North East Victoria and love discovering stories of people and places through my lens.
Was photography your first career choice?
After finishing a Degree in Environmental Management & Ecology I worked as a professional firefighter in the national parks of North East Victoria then went on to work in river management & biodiversity for nearly ten years. I also worked nights in performing arts venues as a front of house supervisor. I've always loved photography but have only been running my business full-time for the past 4 years.
How did you go from photography being a hobby to doing it full time?
Photography totally consumed me and after major back surgery I decided life was too short so I decided to have a good crack at full-time photography. While I did enjoy working in the environment helping landholders improve their riparian areas & biodiversity I realised that I could also make a difference with photography.
I'd been slowly building up my business over 3 years shooting weekends and nights so the transition wasn't abrupt. It was the best decision I have made.
What is the favourite part of your work? Exploring people and places with my camera. Every day is different and I'm constantly learning. I get to meet amazing people and access places most people could never go. I love watching my work evolve and seeing how it impacts people.
Over the last few years what type of photography work have you been doing?
I pretty much shoot most genres of photography although I do lots of commercial, event, landscape, documentary and environmental portraiture.
Are there any projects you are working on at the moment?
I'm working on my first solo exhibition in 2018 which will feature women of my region that have been pioneers and made a difference to their communities. I'm also working on solargraphs, looking at traditional photographic methods and continuing to hunt for stories.
What type of gear are you using at the moment and what is the one piece of equipment you wished you had?
I'm currently using a Canon 5D MkIV and have a variety of Canon lenses. The one piece of equipment I wish I had is a toss-up between a medium format camera and a time machine.
When excites you about travel and photography?
Travel and photography are exciting because you never know what you're going to find. The ordinary becomes the extraordinary and you see things in a different light- both metaphorically and literally!
What are your sources of inspiration and do you ever go through times when you think “lets move on from this type of work”?
Nature is the best inspiration and motivation closely followed by looking at other artists work. I'm lucky enough to live on the doorstep of a national park so when I'm feeling uninspired I wander in the forest. And yes I definitely go through times where I think of moving on but invariably I stick with it and then amazing things happen.
What is the worst piece of advice you have heard given to a someone that wants to make a career out of photography?
Ah my biggest gripe- working for free. I often hear people say you have to do lots of free photoshoots and while I agree you do need to build a portfolio there's a fine-line between doing portfolio building and being manipulated and used by people who want free photos.
What is the one aspect you find the most difficult about running a photographic business? Like all businesses the hardest thing is dealing with the peaks and troughs of work. It either happens all at once or not at all. I've learnt not to get too down in the quiet times and do other things that I enjoy until it picks up again. If there was one destination you could travel to and photograph where would it be. Tough question! I'm torn between Yosemite (I've been there three times) and going somewhere I've never been before.
Where can we follow your work?
Web - www.manifeastophotography.com.au
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/manifeastophotography/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/manifeasto_photography/