This week Pixpa explored the photographic works and journey of the photojournalist photographer Simon Hunter. Simon is a portrait, wedding and event photographer based out of Australia. He developed an inclination to photography when very young. He speaks to us about his experience with Pixpa and the tips and tricks employed in his photographs.
View his complete portfolio at SimonHunterPhotography.
1. Tell us about your early life. When, how and when is that you decided to become a photographer?
My father was a keen amateur photographer and we had a darkroom at home. That mysterious place, cut off from the outside world, with its dim coloured safety light, its strange smells and the print emerging magically in its tray of developer had a huge impact on me as a young boy. I was about 10 when my father showed me how to use a light meter, make a good exposure, develop film and finally make a print. Since that time photography has always been a part of my life.
2. You come from a background of academia and multi-media production. What are some invaluable learnings that you draw from these fields as a photographer?
Being involved in the development of web based learning environments and online courses has allowed me to develop skills in design and production that are really useful in photography. We have a lot of options in the way we can document and present important events and people in our lives, I love talking to clients about the range of different media we can choose to tell their stories: from video to print to mobile phone apps. Learning to communicate with a large group of people in a lecture or classroom has also helped me to be comfortable communicating with clients during shoots.
3. When searching for, and selecting a photographer what do you feel are the five most crucial factors that influence the client?
Hmm, this is a difficult question! I think it does vary a bit from client to client, but I’d probably say:
i) photographs that speak to the client
ii) a good website that showcases those photos
iii) a strong social media presence to reach those people
iv)communication skills to engage with your clients
v)and perhaps lastly, budget.
4. What equipment and lenses do you prefer to use when shooting?
I’ve used a lot of different cameras over the years from large and medium format (4×5 Tachihara & Mamiya) and 35mm film cameras. I’ve always used Nikon gear though, and currently, I mostly use a Nikon D800 and a range of fast primes (85mm, 50mm and 35mm) and zoom lenses (24-70mm and 70-200mm). I love the Nikon 85mm f1.4G for portraits, and the 24-70mm F2.8G ED and 70-20 f2.8 G pretty much meet all my needs when shooting a wedding.
5. Which genre of photography do you most identify with and why?
I like and look at many different types of photography, from street to fashion, but I would have to say that portraiture is most definitely my favourite. I’ve always been attracted to that quest to capture powerful and meaningful photographs of people. There are many great portrait photographers but some of my favourites that I keep going back to are Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Philippe Halsman, David Bailey and Annie Leibovitz.
For me wedding photography fits right in here. It’s a combination of so many approaches from documentary to fine art, but ultimately I think it’s about capturing beautiful photographs of people and telling the story of their special day.
6. Photography is a dynamic profession, with new aspects of it being uncovered everyday. How do you manage to stay updated and educate yourself in the field?
I think the changes in photography that are happening now are very exciting. The digital revolution, the Internet and the massive impact of social media platforms are completely transforming the world of photography. I truly believe that we should never stop learning and I really enjoy the challenge of absorbing all these developments and continuing to develop my skills. I make sure that I allocate time (and money) for online courses from providers like CreativeLive and lynda. But there is also so much amazing free content on the web and so many communities to support photographers.
7. You have one of the most elegantly designed online portfolios for a photographer on pixpa.com. Share your experience on engaging with us.
My experience with Pixpa has been fantastic. I’ve created my own WordPress sites in the past and I just ended up spending way too much time on managing them, it was frustrating. I was so happy when I found Pixpa. The Pixpa templates are really stylish and really easy to use and customize. They also just work seamlessly. Customer support has been fast and reliable, too. The whole Pixpa experience is so smooth and easy, it allows me to concentrate on the photography side of my business.