Photographer Spotlight Interview with Chantel Renae Photography
Studio Name: Chantel Renae Photography
Studio Location: Meandarra, Qld
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/
What is your background and how did you get into photography?
I was born and raised in Brisbane and moved to western Queensland at 19. I tried my hand at a few different industries – cooking, retail and teaching and finally settled into a life working in the woolsheds in 2007.
I have always documented my life in the sheds with some sort of camera, starting with a $200 Canon IXUS. Over the years my obsession with photographing the industry grew and eventually turned into my career. Then Chantel Renae Photography was born.
What type of photography do you shoot?
I am a fine art photographer with a main focus on the Australian wool / shearing industry
What is your favourite type of photography?
I love photojournalistic styles of photography – telling a story of how things are, whether good or bad, I love to instill emotion.
What is your photographic style? How did you develop this style?
I love to people watch. Observing how someone moves, talks, works and displays their emotions.
I try to tell their story through my images in a raw, bold style.
Focusing on small details that make a subject stand out to me. I often will watch a shearing team for a day before I even get my camera out.
What is in your photography kit?
My main camera is a Canon 5d III with my go to lens being a Tamron 24-70 2.8 I also have a Canon 50mm 1.8 that I sometimes use for portraits.
What is one piece of photography kit you just couldn’t live without?
My lens cleaning spray and cloth! My camera is taken into dusty sheep yards and woolsheds on a daily basis and it’s a full time job trying to keep my equipment clean!
What post processing tools/software/plugins do you use?
I mainly edit with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 for minor adjustments. I try not to change the image too much and keep some truth to my story telling. Photoshop Elements 11 is also on my laptop and I use this for watermarking mainly.
What is your best photography tip and post processing tip?
Investing time into your subject and forming a bond with them makes it very easy to tell their story.
For me, whether I am shooting a shearer, sheep or working dog I take the time to watch and observe them and learn what characteristically makes them, them.
For post processing, I try to keep the image true to itself. Most of my editing is adjusting clarity and contrast to match the mood of the character I was photographing.
What was your greatest challenge so far as a professional photographer?
My photography is aimed at such a niche market that my marketing has to be quite specific. Although I have found that most Australians have a tie to the wool industry in one way or another and can appreciate my art, to go from that to selling has been the hardest. I’d rather spend a day in a sweaty shearing shed with my camera stuck to my face than behind a desk!
What is your favourite InkFX medium to have your work printed on & why?
If you were able to give any advice or recommendations to someone starting out in their Photography career what would it be?
Find your niche. With anyone being able to buy a ‘good’ camera these days and start a facebook business, you need to stand out from the rest.
Photograph what YOU love and stay true to the story you are trying to tell with your images, not what everyone else is doing.
Have you entered your work in any competitions or won any awards?
Sunsets Category -2nd place
Any last words of wisdom, advice or marketing tips?
Just get out there and start clicking! I am self taught and have learnt all I know through countless hours of lying in sheep droppings, chasing working dogs and waiting for that right light at the end of the day.
If it doesn’t work – dust yourself off and try again tomorrow.
Chantel Renae Photography
Meandarra, Queensland Australia
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