One On One - Glynn Lavender
Ted's is proud to offer a range of courses across Australia, hosted by some extremely talented individuals.
Glynn teaches our "Understanding Your Camera" courses, through his business Creative Photo Workshops
Having just come back from an amazing Vietnam adventure, we thought we'd ask him a few questions about his work and his thought about photography.
So read on, enjoy the photos and as always, don't forget to let us know what you think in the comments.
Please introduce yourself
I’m Glynn Lavender, owner of Creative Photo Workshops, a Melbourne based company that runs photo workshops in Australia, The United States and pretty much anywhere that will have me on the art of photographing people.
I also get great joy out of teaching the fundamentals of photography at my Understanding Your Camera Workshops for Ted’s Camera Stores. Without a solid foundation of knowledge of how photography works it’s hard to get consistently good images. Other than the Workshops I run I also lead photo tours to photographically interesting places.
How would you define your photography style?
Well I’m predominately a portrait photographer, I travel to photograph people, I photograph people in the streets, people who come to workshops, my kids, anyone frankly that looks like they will make an interesting capture. As for style though I hope I don’t have one as that confines you to just one look and hopefully we are all growing in our photography and the look of our images is always evolving.
How did you become interested in photography?
Funnily enough when I started in the industry 35 years ago I had no knowledge or interest in photography. I was kicked out of school early for being slightly (read: A LOT) disruptive and my Mum worked at Myer Photographics so she dragged me into a Fletchers Fotographics store where she knew someone and told them to employ me. She figured I may as well sell something interesting rather than just get some random job that came along. 35 years later I am still here in the industry and along that journey my love and passion for photography has grown and rarely a day goes by where I don’t photograph something. Thanks Mum!
Were you formally trained or did you learn on the job?
I went to the school of FITDUYFIO – Fumble In The Dark Until You Figure It Out. – Back when I started it took ten days to get a roll of film developed so you used to write down the settings you used for each shot you took so you could compare them when the photos were finally ready. You learned to see what worked and what didn’t by comparing these notes and tried to do more of the ‘this worked’ shots then the ‘oooh I messed that up’ ones.
What do you think were some of the key elements to the development of your photography?
When I finally got over the gear lust and realised that the most important thing in photography is light. If you have great light, things just look better. Awesome places in bad light just results in average pictures. When I photograph people I move them to good light and things get a lot easier!
What type of lighting do you use most within your photography & why?
I’m an available light shooter – meaning I will use any light that is available. I’ve been known to use flouro light on the roof of a car park if that’s what it takes to get the shot but my personal favourite tool to use is flash.
How has social media helped with the success of your photography business?
My whole business is built around connection, involvement and word of mouth through social media. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
How important is post-processing to your work?
Ideally we want to get the images as good as possible straight out of camera. That makes us photographers, but the camera has limitations so post processing is the enhancement of those images to finalise your vision. I have no problem with people doing a little or a lot to their images as long as they don’t try to pass off the image as ‘this is what I saw’ – photography is an art form. Do what makes you happy.
What’s on your gear buying list for 2015 & why?
I have just got the new Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 and wow is that an amazing piece of kit!
What awards have you won?
I am delighted to say that I have an Honours in TLMN (These Letters Mean Nothing) from the Institute Du Photographie (a company I own). In all seriousness I don’t think of photography as a competitive sport so I don’t participate in these things. The only person I want to please is myself and I am by far my hardest critic.
I have no problem with others being involved in the award, competition game. I know a lot of people who have met wonderful friends through this type of networking and that can only be a good thing.
Any big plans for the future?
I have several big events coming up in 2016 with trips to India (sold out), Vietnam, New York and Myanmar to keep me busy. (Drop me a line if you are interested in information) and of course lots of great workshops for Ted’s Camera Stores!
Any advice for novice photographers?
Learn your camera well. The time to figure out which button is which is not when you are out shooting. Sit in front of your TV for 10 minutes a night for a couple of weeks and spin dials and really learn how to access the most important functions on your camera. That way when you are out shooting and under pressure to set up it will be a lot easier.
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