It’s always great when I get to feature a photographer from Perth. Mike has some amazing work and his rise to pro photography is quite interesting.
Tell us a little about yourself?
You can call me Mike for short, because my real name is pretty darn long. Hmmm… Okay most of my life I grew up in Manila, Philippines, that is located East of China slightly on top of Singapore (Just a little geo info there.). 8 years ago I migrated to Darwin, Australia. I studied Bachelor of Nursing. I know its completely not related to Arts or photography. Currently I’ve been living in Perth, Western Australia for about 3 years now.
What made you get into photography?
Mainly my dad had a big influence why I got into photography. I first shot my sister’s portrait when I was 10 years old, with my dad’s 35mm film camera. Most of my friends told me that I am obsessed in taking photos of almost everything. I guess that is partially true.
I’ve decided to get serious in photography 3 years ago, while I was staying in a nursing accommodation in Geraldton hospital, I purchased my first dslr that was Canon 40d. I spent 6 weeks in that place, I travelled nearby tourist location and start shooting landscape photos. After that the rest is history.
How did you get started?
I started to post images in flickr.com and photo.net. My first paid photoshoot was in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia 2 years ago, when a famous 5 star hotel and restaurant asked me if I could create advertising images for their bars and hotel rooms.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I mainly shoot beauty, fashion, engagement, food images.
What gear are you using?
Nikon D3s & Nikon D700
Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8G
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX DG HSMII
Nikkkor 50mm f1.4g
Nikkor 24mm f1.4g
Nikkor 105mm f2.8 VR micro
7x cactus v5
4x Pocketwizard TT5 with one Pocketwizard Mini Ttl
2x Profoto D1 1000 air with one Batpak
various Lee ND Grad & Nd filters
For storage I use Lowepro Pro Runner x450.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
My favourite lens is the Nikkor 50mm f1.4g and 24mm 1.4g. Both lenses are very sharp. I use this always for portraiture.
How are you marketing yourself?
I use social network website such as facebook, twitter and flicker. But most of the time word of mouth is the most effective marketing strategy.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
This is my favourite portraiture of John Clark. I met this bloke, while I was shooting landscape in the remote area of Margaret River, Western Australia. He approached me curiously on what I am doing. I asked him if I could take a photo of him.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
There are a lot of things to considered to be semi pro or full time photography, especially nowadays there is over-saturation of photographers. The damn for projects are shrinking everyday, because of advancement of technologies. Most people who brought a camera think that they could become a professional photographer or make money out of this industry. I guess you need to show that you have unique style of shooting that stand out from the rest of your competitors.
Learning business, marketing and accounting in crucial in running a successful photography business. I my self have no background in business. What I did, I bought some books on amazon.com regarding business, marketing and accounting. I studied it, because 70% you are dealing with business and the other 30% well that is only time a lot for creative shooting.
Visit Michael Agar Photography – website