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Interview with Tristan Cameron

Another Perth photographer today, and we even share the same first name. Tristan’s an all natural light photographer who captures beautiful images of your kids :) That’s right his photography business Butter Bomb caters towards the little people in our life, and he does and awesome job of it. His profile pic is compliments of another RAW featured photographer, Seng Mah.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am married and have two daughters (5 and 3), and my family is the most important part of my life – they are my inspiration and they give me love and support. I love Lego, I love playing hide and seek, I love the imagination of children, and I love taking photos – I am a big kid at heart J

What inspired you to get started in photography?

I have been interested in photography on an amateur level since high school, and became more passionate about it when my first daughter was born. Since then I have really grown to love child and family photography, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What gear do you take to each shoot and what lens can you not live without?

I shoot with Canon gear, currently a 1Ds mark III and a 1D mark IV, and will generally use a combination of 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, and 135mm f/2 on a normal shoot. I could not live without any of these lenses as I love them all, however if I had to pick one it would be the 35mm as it is so versatile and is fantastic for both indoor and outdoor.

How do you market yourself and has social media been an important part?

We market ourselves using our blog and Facebook a lot, and we also attend boutique markets and child related expos. Our most effective marketing is word of mouth – we receive most of bookings based on referrals from previous clients. Social media is definitely a big part of our marketing, and I think has become an integral part of how modern businesses operate.

What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken and does it have any significance?

My favourite photo is one I took of my eldest daughter when she was 2 years old – I have it hanging in our living room as a black and white stretched canvas. I love it because it has very strong black and white tones throughout due to the location, her face is beautifully lit, and it captures her personality very well (she is very contemplative).

Select a photo you have taken, explain how it was taken and how did you edit it?

I use all natural light (and natural light modifiers) for my shoots, so my setups are always simple. I shoot in the last hour or so before sunset (as I am not a morning person!) and usually shoot in backlit conditions. This photo was shot backlit, using the large tree as a light modifier, but with enough sun coming into the lens to create a small amount of flare in the upper right of the image. The wind worked well to create depth and add a bit more feeling to the photo (hair across face). I usually manage to maintain eye contact in my shoots as I am always down at the same level as the children (and I’m usually doing something silly!) Most of the time they forget I have a camera, which is what I aim for J Editing this was really simply, I simply corrected the white balance in Lightroom (this was a partly cloudy day, so WB kept changing throughout the shoot), then tweaked the levels in PS (all up about 1-2 minutes of post).

What processing tool do you use and do you believe in the camera doing all the work or in post?

I use Adobe Lightroom for my shoot management, as well as white balance and minor exposure adjustments. I use Adobe Photoshop for curves/levels, but don’t really do anything else. I try to get everything correct in camera to save me time later on, but as I shoot RAW I need to tweak colours as they come out of camera very flat.

What’s your favourite photography accessory other than your camera?

It would have to be my BlackRapid camera straps – I find they are way more comfortable than neck straps, and make longer shoots less tiring.

Where do you prefer to post your photos online and why there?

I only ever post my photos to my blog, and a preview image onto Facebook – this is because I control the quality on my blog, but elsewhere I need to compete with compression, changing image sizes, and sometimes onerous terms of use.

Do you ever get photographers block and if so what do you do to get inspired again?

Absolutely, I think everyone in any creative industry will experience something similar at different points in their careers. I will usually just go and shoot my kids, or something a bit different, but not really overthink what I’m doing. I find that after a session like this I feel refreshed and ready to go again.

Is there anything you wish you had done when you first started in photography that would of made a difference?

I wish I had avoided zoom lenses when I first started being semi-serious and got a DSLR – if I could go back I would have chosen a simple setup (body + fast 50mm equivalent) and just used that. I feel that this makes you think a little more about composition and subject interaction (although there is definitely a place for zoom lenses)

Any advice for new photographers wanting to go pro?

Take lots of photos, build a great portfolio, be confident, and be persistent – it can take a long time to break into the market and build a recognisable brand, don’t give up too early.

Visit Tristan Cameron – website, blog, facebook

Author Tristan

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