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Interview: Photographer Craig Stampfli (Australia)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I am a full-time commercial photographer based in Brisbane, Queensland. During the week I mainly shoot real estate, corporate headshots, events and the odd wedding.

Outside of work I have been working on shooting fine art nude portraits, occasionally underwater.

 

How and when did you get into photography?

My previous career was in the oil & gas industry and I took a camera with me to keep track of the various places and countries that I visited. That then expanded to be a creative outlet on my downtime and hasn’t really stopped.

 

What does photography mean to you?

Photography is still my creative outlet, and I aim to continually improve both for my clients and myself. Holding a camera means I have a super power and can take control of any situation that I am dealing with. Brides will listen to my suggestions, clients will move as I ask them, and landscapes will slow down in front of me.

 

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

Away from client work, I enjoy working underwater shooting models either in a pool or in the ocean, it is a genre I have been working on over the last 6 or so years. This has lead to some client work and the odd bride that is willing to jump into my pool in her wedding dress. Earlier this year I took a US photographer to both the Outback and Greater South West in Western Australia for 2 weeks shooing landscapes and some Infrared.

 

Where do you get inspiration from?

With some of my UW model work, it depends on the model and their capabilities, where possible I do try and come up with new ideas however I do scroll through Twitter and save the odd photo that looks interesting. If I am collaborating with a model, I will ask for ideas from them so that I at least have a starting point.

 

Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

I do like to think in advance however I don’t lock myself in to just shooting the plan, there is always room to think outside the box.

 

Studio, on location or both? 

Both are enjoyable, in the studio there is more control with lighting and posing, if I am on location or shooting underwater then it is a different mindset and although challenging it can be equally rewarding.

 

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Paid professional.

 

What has been your most memorable session and why?

During 2020 when the world was on hold, I was able to plan an artistic nude shoot with a model under the Gateway Bridge on the Brisbane River. It took several months to sort out and make it happen, eventually the model and I were able to make some images that I am very proud of.

 

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Olympus. Above water I use both the OM-1 and the E-M1X, below water I use an E-M5 mk2. For Infrared I have a modified E-M5 mk2, specifically modified to shoot the 720Nm spectrum.

I enjoy using the Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 Pro lens and also the Lumix 25mm f/1.7 lens. Similar to most photographers, I have several other lenses that depending on what I am shooting get dropped into my camera bag.

 

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Don’t give up your day job just yet, photography as a business is very difficult. By all means look at getting paid for your work, treat it as a second income stream to begin with until eventually the opportunity arrives to go full time.

And don’t ever lose that love for picking up a camera though.

 

Quite tasteful and it is encouraging to see the breadth of artists being showcased.

 


Sylph Sia-Hat & Shadows


Underwater Reclining Nude


Surfacing


Surf Hands


Suspended


Salt Angel


Underwater Reclining Nude


Lollipop


Bribie Island Nude


Chelsea


Gateway Bridge Nude

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