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Camera House : Better Pictures 12
30 Profile Michelle SMit Shutterbug Did photography play a big part in your life growing up? Photography played a huge part in our growing up, as my father was a professional photographer. He took landscapes, portraiture, wedding photography, and even did some work with the police on occasion. My memories growing up were of him climbing trees, lying on the ground, or standing on cars with a camera in his hand. It was like a natural extension of him. His love of photography showed in everything he did. My sister Nardi and I have both inherited his passion. What’s your earliest photo memory? My earliest memory of photos being taken was at my sister Nardi’s first birthday party. I remember dad had bought two identical cakes that day. One of them he placed on the floor and sat Nardi down in front of it, and then spent the next five or 10 minutes taking photos as she devoured, and finally sat in, the cake. Great photos, but I’m glad we didn’t have to eat it. Was a career in photography always on the cards? Not so much a career but definitely as a form of creative expression. First job in the biz? Helping my dad take photos at weddings. I was the assistant/lackey but it was fun, educational and I even got to take photos once in a while. how do you approach a shoot? What’s your creative process? I’ve learnt from experience that it’s best not to plan too much before a shoot, otherwise the photo becomes stilted or staged. So instead, I think about what it is that I am trying to capture in the photos, about the subject itself. I like to choose locations that will give me a few different looks and backgrounds as one setting might work better than another, and you don’t know until you try them. If I’m photographing people, I bring props along as this can help relax and bring out the subjects. I also make sure I have lots of memory space. Not every shot is goingtobegreatsoIsnapasmanyasI can, from all different angles, and know that there will be some great shots in among them. What do you think makes a great’ photo? A great photo is one that takes your eyes on a journey as you explore every detail. Michelle SMit isa passionate amateur shooter. Canon EOS Photo 5 competition winner Michelle Smit gives us the lowdown on her photography ethos, and her winning image. You were a recent winner in the canon eOS Photo 5 competition. could you walk us through the background to your shot and your process? I love macro, as the attention to detail appeals to me. The prop Canon gave us was a miniature figurine, and the brief was to produce an image that brought these ‘little people’ to life. The figurine I was provided with had his arms up in the air, like he was carrying something. I played around with the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ he could carrying before coming to the conclusion I wanted to use a shoe, more specifically my sneaker (because of the tread), and a snail. Lying on the ground outside – like father like daughter – I took approx 50 shots from all different angles and then went inside to see what they looked like. From there I worked out what worked and what didn’t, and went outside to take some more. Unfortunately, snails are not the most co-operative of models, so two hours and eight snails later, I finally had a group of photos I thought could work. See more at canon.com.au/ worldofeos/photo5/2012-winners ■ 030_Bpics12_Shutterbug.indd 30 28/02/13 2:34 PM
Better Pictures 11
Better Pictures 13