Sally Brownbill

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Archive for Photography

8/10/2017

Sally joins Australian Photography Awards again.

– posted by Mel

"We are thrilled to welcome back Sally Brownbill who is joining us once again on the Australian Photography Awards (APA) 2017 judging committee. Sally has been shaping and promoting the futures of aspiring and professional photographers through lecturing, mentoring and folio consultancy within in Australia for the last two decades. With this in-depth knowledge of the industry and an undeniable energy and passion for photography, Sally has become an incredibly valuable part of our team. We can’t think of a more qualified person to be sitting at our judging table.

This year Sally will join Matthew Palmer, Morganna Magee, Rodney Decker, Bruce Esplin, Markus Anderson, Carly Michael and Samantha Everton in a two day judging processes in Melbourne. This diverse panel of industry experts from across Australia will come together with the aim of discovering some of Australia’s more original and thought provoking photography.

2017 has set new records for APA. With a bigger prize pool of over $42,000, new categories and a record number of entries, we look forward to the next stages in our campaign.

Thank you to our major sponsor Fujifilm Australia and our category sponsors Ilford Imaging Australia, michaels cameras, Lume cube, Lowepro, Manfrotto, Reed Graduation Services and our social partners AIME."

8/10/2017

Working with Sal….

– posted by Mel

"Sally has been an integral part of where my assisting is today. Providing pathways to build relations with new photographers and studios. Building my connections and broadening my scope in the assisting field."

Luke Donegan  - Photographer / Assistant

8/10/2017

What It Takes To Win!

– posted by Mel

Sally tell's all what it takes to win the Photography of the Year competition in the October edition of Australian Photography Magazine.

The first thing you have to ask yourself when entering a competition like ‘Photographer of the Year’, is “What am I going to submit?”

This can, in itself, cause lots of angst. We all know how hard it can be to be critical of our own images and, after all, image selection is one of the major elements you are being judged on.

I have been editing images for exhibitions, portfolios  and websites for 20 years now, and have spent much of that time judging competitions. I know how hard it can be, so I am hoping by reading these few tips, I can help guide you through how best to prepare and then enter a photography competition like Photographer of the Year.

READ THE T's AND C's
It is imperative that you understand the conditions of the competition. That is everything from image size, number of images and theme. I realise some of this sounds very straight forward, but I can’t tell you the number of competitions I have judged where entrants have not fulfilled these criteria. Competitions are not only a test of your photography skills, but also a test of your ability to understand a brief. Rules are therefore the number one thing on your checklist your need to be following and ticking off without fail. For example, an excellent body of work will be let down in marking if three of the images are the same size and fourth is a different size. It shows no attention to detail, a lack of professionalism and could easily cost you a place.

THE ENTRY
Now what to put in? My best advice is not to try and think of what the judges want, but rather to show us what you are made of. Originality in your work and showing personality is the key. Your personally, and how you see things, is the only point of difference you have to another entrant. You must begin to learn how to show self confidence here and, remember, different is good. Don’t try to emulate a past photographer’s work you have seen, put you own spin on theme and images, either in subject matter, composition or technique.

CONSISTENCY
Consistency in the images is a crucial factor in the selection process. Don’t for a minute think you can put the four best images you have shot over the last 12 months: if there is no thread or story to them, they need to be able to interact with each other. Also, don’t put three fabulous images in from one story and then go an add another that has no meaning to the previous three. I see this happen all the time and it really makes me want to cry. Think clearly, look at the series and make sure there is a theme or connection across the entire series.


DON"T FORGET THE FLOW
Ebb and flow in a story is particularly what I look for. There needs to be a beginning, a middle and an end. For me, the best way to make sure you are telling your story is to print out the work and lay it on the floor - then just look at it. Take your time and pick  the image that starts the story. For example: A portrait of dancer on stage, then two shots of her/him dancing, both unique and different to each other but linked by theme or colour palette; then the last image of the dancer taking a bow. This clearly has a flow that the judges can understand, shows us you have thought the process through, and not just put up four random shots of dancers that have no connection.

TECHNIQUE
Technique and treatment of the images is hugely important. What kind of lighting are you using, for instance? Is it all natural light, or all lit in a studio? Are you using a tilt shift lens, are you using certain post-production techniques (if allowed), and what is the central colour theme/ pallet to the story? This needs to be planned carefully and thoughtfully. What we need to remember is taking the photo is the easy part, but showing preparation and understanding of what you are shooting is the key. If you are using different techniques in the four images, you need to ask why. And how does it work in the story telling? It could work, for example, if you were shooting a day in the life of a school girl, one: morning in bed; two: school room; three: after school sport; and four: night time. Whilst the lighting will vary in all of these images, there is a reason for this - some are indoors and at different times of the day. This can work if successfully planned out and, of course, the content and composition is strong.

COMPOSITION
Composition of each image is also important. Not just two or three of them. They all need to have been planned and thought out. Are they all in focus where they are meant to be? Have they been cropped in a way that not only enhances the image, but compliments the series? Has the best lighting technique been used in all of them.? Understanding what makes a good composition in an image is critical, not only for competitions but right across your photography. Don’t over-complicate an image, keep the key elements simple. This is especially important in putting a series together. Our eye needs to be able to move across the series effortlessly, and not work too hard to understand what is going on.

DON'T RUSH
Allow time. My strong advice is not to decide what to enter into a competition the day before. Give yourself time to a) try and shoot something specifically for the competition, or b) select a series you have been working on, lay them out in print form and look at them for a while. Many series may be upwards of , ten or twenty images, so being able to understand how to turn that into the best four images can take time. Be careful, though, not to over-think it, it is a fine line. You may find you narrow it down to six or so images. This is then a good time to bring in someone you trust has good judgment (probably not mum, dad or your partner), but rather someone who can be objective and give some good solid reasoning and feedback.

SHOOT AGAIN?
Do you need to do an additional shoot? Once you have selected your images, if your gut feeling is there is something missing, or that all of the elements in the series are not quite gelling, arrange a re-shoot. Don’t think about entering the series until you feel happy. In your heart, regardless of how hard it can be to select the final four,  you do know if  the series works. You must remember that you are not present when the images are being judged to explain the meaning behind them. We are working from a blank canvas as a judge, and can only go with what is in front of us.  We have our own interpretations of the story as well. So maximum impact is what we need to being seeing, and a series that combines all I have spoken about. Being on theme, strong composition, a cohesive colour palette, a good ebb and flow in the series and, of course, individuality is what we want to see. If you need to re-shoot, do so with purpose: it will be worth it in the end.

ORIENTATION
Orientation of the images. Personally, I think a series needs to have all of the elements I mentioned above, as well as being all of the same orientation. By this I mean all portrait or all landscape in shape. I’m constantly surprised when judging at seeing three images all portrait, then one. tacked on the end as landscape. Perhaps two of each could work (but for me it’s not ideal). Think about this at the point of planning your shoot. Always have an idea of the orientation and, if unsure, shoot both ways. This will help guide you when the time comes to choose your final images for submission.

Finally, I think entering competitions is a great way to build your confidence and to gain recognition. There are few things more exciting than seeing your images and name up in print or online, and having that opportunity to do so by entering competitions and winning or even placing is amazing. I see a lot of photographers that fall out of love with photography, because they are often hooked in to the world of shooting other people’s ideas . Competitions are the perfect way to release your imagination, have fun and create. Good luck!

3/9/2017

My Experience with TBE - Dominic Hook

– posted by Mel

"I met Sally at an Alumni folio review night at CATC Design school in Melbourne, where Sally was participating in a ‘folio review: speed dating style’ event organised by the school.

Students had the chance to engage in a 10 minute 1 on 1 folio review with industry professionals and I was heavily encouraged to participate by a lecture of mine Patrick Rodriguez.

10 minutes was no where near enough time to get solid advice in my opinion, but Sally not only gave some very concise, thought clearing advice, but also an offer to join TBE as an assistant.

Since joining at the end of 2016, I have assisted 3 TBE photographers and have regular work with Andrew Richey & Ripe Studios. This work has advanced my knowledge of studio photography and lighting greatly, but also the little things which are hard to teach such as working with clients, problem solving in tough situations and the finer points of fashion and architectural photography.


So far my experience with TBE has been wonderful and I look forward to what the future has in store for me.”

Dominic Hook  - Photography Assistant

11/8/2017

Submissions for new section starting up in Good Weekend - Exposure

– posted by Sally

My friend Tegan has asked me to pass this on. It is a really exciting opportunity. Get submitting!

read more …

26/6/2017

Sally chats with Momento Pro

– posted by Sally

In 2017, do agencies respond more to printed or digital portfolios? OR What are the benefits of a printed folio in 2017?


Every day we are looking at iPhones, computers or iPad screens all the time, it gets too much.

To walk into a meeting and show a beautifully printed folio on great stock is second to none.

So many people forget that our industry is about communication. It’s about meeting people. It’s not just all about social media and online folios. A printed portfolio is a fantastic reason to get out and meet people, connect and wow them.


Your top tip for selecting images to included in your portfolio? personal projects? what if you're multi-genre?

I’ve been working with photographers and editing images for their folios for over 15 years now. Each photographer is unique and I treat each one individually.

What you must remember is that the only point of difference you have in most circumstances is you!. Your personality must shine through in your folio.

Potential clients want to see what makes you tick, what you can offer them and what you are able to bring to the table, so personal work is a must.

Campaigns and commercial jobs are based on other peoples ideas and they play an important role in convincing a client you can successfully do a job, but that’s where websites come in to it, show that work on there.

Take people on a journey with your printed folio and tell stories. COMMUNICATE and make it special.

 

Sally Brownbill

5/4/2013

Assisting Photographers

– posted by Rachelle

Once you get into industry and start assisting, the learning curve starts all over again and this time it is steeper. You now have real clients and $$$ hovering over you. You need to learn on the run, deal with finding resources, difficult clients, and politics.
You need to know how to manage your time, your finances and marketing. Learning and observing as an assistant is a fast track to all of this. Ask questions and lots of them!!

We are in one of the most exciting industries you can imagine, working as an assistant takes all of the knowledge you learnt at university or college and puts it into a practical environment. How wonderful!!

Here is an assistant on TBE Emma Stryder who we asked a few questions on this very subject. Your thoughts Emma??


ASSISTING: the other side of Graduation.

• Think of assisting as character building, no kit is too heavy, no start time too early. Think of your photographer as Mr. Miyagi, they've earned their stripes, now it's time to for you to wax on, wax off.
• Everyone likes their gear packed a certain way. Each way is different, that is for certain.
• Bring gaffa tape, bulldogs clips, etc, the kind of thing you might need quickly on a shoot but you left it in St Louis.
• Be adaptable, some photographers want your input, some don't. But be sure to wait until your asked for it, no one likes a back seat driver!
• Don't answer your phone, or get blogging on set, it's sure to be the one moment you're needed -pronto!
• Be a sponge, or better yet, a mop. Soak up the experience but make sure you're standing up ready to be useful

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