I have been studying the craft of photography for 5 years, subsequent to my study of psychology and human behaviour. It is a combination of this as well as my love for the medium of pencil drawings that created my love for portrait photography.
Something that I endeavour to be a part of each of my works is a personality and a signature. I strive to portray an image that has character and a strong presence, while simultaneously adhering to my own unique style. While I feel that the subject is important to highlight, it is also about their surroundings, their environment and their motive. Why is this picture being taken? What is the purpose and the objective?
It is due to my background in fine art that I have developed a key attention to detail and a strong ambition to constantly refine my works. My psychological studies have allowed me to delve into the minds of my subjects, and create a multi-dimensional portrait.
I specialise in portrait photography, being fashion, boudoir, beauty, glamour or fine art.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Ethan. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
A facet I strive to achieve in all my images is a 'wow factor', that the image is something that they have never seen before. I wish to portray a photo that goes beyond simply taking a nice image, but creating an art work that may either stand alone or be part of a series.
I have always been fascinated with the human behaviour and our anthropological history. I feel that, since we are complex creatures of thought and wisdom, this should be demonstrated in images, allowing the viewer to have a small taste of that subject's persona.
Ethan, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I was first interested in fine arts, delving into drawing photorealistic images with the medium of pencil. I would never create sketches from my head, but decided to shine an artistic light onto what was in front of my eyes, and portray the ordinary in an extra ordinary way. I then moved onto studying psychology and human behaviour, which sparked my interest in the human persona and what our minds are capable of. It is an amalgamation of these two prior studies that drew me to photography, and how I got a camera in my hand.
Who is your inspiration in life Ethan? How do you keep inspired?
It is incredibly difficult not to be thoroughly inspired by artists both from our artistic history and the ever growing present. On instagram we see hundreds of up and coming photographers whom produce stunning works of art, and it is these people that not only inspire me to create, but push me to make my next image better and stronger. I constantly am trolling through instagram, facebook groups, photographic magazines, photographic exhibitions and other forms of image sharing that motivates me to not only do better, but be better.
We all make mistakes Ethan, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
While I strive to uphold myself as a model person to work with, we have our downfalls that we look at through the use of hindsight. One particular mistake which I have made in the past is when I was on a shoot with a model, and the model made some suggestions to add to the shoot. While they were good suggestions, they strayed from my original idea, and I decided to stick to it with confidence. Upon looking at the images in post-production, I see what the model had been mentioning would in fact have been an excellent idea, and would have provided an alternative facet to the shoot that I had not initially thought of. This allowed for a huge wake up call, that when working with models and stylists and make up artists and hair dressers, sometimes you may utilise their suggestions and not only their intended crafts.
Ethan ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I have always maintained the notion that I treat all my clients equally to each other and all my clients with the upmost respect. I make sure that after every shoot, my client and I are on the same page in regards to our expectations, our goals and our respect for one another. My clients always understand that they are not the only shoot that I have to edited and send out, and because of this I must make sure I manage my time correctly in order to return images to the correct people in an orderly time. I have yet to hand back any images to any client outside of the time frame that I have mentioned prior to the shoot even beginning.
Please tell us Ethan, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
Of course, like many other industries, photography takes effort to balance between your professional life and your personal life. However, unlike many other industries, there is a lot of behind the scenes work done to images that is to be done at home or at the office. This means that, as a photographer, I must prioritise my time, and make sure that work hours are upheld as there is no specific schedule to adhere to. This means specifically taking out time to edit, and making sure that work for clients comes first before time for play.
This being said, it is equally important to me that I have my down time, as I am not a machine and cannot work constantly - as much as I would like to sometimes. Since this is the case, I have allotted myself one day a week which I do not edit, I do not shoot and I do not have meetings with clients. This is because my rest is important to me as well as my work.
Ethan, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
Often I am telling models a specific line that has helped me with getting the shot I need and producing the desired effect that I want. Something that I tell models often is "just because it feels awkward, doesn't mean it looks awkward on camera". This is because often I am quite specific with how I want my models to pose. Sometimes a model will feel awkward or that their pose looks uncomfortable, but it has happened time and time again that I have told a model to trust me, taken the shot, shown them the back of the camera and they have said "Oh wow! You were right, it doesn't look as bad as I felt it does!" This can only be done when there is a high level of trust between the photographer and the model.
Ethan please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share to everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment as a photographer is no specific time or shoot, but it is comparing my work now to my work a year ago or two years ago. It is always so uplifting to see how far I have become or how far I have pushed myself. The knowledge I have now far exceeds the knowledge I had a year or two ago, and the knowledge I have now is nowhere near that of what I will have in one or two years from now. As we practice our craft and critique ourselves and gain more experience, knowledge and feedback, we become better and better, and it is a proud moment to not only look how far you have come, but see how far you will go.
Ethan, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
In the final year of my education of photography, we were given a final folio which was to be thematic. This theme could be whatever we wanted, and could include any genre of photography. This allowed for our creative sparks to shine, and we could illustrate our concepts in any way we saw fit. I decided to do a surrealist series of portraits that illustrated masks and their individual characteristics. While it is incredibly exciting to be liberated with no specific brief, it is also scary to have so much freedom that you just don't know if you are making the right or wrong move until the end when it is all collated. These folios also required a great deal of coordination and organisation; putting together shoot after shoot with different subjects, settings and teams to work with. In the end, it all came together and was a true creative representation of my own artistic craft.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Photographer?
My advice to give others who are inspired to become a successful photographer is to take as much inspiration you can from others. While it is important to understand that you have your own unique style and way of doing things, it is equally important to take inspiration from other works, mediums and ways of doing things. I would not be where I am today, nor will I ever grow from here if I have my blinkers on, refusing to look at other people's works or see how other people create.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I would love to work with all kinds of talents, ranging from models to hair dressers to make up artists to stylists to other creatives. The more images I create and the more shoots I do and the more people I work with, the broader my horizons become and the more experience and knowledge and network I have up my sleeve.
Now for the best part Ethan! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Models: Shamita Sivabalan, Dagny Yznaga Gaerste, Rebecca Amelung, Nikki Bundock, Jake Pinskier, John Reed, Holly Spencer, Brad Hill, Hubert Sola, Kosina Hanson.
Hair & Make Up Artists: Elle Torrens, Nicole Ambrosino
Stylists: Jessica Graham