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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia

On April 24, 2015
By Connie
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MBFWA_BTS

This was an amazing experience.  I’d never covered any fashion week event before, let alone any huge event as a videographer.  It was pretty full on from day one.  My team consisted of myself on video, a stills photographer, and our official blogger.  This was a first for us all.

We’d get there early enough to get settled in the media centre before the first runway show.  In each runway location, there was a designated media pit where photographers and camera crews could set up gear without worrying about the crowds getting in the way.  This media pit would always be at the bottom of the runway to ensure the best shots.

We were very pleasantly surprised at how everyone working in the media pit were so friendly and considerate.  There was easy comraderie among us shooters and everyone was very considerate when staking their positions trying their best not to obstruct anyone else’s shot.  I think everyone could appreciate that everyone was here to do a job and that everyone needed to walk away the goods.  There was this hurry-up-and-wait pattern to our days.  We had to hustle during our short windows of set-up and the runway events were only a several minutes long, but in between there was a lot of waiting.

Not that we spent that time doing nothing.  We’d rest in the media centre where we’d back-up and edit our images.  Media coverage was instant.  We’d have photos and even video clips up on Instagram and Facebook within minutes of a show’s end.  The immediacy was surprising even to us, and we were the ones accomplishing it.

At the end of those 4 days, we were exhausted but so happy with all that we had done.  We met so many talented, beautiful and friendly people.  I’m really happy to have been a part of such a fantastic event.  Below is the highlights video I shot and edited myself.

Instagram #LoveIt

On April 4, 2015
By Connie
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ConnieChan_Photography-Insta1

There is nothing instant about Instagram.  This was my first surprise when I started using the extremely popular app that all the crazy kids seem to be using now a-days.  Or maybe not the kids, but the young adults.  I hear there’s this other app the young ones use called SnapChat.  Did I just show my age?  Sigh.

In any case, back to my original complaint.  Instagram is not instant as the name implies.  I decided to try out Instagram because it looked like people were having a lot of fun posting highly processed photos on a never ending news feed.  Take a photo, play around with some filter options, post, and wait for the likes to pour in.  Sounded easy to me.

I should have known that that little process already hinted at a ‘less than instant’ status.  I couldn’t get through that process in less than 5 minutes, usually much longer.  There are just too many filter options to choose from.  Every time I took a photo that I wanted to post, I’d get sucked into my phone making minute adjustments to my grainy photo with all the pickiness of someone trained in advanced Photoshop.

I was becoming one of those people whose eyes are glued to her phone instead of the world around her.  Sucked in.

And yet so fun.  There is something to be said about the supposed downfall of real life social connections due to smart phones, but that’s a whole different rant.  I’m not blaming Instagram for what seems to be an entire generation of socially awkward sometimes rude youth of today.  Instagram is just an app.  A tool.  I love it.

Instagram is a great platform for sharing photos whether it be happy snaps or professional marketing campaigns.  I’ve seen it used as a powerful brand shaping tool used to open a dialogue between companies and its customers.  It’s been used to create social awareness and perhaps even social change through its global reach. It’s also a great way to bring photography back to some basics for the little everyday people such as myself.

I use it as a reminder to take those happy snap pictures that I spy everyday instead of walking right past them.  With no technical aspects to consider such as shutter speed or aperture, my camera phone allows me to focus more on composition and timing my shots.  It’s relaxing and easy.  It makes photography a hobby again, something that it ceased being for me over a decade ago.  It’s like it’s retraining my eyes to search for pictures everywhere I go because I have this handy platform to share my little snippets with to friends and a whole community of strangers who also share my love for memorable moments.  I work in a very controlled studio environment with professional models and a skilled team.  My camera phone lets me shoot something different for no other reason than just because.  I’m observing and exploring more, and In that way I’m refuelling my creativity.  I just need to remember to do my editing after returning home.

Find me on Instagram under Photographiser to see what I shoot when I’m not shooting.

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About Connie

I was that geeky camera chick who spent her high school lunch breaks in the darkroom.  I still miss the smell of those stinky developer chemicals.  Sort of.

Born in Canada, I graduated with top honours in Applied Photography at Sheridan College before spending several years assisting and producing for  some of the best commercial shooters in Toronto.  After gathering a wealth of valuable skills and getting my first DSLR, I bought a plane ticket to Asia.

It was my first backpacking adventure, but I managed to survive nine months from Seoul to Singapore with only some shoddy mandarin and a lot of luck.  I had the time of my life. So I did it again.  Seven months of zig-zagging around India and Nepal taught me ingenuity with limited resources, clarity when surrounded in chaos, and how to eat with just my right hand.

Sydney became my new home in 2008, and I’ve been enjoying the sunny weather and great coffee ever since.

Today, I’m a fashion and product photographer extraordinaire.  Based at Studio 8 in the northern beaches of Sydney, I relish the challenge and precision of studio lighting.  My clients are drawn to my clean, stripped back approach to every project.  My simplistic yet direct style is refreshing and elegant in a market full of heavily Photoshopped images.

When I’m not in the studio you can find me hand folding dumplings or scaling walls at the rock climbing gym.  I’m also really good at winning board games (or my friends are just really good at losing).

 

Accolades

Finalist – Shoot The Chef 2013
Top 5 – Australia’s Emerging Travel Photographers of 2010 – Capture Magazine
Winner – Best Marketing Imagery Award 2010 – New Mardi Gras
Semi-finalist – Shutterbug Awards 2010 – Shutterbug
Short-listed – Travel Photographer of the Year 2009 – TPOTY
Finalist – Cultural Explorers 2009 – STA Travel
Winner – World in Focus 2007 – Photo District News
Top Emerging Photographers of 2007 – Photo Life Magazine

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