Design Assembly recently got the opportunity to chat with photographer Anthony Green to find out more about his photography and his passions.
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Can you tell our readers a little bit about who you are and what you do.
My names is Anthony Green I am someone who enjoys designing or creating things, I like the challenge of turning an idea in my head into a real thing and I happen to be in the profession of photography right now. I started pursuing photography full time under a year ago so I consider my self fairly new to this industry. My work fits under the umbrella of commercial photography but have personal interests in the outdoors, surf, seascapes and portraiture.
How did you initially get started in the industry?
I found my passion for photography while studying Architecture, where I would take pictures of the coast and my friends surfing. I used photography as a way to switch off from a demanding degree. Towards my final year of study I knew I wanted to be a photographer but really had no idea how to get into it and make a buck from it.
Last year I was fortunate to be part of the Kingsize Scholarship program up in Auckland, this course pretty much introduced me to the industry. However I’m still learning the quirks of the industry as I continue, there’s networking, emailing, marketing etc that has to be learned before even picking up the camera. After the Kingsize program I quit my job in Architecture and moved down to Wellington where I have been shooting various commercial and editorial work and as well assisting other photographers.
Where are you based?
Currently based in Wellington.
What are some of the best bits, and also some of the challenges about what you do?
The best bits of this job is that you get to glimpse into other peoples lives and how they choose to live it and that can be very inspiring, I’m fortunate that through photography I can meet some pretty incredible people. Shooting a variety of stuff keeps the job extremely interesting and diverse; I can be taking a portrait of a person and then the next day I could be in the studio shooting some product and followed by a swim with my camera in the evening. The diversity and creativity of photography is something I love. I am extremely grateful for the flexibility and the fact that I have job that most of the time does not feel like work.
It can be pretty stressful not knowing when your next job or paycheck is coming, especially when you have a quiet month. It can then be easy to fall in to the trap and question If I had made the right decision breaking away from the security blanket of Architecture. I feel I will return to this profession in the future and strike the right balance of architecture and photography. Another challenge is not having other people to bounce ideas off about my work and what direction it should head in.
What project, personal or professional, are you most proud of and why?
After completing my degree I traveled to South East Asia lugging my camera, lenses, tripod and water housing around. Which made my backpack extremely annoying as a back packer. When I returned to NZ I created a little book/zine of my travel experiences and compiled it around the different lessons learned from traveling. I decided that the proceeds from the book sales would go to Sustainable Coastlines as I think the work they are doing is extremely great. Selling out all the 150 copies and the support from various people helped create a momentum for me to pursue this full time.
Do you have any insider tips for budding photographers out there?
Just to keep shooting the things that interests you and really work on making meaningful images. Do not put pressure on yourself with your photography especially when it comes to ‘personal style’ that all comes with a large body of work, I’m forever working on it. Be creative and use your camera as a way of inquiry and discovery this can be achieved through a long form personal project. Also be open to shooting stuff you don’t normally do, such as going from the outdoor environment to the studio. I found after I learned what a strobe and modifier was I began to use the sun and clouds in a different and more effective way; I feel we will always be learning about light.
On doing photography full time I believe assisting another photographer is one of the best places to start. I view it similar to an apprenticeship or mentorship, the value of assisting is that you get to be involved in projects that otherwise you would never have the chance to do. Through this you can learn how the photographer dealt with different problems that arise from the shoot, which will add to your experience for you own wok. When assisting you get to see how other photographers work, what gear they use and how they house the gear etc. You can decide what you learn from each photographer and how that will improve your own photography practice. Most photographers are fairly open about the business side of photography and can give you advice on various things when it comes to negotiating for your value on a job. I have been extremely fortunate to have some great people help me and would like to be an open book for others, so please send me an email if anyone needs more advice.
Where do you go to find inspiration?
I go to many places to find inspiration; being by the coastline definitely helps fuel my inspiration and I find myself often drawn to the sea, something about water moving and the way it reflects light is mesmerizing. Also besides being in nature, good quality publications and magazines that share outdoor adventures, design and individual profiles gets me inspired and helps me think creatively about future projects.
What’s next for you?
I have a pretty large hike in Nelson planned at the end of March and am currently training for that, so I won’t die when lugging my tramping gear plus camera equipment. In April I will be filming the Single Fin Mingle, which is a classic longboarding surf festival, which I am stoked to be getting involved in. Besides that stuff I am concentrating on making more meaningful work, I have a portraiture project documenting all the different type of surfers at Lyall Bay, called People of Lyall, which I am struggling to start so now I better start it… Also making another publication would be great.
www.antgreencreative.com | @antgreenphoto