Aspiring to tell a story in each image he captures is what Josh sets out to achieve with his photography. His love for the art is taking his career to new heights, with multiple campaigns and a current exhibition at the Sunset Gallery. ”
Tell us a little about yourself …
I’m currently 20 years old, living in Port Macquarie − which I have done since my family and I moved up roughly 4 years ago from Sydney.
What first sparked your interest in photography?
I don’t think there was a certain moment or thing which sparked an interest towards taking photos. I’ve always enjoyed all types of art in general. Whatever it was though, that made me pick up a camera, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Life would be so dull without photography. Well, mine would be boring anyway ha ha!
What was your very first camera, and who gave it to you?
My first SLR camera was one I bought off a very talented photographer and friend of mine, Ryan Cheeseman. It was a Canon 40D, which I used as if there was no tomorrow.
I have never studied or been taught anything to do with photography or cameras, so it was a fun experience teaching myself all the different methods which can be used with an SLR. I would still to this day use it, if it wasn’t for it flooding to the point where it doesn’t turn on anymore (my fault).
What photographic gear would you not be without on a shoot?
To be perfectly honest, as long as I have a camera, I’m fine … whether it is my SLR or my older film models I use (that were made in the ‘50s). The only thing I probably couldn’t do without though, is my iPod ha ha! Listening to music while I’m taking photos is something I’ve loved doing since I first started; it just helps block everything and let my imagination take over in my own little world. It’s fun!
What are your favourite subjects to shoot?
It’s so hard to choose just one, as I always try to vary my work around a whole lot of different subjects. But IF I had to pick just one, it would have to be photographing people.
I try to capture humans in a very subtle and natural style, so 95% of the time it is never staged or in a studio, and it’s always without a flash. Sure, it sounds easy, but to capture someone’s personality, along with their emotion and background and have it all coincide to tell a story in one single image is very hard … which I guess is why I’m so picky with my photos, but it makes me appreciate them just that little bit more when I get ones I like.
Shooting in the last hour or so of lighting during a sunset just has to be mentioned in here too; 3 out of my top 5 favourite images have all been taken in this time frame. The colours and silhouettes created around any subject during it just simply cannot be beaten.
In your opinion, what does it take to be a great photographer?
I’ve been lucky to have met endless amounts of photographers from all different industries, and I think they are all good in their own unique way. But there are a very select few out there with a rare and unteachable talent of being able to tell stories out of the simplest images.
It’s cliché, but a picture really does tell a 1,000 words, and I find that the images which resemble that saying the most are the ones that are the least intricate. It’s a sign of not only a good photographer, but an even better artist to be able to possess this skill.
You held an exhibition at the Sunset Gallery in Port Macquarie recently. How successful was that for you?
Yes, I recently had an exhibition open at Sunset Gallery with about 20 images of all sizes in Port Macquarie, thanks to Scott and Port’s own talented photographer Matt Jorgensen, who has his own gallery down there.
They gave me the opportunity to be able to get it up and running. Although I don’t set out and take photos thinking of the money that can come from them, it’s been cool to have my own work on display − and to have people actually wanting to buy them is pretty overwhelming. It will be still going for another 3 – 4 weeks, so head down, check it all out, and say hello!
What are your plans for the future?
The possibilities career wise in photography are quite exciting. The thought of making a living out of doing something I love and still being so young is just crazy.
I have recently shot multiple campaigns for some unbelievably creative fashion labels and boutiques, which ultimately led to me being accredited to shoot at the week-long Mercedez Benz Fashion Week in Sydney, which was the most amazing week of my life by far.
Meeting and collaborating with world renowned photographers, models, designers and bloggers inspired me to pursue a career in the industry … and with the next 2 months being busy with more campaigns to shoot, I can only hope it opens even bigger and better doors for me in the near future.
Where can people view your photos?
About a year and a bit ago, I started a blog for my images that recently notched up 35,000 views as well as 1,000 followers, which I never expected to happen, ever … let alone after a year! They can be seen at www.joshhedge.tumblr.com Are you looking for new clients?
As for work, I am open to all sorts, whether it’s weddings/family portraits/portfolios etc. I also enjoy working with unique looking people on shoots, so if you have 2 different coloured eyes and a pet seahorse or something, don’t be afraid to send me a message on my email: firstname.lastname@example.org and for the other social networkers out there, my Instagram is – joshhedge.
Interview by Jo Atkins.
This story was published in issue 80 Greater Port Macquarie Focus