1.Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a Perth photographer who studied for three years at University, now I’m a full-time photographer testing for modelling agencies and shooting editorials.
2.What does photography mean to you?
Photography is my life! (we both giggle) For me its a means of making art, not necessarily something pretty but something that’s edgy. Something that you can look at, think about for a while and go back to, not just a “page tuner”as they say.
3. What were the difficulties you encountered when starting photography?
Oh my gosh so many… First of all you can’t get models, so you have to shoot your friends. Nobody wants to work with you because they have never heard of you and nothings free. With networking you have to start from scratch, talk to everyone, be really polite and work your way up. Stylists are few and far between, of course nobody wants to lend anything so I would buy things at Myer and return them with their great returns policy. Its one thing to take a great photo but to be consistent is the challenge. Now I have to take a great photo all the time because there’s money riding on it.
4. Who are some of your favourite photographers and how do they influence you?
Nicole Bently hands down! First and foremost right, because she went to the same university as I did, she’s from Perth and she started testing with he same agencies as I did. I have been told we have a similar style in our shots, clearly she coined it before I did but I’m definitely influenced by her. I’m also a big fan of Gavin O’Niel who’s from Perth, I’ll go a little famous with Patrick Demarchelier but my all time favourite photographer is Stephen Mizel – always keeping it original, even now, how does he do it? Very creative man always beautifully shot and memorable.
5. When you are shooting, how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
I admit a lot of what I used to do was instinctual because I used to go with the whim but now if you don’t plan, ‘whats the saying’? plan to fail? (laughs). Honestly though now I have to plan as there are people who are depending on good photos. I used to take photos for myself, building my portfolio but now I’m here to build their portfolios.
6. Why do you take photos?
(Tom whispers ‘stupid question’) I love opening glossy magazines and seeing the different styles of editorial and unique looks. It’s amazing, we can all shoot the same model and it will look completely different. We all have the same lights, same cameras but its our individual style that creates our signature.
7. How has social media played a role in your photography?
It’s definitely played a big role in getting my name out there. Obviously I started off as a nobody and very quickly within a year and a half ,I have gone from getting my first camera to now being a full-time photographer. Social media has projected my business through the interconnection of Facebook, Instagram and my Website. http://tomharfield.com.au
8. What are some tips/advice you would give to upcoming or aspiring photographers?
You will hear 9 no’s and 1 yes in every 10. Keep persisting, make friends, don’t dismiss any contacts and help others.
9. What is your favourite shoot to date or would you like to shoot in the future?
Coughs “Aimee Thompson”haha no but really, the shoot that changed me was my shoot with Miley in the studio. It was the first time everything just looked a whole big stepping stone better than anything else I had ever done, it was a great relief and one of my favourite photos of today.
10. Whats one question you’ve never been asked?
Do you have a girlfriend? haha
Thanks Tom Harfield for the time to interview you.
Tom took the photos for my Bunupsandbananas website – Legend!
Be sure to check out Toms: