Once upon a time…..
This isn’t a fairytale, but I will take you on a journey of how I got to where I am today.
My childhood was a little different to most. I’m an only child, and grew up with parents who loved to not be home. Literally, any opportunity they had to be out and about, whether it be on a trip, off to a show, doing something a little different to the norm that they found in the classifieds that “might be interesting”, you bet it, we did it. On the topic of trips, a good chunk of my childhood was spend in the back of my Dad’s Landcruiser exploring the more remote regions of Australia. Not many Aussies could say that they’ve been to Ayers Rock 13 times, but I can put my hand up and say I have. Red dirt, remote areas, no technology and being self-succifient living out of the supplies we had on hand in our 4wd were a common lifestyle for us. My parents firmly believed that the best way to learn was to experience things first hand, and to do so outside the confines of a classroom, so to the dismay of my teachers, often my parents would pull me out of school for 6 weeks at a time and off we’d go to a new destination that my peers probably to this day, still hadn’t heard of.
So what kept me entertained on these trips?
You bet it. My camera.
My Dad & I on one of our many trips to Ayers Rock. How’s that fashion sense on me!
My photography journey began on those outback trips with my parents, with multiple Kodak disposable cameras. Automated film cameras, with 30ish exposures per reel. For each trip I was usually given 3 cameras and we were gone for up to 6 weeks at a time, so I had to ensure that what I did capture was worthy of the exposure, so I still had space to take more, should something else come up along our travels worthy of a shot.
My first camera
I owned many compact digital cameras and was 100% that person who through their teenage years always had the camera. It’s a foreign concept to many now where phones all come with a built in camera as a common feature, but portable digital cameras were all the rage when I was growing up. From parties to clubs, to just adventures to the beach or down the street, my little compact digital camera went everywhere I went. It was also waterproof, which gave a whole new element to my photography, especially when I hold such a love for the underwater world, and later went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree at university, where I majored in Marine Biology… but I learned that this was not to be the path for me career wise, but don’t regret a single minute of my degree and the people and experiences I took away from it.
Fastforwarding the years…
But we’ve skipped ahead, let’s continue to fill in the blanks of this story.
Was a Canon 350D. It was silver, had a horrendous shutter sound, but it was my first camera that Dad purchased for me and it replaced my love of my little compact camera. It elevated my photography tenfold, having now a keen interest in manual settings, lighting and composition more becoming the forefront of my interest. For my 18th birthday all I wanted was a Nikon D90. I had developed a love for Nikon, and begged and begged and my wishes came true when I was gifted my dream camera for my 18th birthday. I was photographing more than just landscapes and inanimate objects in the world around me now, I was photographing people in their finest - I became a nightclub photographer at a club in Sydney CBD, as well as live music of both small gigs in clubs & pubs around Sydney, as well as festivals such as Groovin’ the Moo which I photographed twice.
My first DSLR
Photography is certainly not something you need qualifications for to know what you’re doing, or to become a professional. And this is coming from someone who went to college and has obtained a Diploma of Photoimaging. I did my course at CATC (Commercial Arts Training College) at the Fortitude Valley campus in Brisbane, and obtained this during my “gap year” between high school and university (because I’m that guy and always needed something studious to keep my brain active!). This course was huge for me. Some things I already knew - from lighting techniques to composition, it started from the ground up and taught fundamentals right through to how to quote and run a successful & profitable business. There are so many elements that I took away from my course that I still use daily, so though I advocate that you do not need formal training to become a successful wedding & portrait photographer, I also don’t disagree that should you wish to pursue formal education, that it won’t prove useful - because it did for me. I also undertook a photography elective during my Bachelor of Science degree at university as a break away from the heaviness of my degree for something a little more creative, and again, learning from another professional, though it was only for a subject, I took away things I still use to this day. You can never know everything there is to know about photography, there’s always another technique or way of doing things, and it’s this that keeps feeling my passion to continue to strive to be a better photographer. I still often undertake workshops and courses to continue to learn more and aspire to be a better photographer.
Showcasing my Body of Work at my first exhibition, alongside my peers at CATC, Brisbane 2011.
My business name was thought up by my friend when we were in high school. I wanted to create a Myspace page for my photography and couldn’t think of what to call it. Trying to think of words based around my name, Translucent was decided upon as most of my friends at the time called me “Luce”.
Came about my chance! Every season-break from uni, I’d fly back home to NSW and take up casual employment for my time home in hospitality. On my first trip back, one of my co-workers and I got to talking. I’d mentioned that I was a photographer, as by this time I was shooting family portraits but this was the extent of where my business portfolio would showcase. He asked me if I photographed weddings. Now without hesitation, I responded with “yes”. Know me well, and you’ll know that I am a massive over thinker, so the fact that I spoke with such confidence here is not typical for me! But it was that two seconds of confidence, that led to a great conversation, furthered to using all those business and quoting skills I’d learned from college to properly be put into place, and here we go, I’d quoted on my first ever wedding - and it was accepted! I then almost immediately started reaching out to local wedding photographers that I’d both admired for ages, as well as had just found on a quick Google search, and asked if they’d be okay if I tagged along, saw how they operated and would do so free of charge. Most respectfully declined my request, but all it took was one to say yes. I learned that with weddings you need to be organised, you need to be punctual, you need to be prepared and open for anything, be a problem solver, occasional step-in coordinator/seamstress/waiter/chauffeur… and I also learned that weddings were 100% what I wanted to do, and where I could see myself down the line. This was the day my passion for photographing weddings began, and on that day I didn’t even take one single image. I carried bags, lighting equipment, drove a golf buggy (It was a golf course wedding) and spectated, occasionally asking questions and just absorbing the day all in. I will be eternally grateful for that photographer allowing me to come along and see how they operate and now in my own career as a wedding photographer I have adapted my way of operation to best suit my own style and taste.
On the day of the wedding, I actually took along my best friend for support. I was so incredibly nervous. But. It. Was. Awesome. Things went wrong, things went right. It rained. I was apprehensive and nervous about everything and tried not to let this show. I shot my heart out, and it was an amazing day, I already couldn’t wait to shoot more.
An image from my first ever wedding back in 2015. How’s that watermark?!
With shooting my first wedding in 2015, this began my wedding portfolio. I was still living in QLD, and flew down to photograph that wedding. I continued to photograph weddings & portraits both in NSW and in QLD alongside my studies. I moved back to my home town in NSW after graduating from university in 2016, moving my business home with me and had to start scratch with marketing a business in a different state. It took time. It was frustrating. I had “deals” on offer almost constantly, to get my name out there, advertising in groups on social media & Gumtree. Soon enquiries were coming in where people had seen my work not generated from a cheesy advert I’d popped up somewhere. I stopped the ads, worked on a website, posted my work to social media frequently, and enquiries continued. I left my full-time administration “safety-net” job, and took the plunge into being full-time in my business in 2019, and this was the best decision I ever made. I went in with the mindset of “sink or swim” and if there came a time I felt I was starting to go under, I’d start looking to work for an employer again and balance both again, like I had for so many years prior. Thankfully, even through a global pandemic - this is not yet a bridge I’ve needed to cross, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
Over the years I have changed and grown. From my style, to how I shoot, to my gear (I now shoot a Sony mirrorless camera kit), to my workflows and operation - every element of my business is fluid, and constantly growing and adapting as I learn, tweak & trial new things. I continue to undertake workshops and research to better my self as a photographer and as a business. I will never know everything about photography, never be a master, and will absolutely never claim to be.
Weddings & Elopements are now the essence of Translucent Photography, a business that has seen me flown overseas for weddings as well as around Australia, and win awards both domestic and internationally. I went from shooting 1 wedding in 2015, to continual growth in bookings over the years since. I now photograph 60+ weddings & elopements a year as well as 3-4 portrait sessions on average, a week.
When I’m not shooting, editing or aspiring to get my email inbox down to zero, I’m spending time with my husband Dean, and our puppy, Winston!
From then, til now (2015-current)
I’ve come a long way from my Kodak disposable camera days spent in outback Australia!
With Kodak disposable cameras, from the back of my Dad’s 4wd on countless trips to the Australian outback.
my photography career began as a child
And have been shooting weddings since 2015.
I've photographed over 300 Weddings!
Nor will I ever claim to be. There’s always something new to learn and explore in photography, and I’m obsessed with that!
I will never be a master, and that's a good thing!
Formally, the business began in 2011 solely focusing on families. I began photographing weddings & elopements in 2015.
Translucent Photography began in 2011
However have previously had both Canon and Nikon DSLR’s.
I shoot a Sony Mirrorless Camera kit