Tell us a bit about yourself?
Funnily enough, my name is Susannah and I am a 31 year old self taught photographer. I am a kiwi living in Melbourne with my husband and two gorgeous little ones; Annabel 3 and Otis 4 months. I am addicted to coffee and chocolate, and feel really alive when the sky is blue and the sun is shining.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use? My current photography is a reflection of my love affair with vintage style photography and cameras. I have quite a collection of vintage and digital cameras, and I love to combine the old with the new. Currently I use box cameras (Duaflex, Argus 75, Brownie), Polaroid (SX-70), film (I have 2 1950’s Minoltas, one from the 50’s, one from the 90’s, and my first ever Vivitar). However I wouldn’t be where I am today without my trusty digital Canon EOS 400D, no film costs means experimentation is endless!
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process? I get inspiration from everywhere – from the web, books, my family and the world around me. My photography comes alive in spring and summer, that’s when I will head out in the mornings (sometimes alone or often with the family and a picnic lunch) with my camera bag packed full of gear and drive to the beach, a park, the country (more often than not the beach!) and go for a wander. I will shoot until the camera is full (always more than I can process) – taking TTV shots with the box cameras, the odd film shot and straight digital shots. I then head back home to process them in my digital dark room. I love using textures to add a distressed, slightly “other world” feel to my photos.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art? I was given my first camera at age 8 and I haven’t been without one since. I was forever taking photos, racing to the lab to have them printed and then spending hours looking through and critiquing them. It wasn’t until 7 years while ago, while working as a services manager in a law firm, that I realised I wanted photography and creativity to be my life, not my hobby, and I have been taking small steps towards that ever since.
I worked with Fleur Wickes, a brilliant New Zealand photographer, and she encouraged me to chase my dream. I was enrolled to study at a photography school in NZ but at the last minute moved back to Melbourne. Then my daughter was born and all thoughts of going to art/photography school flew out the window. It was through experimentation, many online tutorials and web/blog browsing that I realised I didn’t have to study to do what I love; I just had to do it. So I stopped making excuses and decided to see if anyone would like my art enough to buy it.
How did you come up with your business name? When I was daydreaming about having my own photography business, I would come up with all sorts of whimsical names. Then, when I was about to open my first online shop, I couldn’t decide. I wanted a name that I could use for the arty side of things and also for the portrait business I still daydream about. In the end, I figured if I used my name it would be my business no matter what aspect of photography I was doing. So Susannah Tucker Photography was launched!
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
I used to belong to the Melbourne Camera Club and found it to be a great source of info, support and inspiration. I hope to rejoin soon. There are so many online sites/blogs and I also love to browse through the “home and lifestyle” and “cooking” sections of Borders - the photography is amazing
What's your best advice for someone starting up? Have faith in what you do and don’t be swayed by others. If you love what you do, somewhere someone will pick up on that and fall in love with your product too. It may take time but keep at it, the small steps are what make this journey so enjoyable and every little milestone is worth celebrating.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful? Be active. Don’t sit and wait for someone to discover you. The web helps so much in getting your art seen but don’t forget to get out in the real world. I find local markets a fantastic way to meet other crafty folk and to sell my art.
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way? Double check all of the details. It’s easy when you are busy with an online business, preparing for markets, looking after the kids etc to overlook the fine details. I recently made up a whole batch of business cards and it wasn’t until I was at the market, with them sitting on my table for people to pick up, that I realised one of my web addresses was wrong….oops!
What do you like to do besides creating? Going out for a good coffee, laughing with my friends, rummaging through second hand shops for vintage goodies, being with my family and living outside as much as possible.
What would be your perfect day?
Sleeping in, waking to a brilliant blue sky, happy children (who stay happy the whole day), grabbing take away coffees from Hot Poppy in North Melbourne and driving down the coast to take photos, build sand castles and swim. I’d end my perfect day with a bbq dinner, tucking the kids into bed and my husband and I heading into the city for some wine and a David Gray concert. Ahhh, bliss!
Who is your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words? Mae –absolutely delightful! That shop has the x-factor!