Tania Lee is a talented professional photographer from Melbourne, Australia. We were delighted at Urbanity Chic when she agreed to complete a feature interview so she could share her photographic work with you and discuss a little about what she does. Read the full interview below to find out about Tania’s personal sense of style, how she became interested in photography as well as what book she’s just finished reading, which comes highly recommended!
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
I chose to study photography as an elective subject in year 10 in high school. I found I really enjoyed it and had a natural aptitude for it and therefore went on to study photography at university. I have my bachelor of Arts (Photography) from R.M.I.T in Melbourne and have built my career from there..
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
I enjoy photographing people and seeing the reaction on their faces when they see how amazing they look in the finished product. I also enjoy having an idea and seeing it through from concept to the final image. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction knowing that it is something that I have achieved.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
Fantastic, my website was launched at the beginning of the year and has generated a lot of work. It is great to know that all my hard work had finally paid off!
Q: Who inspires you?
Baz Luhmann inspires me. He is unlike most directors in that he is very theatrical and not afraid to try different things. I really admire his work.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, his work is so classical and Chanel’s fashion has stood the test of time.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
A good photographer needs to have a certain amount of natural ability, they need to have an eye for detail and be quite creative. They also need to have a good understanding of the actual technique although this is something that can be learnt.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
Ummmmmm, digital. Hard decision……
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I love natural light more than anything so I would have to say location. Even though studio lighting is more controlled there is nothing more beautiful than natural light.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?
During my final year of university I went on a shoot at night in the middle of nowhere with 3 other girls. I found the perfect spot for the shoot. We pulled over and started setting up. The setup took about 45 minutes, I got the model in place, styled perfectly and I took one photograph on my roll of film (on average I normally use at least 4-5 rolls of film) Suddenly out of nowhere we heard a rustle in the bushes right next to where I was shooting. Within seconds we managed to pack up, dive into the car and drive off absolutely terrified. The next morning at university I processed the film with the one photograph to see whether or not it was worth going back to reshoot. To my surprise the single shot I took on that night ended up being exactly what I was after and I have been able to use it in my folio since. 9 years on, we all still vividly remember that night and have shared many a laugh about it.
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
I have a good eye for detail. All my images are crisp, clean and simple, I don’t like to over complicate an image.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
I love this photo as the model looks so peaceful, whilst the tones in the image are so strong.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
Richard Avedon and Australian photographer Bill Henson. Richard Avedon had an impressive career that survived 40 years in the fashion industry, his work from beginning to end was fantastic. Bill Henson is known for his use of opposites and is not scared to push boundaries, his images are quite dark and grainy and make a statement.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
I would love to be the next Steven Meisel and be the photographer for Vogue or be head photographer for Chanel’s advertising campaigns.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion means being able to express yourself creatively through clothes. Each person has their own sense of style like their personalities
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Dramatic, everything has a story to it…..what you see is not necessarily what you get.
Q: Where are you based?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Melbourne is an amazing place! We are the home of many up and coming Designers, Actors, Musicians it is a great place for creative people.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Having the opportunity to work with a big Australian clothing label, Country Road.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
More work! More success!
Q: What do you do to relax?
I love to read! I just finished a fantastic book by an Australian author Kate Holden called In My Skin, I highly recommend it! I also love getting a good massage.
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
Acting, traveling and shopping for anything….
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
Work with your strengths, find out what works for you and be the best you can be at it!
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
Being able to express myself creatively and technically.
Editor’s Note: Tania’s photography demonstrates a subtle creative and avant-garde edge whilst still maintaining the clean look required for successful commercial work when required.
If you’d like to see more work or contact Tania, just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/tanialeephoto
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/tanialeephotography
web page link: http://www.tanialeephotography.com.au/