Over the next eight weeks, we will be featuring eight Stocksy photographers who use Fujifilm X Series cameras to capture their images for commercial use. Discover what they like about their kit and how they utilise the equipment to obtain the best results.
Our first interview is with Melbourne based photographer, Rowena Naylor.
Can you tell us about yourself and what you most love about photography?
I had my first camera at the age of 12, my father was the classic 1970s wedding photographer. I shudder when I look at his work now but being exposed to taking photos, developing, darkrooms and classic film cameras of the day apparently affected me as I haven’t put a camera down since. I eventually ‘gave up my day job’ to pursue a photography career in 2008, and have never looked back. I love my job!
Alongside shooting professionally for clients, I also have a healthy and expensive obsession with film and film cameras. I have even been experimenting with some of the old analogue lenses on the Fujifilm X-T2 recently and have loved the results.
You have previously used a Fujifilm X-T1 for your commercial work, how did you find the upgrade to the X-T2? Was there a noticeable difference in performance and quality?
I was definitely the classic early adopter of the Fujifilm X Series, I had my name on the waitlist for the very first X100 and can still remember the excitement when the camera store called to say it had arrived!
I followed through with purchasing the X-PRO1 followed by the X-T1 and most recently, the X-T2. It was a slow transition in using the X-T1 in my commercial work, but when the X-T2 arrived I put away the huge Digital SLR and used the X-T2 for all commercial and stock shooting.
Performance and quality are on par with what I was previously shooting with the Canon 5D MK II
When you photograph architectural interiors what are the steps you follow before a shoot? Do you do much preparation to get the scene ready?
Yes, quite a bit of prep is needed to get a great interior shot. It always worth checking natural light, sun direction and time of day that the room will look it best.
What has been the most challenging photography shoot you have done and how did this experience improve your photography?
I had a big energy company client that I worked for during the construction phase of gas drilling rigs. This was challenging work, especially working in tight spaces high up on rig platforms capturing workers and equipment being moved and placed by cranes. Working with the Fujifilm X Series cameras was great in these conditions. The small compact lenses offered easy portability and excellent low-light resolution. I found it easy to change lenses while moving around in tight areas with the camera strapped to my body. The X-T2 improved my work by giving me the confidence that I could take the camera anywhere without feeling it would be an encumbrance.
When you travel what Fujinon lenses do you take with you? Is there a mixture of wide angle, portrait and telephoto, or do you just take one lens?
I always travel with two Fujifilm bodies, the X-T2 and X-PRO1. I always find it difficult deciding which lens to take and which to leave behind. My favourite picks are always the XF56mmF1.2, XF23mmF1.4, XF16mm1.4 and the XF27mm2.8. I also usually pack the XF50-140mmF2.8 for most shoots too.
Can you take us through your workflow? Do you photograph in RAW or capture images in Jpeg? Is there much editing work involved?
I always shoot in RAW. The photos captured are imported into Adobe Lightroom, and editing is dependent on the client’s brief. I find I hardly crop images when post processing. I think I put this down to the fact that I shoot with primes, which force you into composing a scene in a particular way.
What do you like most about the Fujifilm X-T2, and if you were to add or improve a feature to assist your photography what would it be?
I love the weight and handling of the X-T2. When I need it to look like a big camera (for clients) I add the Vertical Battery Power Booster Grip. When I want to roam the streets, to make the camera smaller and lighter, I remove the grip and mount the XF27mmF2.8 pancake lens. Improvement? I am happy right now, but still, do dream of a full frame X-T model.
What advice can you give someone who wishes to make their start as a photographer and why did you choose Stocky to represent your work?
It seems everyone is a photographer these days, and I encourage that premise. We all need to catalogue and preserve our history and lives.
My advice to new photographers would be to work with prime lenses. Drop the zooms and teach yourself to move and frame your shot using one fixed focal length lens. Also if you intend to make it a career, I would say specialise in one area of photography, and be good at it.
I am honoured to have Stocksy present my work. They were introduced to me by a fellow stock photographer before start up, and I eagerly jumped on board. The growth and path they have taken since launch in 2013 has been amazing and empowering and I have definitely grown as a photographer by being part of the Stocksy Co-operative.