In Focus Women have started a new weekly segment where we profile and get to know some of the amazing women photographers in our community. We are starting with Sarina and Steph over the first two weeks who are the founders and curators of In Focus Women. We asked them a list of questions, we hope you enjoy.
Steph Vella, SYDNEY - AUSTRALIA
Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out our profiles. I am Steph, a Travel and Landscape Photographer based in Sydney, Australia. I absolutely love to travel and attempting to capture just some of the beauty I get to experience along the way.
What sparked your interest in Photography?
I actually originally had an interest in film. I studied Film & Digital Media at university and even did an exchange in the US to study film there too.
Once I graduated though, I very quickly realised that the film industry in Australia is very small, and getting consistent work in the areas I was interested in meant I would likely have to move overseas. Throughout uni I had been working part-time for a local wedding photographer where I was retouching all of his images. I worked there for 3.5 years and actually never took a single image!
I then got a job behind the scenes in a Photography studio, helping plan a variety of commercial product shoots for a large company. I still hadn't taken any images myself but my interests started to change into photography. In 2016 I started shooting portraits which I really enjoyed. I learnt quickly and within a year I was actually able to quit my job and start working for myself full-time, photographing newborns and families. It wasn't until April of 2017 that I took my first landscape image, and after this I fell completely in love. My passions for portraits started to fade into the background and landscape photography became more of my focus. Flash forward 3 years and I am so lucky to be working in the industry full-time. I run Photography workshops, and also work full-time for NiSi Filters Australia. I still also do portrait photography and find myself working 6-7 days a week trying to fit in all my work but I absolutely love it and couldn't be more grateful to be doing something I love for a living!
How long have you been shooting for?
Have been shooting landscapes for 3 years and portraits for 4 years.
What is your favourite type of Photography?
Definitely landscape photography! I absolutely love being able to capture some of the beauty of our world. I really enjoy seascape photography but also love being in the mountains! I enjoy pushing the creative limits of what we can do with photography and playing with shutter speed to completely transform an image.
What is in your camera bag?
My system set up is kind of a mixed bag haha. I have been lucky enough to have been able to try out a few different camera systems recently, so my recent work is shot on either Sony or Nikon but my own equipment is Canon. I currently own: - Canon 5D Mark IV
- Tamron 15-30mm 2.8 G2
- Canon 24-70 2.8 ii
- Canon 70-200 2.8 iii
- Canon 100-400 4.5-5.6 ii
- Sigma Art 35mm 1.8 - Sigma Art 50mm 1.8
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro - DJI Mavic Pro
- Shimoda Explore 40 (My camera bag which I absolutely love)
What would be your dream kit?
It is constantly changing! I have tried a few different systems and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. If money wasn't an option I would absolutely love to shoot with a Fuji GFX100. I have photographed with Fuji many times and the image quality is second to none and colours are so vibrant and accurate. This is a large systems though so not really ideal for travel. Maybe in the future medium format cameras will be smaller!
What software do you use to process your images?
I use Lightroom and Photoshop for all of my images. I do all of my global adjustments in Lightroom and then go into Photoshop for more fine tuning of images.
Who are your top 3 photography inspirations?
This is a hard one! There are so many incredible photographers out there that inspire me but some of my favourite are:
- Daniel Kordon
- Marc Adamus
- Nick Page
Would love to do a workshop with each of them one day.
What are your top 3 bucket list locations you want to shoot?
This is an ever changing list. But right now my top 3 locations I want to visit and shoot are:
- Antarctica. My all time number one. Would be so incredible to explore such a unique landscape and it is my mission to do so! Hopefully on a Landscape Photography tour with Daniel Kordon. I just need to win the lottery!
- Alaska. Just looks so incredible. So much untouched nature and wildlife to see!
- Canada. I went when I was very young and not photographing. But it is just one of the most beautiful countries. I really would love to explore more.
But there are so many more!! Again, just need to win the lottery and we good.
What are your social media handles?
I also am a curator of the new Instagram hub In Focus Women along with Sarina Jackson. We are really excited to be promoting amazing women landscape photographers from all over the world.
We have only just started, but can't wait to see how we can grow our community and have even more people around the world celebrating women in landscape photography.