Marnie Hawson is an extraordinary photographer, with an ability for shooting diverse subject matter. She has a knack for seeing the beautiful in everything, and is able to translate that beauty through her lens. We are so thrilled that she has joined the Austockphoto community – and that she was willing to share a little about herself…
Where is home? Have you always lived there?
Home for the last four years has been the Macedon Ranges just outside Melbourne, but before that was a lot of moving around – the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Brisbane for a short stint, and the best part of a year travelling around Europe in a motorhome (which proved to us you only really need about 5% of your belongings!).
What mode of transport do you most like to travel in?
When living in the city, it was definitely a bicycle, but now is more often than not a car due to country living! We are currently oogling a Landrover Defender that is kitted out for outback adventures..
Your photos are beautiful and incredibly diverse. Do you have a favourite discipline that you like working in?
A lot of people say to find a niche and stick with it, but I love being able to shoot a broad variety of subjects. I think if clients like your style from the beginning, then it’s always going to work no matter the subject. I also love working with smaller businesses that are in the set-up phase and are trying to create a living out of what they love to do. I like shooting weddings as well – I like the human and emotional aspect to this side of photography.
I came into 2015 with the aim that I was going to make it a year of collaborations, to expand my network and work with a variety of amazing people – and so far this has been working really well.
How did you move from photography being a pastime, to it also being a profession?
I worked as an environmental scientist for 10 years until only about a year and a half ago. I think the catalyst for the change was realising that I wanted to work for myself in some regard, which was probably initiated by my other (part time) business that I started whilst still working as a scientist in the city – epoch co., which is a vintage and industrial online store. We had also recently moved out to the Macedon Ranges, and I hated the commute into the city on the train – being used to riding to work from the inner city, and not having to endure the ordeal of public transport on a daily basis.
The transition started by changing jobs to work for a small environmental consultancy where everyone worked from home, and then I started trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with my professional life. I knew that the vintage online shop wasn’t enough for me, but I didn’t know what it was that I really wanted to do. I still have a notebook with all my thoughts jotted down; lists of what I was passionate about, what I was good at, and some ideas of what I could do out of that. I had never taken the thought of becoming a photographer seriously before, as I always thought there was so many around and it would be hard to break into.
I had a bit of an epiphany one day, just by coming across one image; a group of horses in a dusty, light filled stable by Sharon Cairns. Something in that image spoke to me, and I remembered that I had always had a belief in myself that I could do anything at all if I put my mind to it. So I started planning the steps I needed to take to become a professional photographer! Being a scientist, I’m very methodical, organised and professional in how I carry things out, so it was a fairly straightforward process after that.
What have you been snapping recently, that tells us a bit about your local Australian story?
I’ve being shooting a job for the Daylesford & Macedon Ranges Tourism Board over the last few weeks, and the subjects are the real Australia – small, local businesses, farmers, Autumn scenes around the Ranges, and really just great snapshots of Australian country life.
What are your three favourite subjects, places, or objects to take photos of?
I’ve been enjoying food shoots lately, probably because I get to style with all my vintage bits and pieces – most props are taken straight from our home. Another very photogenic subject is Dexter, our miniature pinscher dog – most of the photos are him in or on our bed where he seems to spend most of winter. I’m also trying to finish my Honest Trade project, with 14/20 trades complete. I love the purely documentary style of shooting for that series.
What do you like to shoot with?
I use a Canon 6D camera, with either a 20 mm/f2.8, 35 mm/f1.4, 50 mm/f1.4, or 85 mm/f1.8 lens. I love the simplicity and quality of prime lenses, and the fact that a fixed lens makes you move to get your shot.
Fine dining or a home cooked meal?
Home cooked, although I do love a night out (I only wish our little town had a vast array of restaurants though, it’s a big effort to head into the city when you have a sudden urge for dumplings…)
How else do you like to spend your time, when you’re not taking photos?
Hanging out with my husband, friends, and Dexter the min pin. I used to be an eventer a good number of years ago, and am now surrounded by horses in this region but without a horse – now that’s one expensive hobby, even compared to photography…
What do you find most exciting about being an Austockphoto contributor?
Being able to share the way I see things, and having the opportunity to take more representative photos of the country life around me.
You can have a look at Marnie’s gorgeous work at www.marniehawson.com.au, and see why we are so grateful to have her on board.