Darren Smith

 

 

 

 

 

Say hi to Darren of Fotoflair in Bli Bli on the sunny coast of Queensland. Darren is a creative in every sense of the word. His work is divided between character, sport and animal photography (and we’re not always talking household pets) I put questions to Darren this week and this is what he had to say.

You’re a husband and wife team, how do you think this adds to the success of Fotoflair?


Having a business partner that believes in your work 100% is vital to the success of any business, possibly more so as a creative I would think. And to have your life partner as your business partner as well has its share of benefits and challenges. I guess the main benefit that adds to the success of our business is no one will ever know me better than Danette, she tells me how it is, she keeps it real for me. We share a common goal with our children and that is our driving force when things get tough. Having a business partner that believes in your work 100% is vital to the success of any business, possibly more so as a creative I would think. And to have your life partner as your business partner as well has its share of benefits and challenges. I guess the main benefit that adds to the success of our business is no one will ever know me better than Danette, she tells me how it is, she keeps it real for me. We share a common goal with our children and that is our driving force when things get tough.

 

What is your favourite material to shoot and why?

 

I don’t really know that I could pick a favourite, to be honest. I guess if I did have to choose I would probably say athletes, and not just because they look good. I look at them in a lot of ways like I look at myself (minus the six pack and bulging muscles). Very rarely do we get to see the other side of what they do, the world tends to just focus on the end result, the competition, the glory moment. To be considered elite at anything takes hard work, sacrifice and commitment and I like to acknowledge that with these athletes, sort of like the common bond that we share. Disclaimer, I in no way believe that I am currently an elite photographer but I do work hard, make sacrifices and am committed to the craft.

Can you give us some insight into your journey from the start to where you are today?

 

I would like to say that photography was in my genes, that I was born to be a photographer and was taking photos from an early age….but this is simply not the case. I am a late bloomer and didn’t really pick up a camera till well into my thirties. When we decided to start a family, Danette and I decided that Danette would be a full-time mother while the children were young. With a mortgage, bills and hungry mouths to feed, a single income made it difficult to make ends meet, so rather than take on another job myself, I wanted to chance myself at a part time business. This started as a wedding videography business, which developed quite nicely for the first couple of years, Danette was able to stay at home with the kids and help out with bookings and the paperwork side of things, and I would shoot the weddings and edit them myself on nights and weekends. I would always ask the photographer for a few pics they would be willing to share for me to use for DVD covers but in the end, I decided to buy a Canon 40D to shoot my own. I would only ever take a few photos as agreed with the photographer prior to the wedding, as I didn’t want to step on any toes. That was in November 2008, around about that same time my full-time work was busy and nights and weekends were busy editing and shooting, and it got to the point where I did not have a single day off for 6 months and came pretty close to suffering a nervous breakdown. Something had to change and by mid-2009 we had dropped the videography and were focusing solely on photography. The workflow suited me better and I loved the challenge of creating a story in a single frame. The next big change in our lives came in December 2012 where I was made redundant from my full-time position. A lot of people in the same situation might feel bummed about being made redundant, but for us, it was a breath of fresh air, I finally had the opportunity to prove to myself that we could do this thing. The good news is we are still doing it and we expect to for many years to come. There are plenty of challenges along the way and still lots of learning to happen, but we will rise to the challenge and make this business work.

What do you think your most valuable lesson learnt and/or any advice you would pass on to others about your life in photography?

 

Learn to accept…….not to expect

 

Photographer Years -  6 years

AIPP History - Joined the AIPP 2010 (As Emerging) I Accredited in 2013

Awards – Entered 3 prints in the AIPP QLD awards back in 2010 and bombed out. Suffer greatly from Fear of Failure syndrome and self-doubt so tend not to enter many competitions. Took 4 years to build the confidence to have another crack. Gold and two Silver awards at State and National Awards 2014

Contact - M: 0418 939 606 E: darren@fotoarts.com.au | L: Bli Bli, QLD | W: www.fotoarts.com.au | F: Facebook | Profile

Something special - We like to support charity when we can, currently working with 4 Paws Animal Refuge, Sunshine Coast. I cannot wait to work on AIPP Reflections Project – I have created a personal project Anzac Day 2012 with a WWII Veteran Jimmy Rooney, if you have a spare 20 minutes I think it is worth listening to https://vimeo.com/41213819

Words from Darren - Fotoflair Photography is a small family owned and operated boutique photography studio based in Bli Bli on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Our speciality is portrait photography, whether it be a family, sport, animal or commercial, Fotoflair promises to deliver something special for you. Fotoflair has a vision to celebrate life as art through photography. We want to get to know you, understand who you are and what you are looking for, it is only then that we can create something meaningful. Our commitment to you is we will deliver an experience and products that will exceed your expectations. We won’t be happy until you’re happy. Creativity is at the soul of what we do. We want to offer something unique, something fun, a portrait celebrating life as art. More than just a photo, Darren’s artworks bring to life the personalities and stories of everyday people and animals in a thought provoking, illustrative way.

What is your story? We’d love to hear it.