Today I welcome Prue Aja to the CWC blog as our featured member. Prue is a photographer whose love of imagery began as a teenager growing up in Byron Bay. She worked for several years as a stylist in Sydney and London, but stepped back behind the camera when she was pregnant with her daughter. Prue is now finishing her formal photography studies and has been enjoying working as an assistant to other successful Melbourne based photographers as well as expanding her own portfolio. What do you create? Imagery – I am a photographer, working with many different subjects from buildings to children to food and fashion. I am still in the process of defining exactly what style of photographer I am, and enjoying the challenge of trying new things to shoot.
Have you done training in your field or has it come about informally? I am currently studying Diploma of Photoimaging part time at RMIT, I do however come from a fashion background as a stylist working in Sydney and London and wanted to have more of a creative direction in the images. I actually enjoyed landscape and architectural photography from when I was a child, and since studying it has opened me up to working in studio, portraiture, and post-production with photoshop.
What are your main creative inspirations? My partner Nick, who is an artist and always pushing me to test my limits, and my 2 year old daughter who shows another perspective at looking at things. People, and pictures – I love meeting new people and being inspired by their stories or who they are (imagining how I would take their portrait), and flicking through magazines trying to work out how photos where taken using lighting or cameras/ lens.
How do you balance your creative projects with the administration aspect of creative work? To be honest I have a bit of a business/entrepreneurial head, so I enjoy the admin and marketing side of my business’s, but also I try not to mix them, as in I put away a day or so a month to look after tax/invoicing, maintenance, marketing and PR plans. By the end of that day I feel I really have, ticked a lot of boxes, the weight is off my shoulders and can get stuck into being creative again without worrying about logistics. Photography in itself I feel has a big admin side and only a small percentage is in preparing for a shoot, setting everything up, then the post of sorting and editing photos, so you need to be logistical and well organised.
What do you do when you experience a creative block? If I am working from home, I’ll go get in the veggie garden as there is always something that needs doing, even if its 10 minutes pulling out weeds, it clears my head to start again (I also catch myself using it as a form of procrastination). I have also started running this year and found it amazing for clearing your head and stimulating new ideas, and I’m always psyched when I get home. And if it is on a job I just have to remember to stop and breathe and everything begins to fall into place.
What future goals do you have for your creative pursuits? Over the next couple of years while I am studying I want to try out as many different forms of photography while I still have the teachers as mentors (happy to do jobs at a special student rate for any CWC members) and also to build up my portfolio and begin to define the direction I want to go in. I am happy about the position I am currently in my life, and would like to be a really strengthen my skills as a photographer, but also never stop learning new techniques and ways of being creative. Constantly evolve….
If you would like to find out more about Prue and her work, you can visit her website.
Roslyn Russell is a sewist, blogger and teacher. Her blog, Sew Delicious, is where she showcases her latest projects, designs and sewing tutorials. Roslyn also enjoys cake baking and decorating, exploring Melbourne cafes and restaurants, and hunting through op-shops for vintage sewing and kitchen treasures.