Oh, hey there, thanks for stopping by. I’m Charli, UK-born, Australian raised and I’m a fine art conceptual photographer and artist based in Sydney.
I purchased my first camera in June 2018 after playing around with a friend’s Canon. I had quit film acting and was looking for a new creative outlet at the time. I’d spent so much of my teenage and young adult life in front of the camera, that making the switch to being behind it instead seemed like a great idea.
For the first three months of being a “photographer”, I tried many different genres, from macro to landscape and all of them in between. Come September 2018, I was ready to quit because something was missing, the creative storytelling aspect.
Thankfully the stars aligned, and I found the world of conceptual photography, a style so enveloped in creative storytelling it made my heart sing. I instantly knew this was the right style for me and almost five years later, I still love it.
I’ve never had a lot of gear and most of what I did have has since been sold. Now, I really do have the bare minimum. When I first started, I thought I needed a bunch of gear, but I’ve realised I don’t need more than a single camera and lens to take photos.
Oh, and a tripod. It’s an absolute necessity, especially when taking self-portraits.
My first purchase was the Canon EOS 750D and it came with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. It was the same camera my friend that I mentioned earlier had and it was great for a beginner.
I jumped straight into manual mode, figuring I’d work it out as I went along. I also bought a ‘Nifty 50’ because I wanted to take portraits.
I had this camera for about three or four months before I convinced myself I needed to upgrade if I was going to take this seriously and do fine art. That’s when I purchased the Canon EOS 80D.
This was a large investment for me at the time, especially as I wasn’t making any money from photography at this point. Hell, I didn’t even know if I ever would!
Along with that I also needed a 35mm as I was more often than not doing portrait photography. I ended up with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG DN lens. It was a great alternative to the more expensive Canon lens that I really wanted but couldn’t afford.
I held onto the Canon 80D for years and it was only until recently that I was finally in a position where I’d earned enough money through my art photography business to justify upgrading my camera to a mirrorless, more specifically the Canon EOS R5.
This is my dream camera with a nice strap by The Macraman attached.
I ended up selling my 80D plus the EF lenses since it no longer fits my Canon EOS R5 without an adaptor, and I purchased the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro lens. It is perfect for my style of photography and the only one I have used for my conceptual art.
Ideally, I would have preferred the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 however, Canon still hasn’t released it into the world as yet.
I also have a DJI Osmo Pocket 2 with the Creator Combo. This is used purely for filming content for YouTube as I enjoy sharing my process behind the scenes. This nifty little camera doesn’t take up much room.
I’ve never owned any lighting equipment. I only shoot in natural light, and only if it’s cloudy, overcast or blue hour. Give me overcast, foggy weather any day over bright sunshine.
I wouldn’t be able to create the photographic art I create without Photoshop. I’m so thankful a program like this exists as it’s really allowed me to push the boundaries.
My knowledge of Photoshop is super basic. I learned what I needed to learn to create the art I wanted. I use it as a way to layer my photographs together to create one blended piece of storytelling art.
I’m currently working off a laptop by the company Metabox, however, I’ve had this for quite a few years and it’s starting to struggle a little bit when I’m editing in Photoshop or Premiere Pro when I am putting together my YouTube videos.
No doubt my next upgrade will be a new laptop.
My bag is something cheap I picked up and I typically have a book in there, a Zomei tripod which didn’t cost much, and maybe a small prop or two. It all depends on the concept that I’m shooting.
It’s not exactly a big bag, so usually, I have an extra tub or bucket to carry props and costumes.
My little piece of advice for any photographers out there looking for ways to get more creative with their camera is to try CONCEPTUAL PHOTOGRAPHY.
The possibilities with this style truly are endless and your only limit is your own imagination. It is just like being a kid again where you get to dress up, play with toys and go wherever your imagination takes you.