Dave Chambers

About Dave Chambers

A Personal Story

A very personal account of why I have chosen photography again

Generally speaking "About Us" sections are written in the third person and not very personal however I have written this completely different as photography is a very personal thing for me and any potential customers should understand my mindset and this will also help people who view my work understand some of the story around the photos. The last time I was in the industry everything was still film based with only a few photographers using digital instead of polaroids to test shots; however I have recently found the love for photography again thanks to Stephen Culpitt of Pocket Elvis and Kutabare. The love of photography has once again been sparked by photographing local bands such as Pocket Elvis, Kutabare, $2 Peeps, the Louds and Kerr's Cur.  The following is my path back to photography.

Early Days

As a child I was always very active moving from one thing to another and using my imagination a lot. I enjoyed sport and creative activities however I was and still am rubbish at drawing and never had an opportunity to play music; however even from my first photo that I took the framing was excellent. Due to cost of film I wasn’t able to take photo’s very often.

It wasn’t until high school where photography was offered as an elective that I was able to photograph regularly and I was able to purchase my first camera which was a fully manual Minolta SLR. I never finished high school and just kept photography as a hobby up until the mid to late 1990’s as my main line of work was a swimming coach for many years, though I also did pizza delivery, volleyball umpire, photo processing shop (very funny considering I am colourblind) and I think there may have been a few other things in there as well.

Start of a Career

I finally decided that I wanted to pursue photography more seriously and was accepted into RMIT TAFE for I think it was called Applied Photography. The course was incredible as I learnt a lot from it however I went through a stage where I lost the creativity as I could only think about the technical side of photography. I never found my mojo until we had a lecturer who would begin by have many beers with us, I was then in the state where I had no chance of thinking to photographed and processed naturally.

During that time I was lucky enough to meet the awesome Lucy Morton (Instagram please check out Lucy's work as she is amazing - @Lucymortonphotographer) who had never had an assistant but took the chance on me and allowed me to work with her. This was another amazing learning curve but more importantly was an incredible amount of fun; Lucy taught me so much and gave me so much confidence which is something that I always lack.

Lucy also introduced me to Andrew Richey who worked in the same St. Kilda studio. Andrew is a very different photographer which gave me even more experience within the industry and different methods. Once again Andrew was amazing to work with and so much fun.

Unfortunately for reasons that I now understand I walked away from it using the excuse of I can’t afford to set up. At the time there was a theoretical subject that I thought was very hippy like and I failed it 3 times so I just packed it in and returned to swim coaching as I was offered a position to build up a development squad into a state level squad. At some stage there was a stint in the Army Reserves as well.

Life of No Photography

For whatever reason I didn’t pick up my camera or at least very rarely picked it up. When I did I was still using a very cheap Canon SLR and a Fuji for black and white infrared even though digital was readily available. I photographed a few weddings for some close friends which I really enjoyed as it was capturing such a fantastic series of moments.

I finally quit swim coaching after moving to coaching adults as well as being involved with Pentathlon Australia, also coaching many elite triathletes as well as swimmers. I moved into the IT industry where I still remain to a degree. I am now self employed as a consultant and advisor for Service Management as well as a Service Integrator; however before that I was employed in an exceptionally well paid role but it was very restrictive and boring along with other issues.

This role was not great for my mental health and I finally identified that I was having issues with depression. After forcing a redundancy I spent 18 months before starting my consultancy due to my mental health (I was applying for jobs but getting nowhere). Just prior to starting my business I was frustrated that I was not getting better and couldn’t understand why and more to the point why I had given up so many great opportunities in my life; I was finally beginning to accept that it was my fault.

This is when everything started to change for the better as I was diagnosed with ADHD which makes total sense so instead of being angry at myself for not being able to focus on single tasks and getting bored to the point where it was placing me in a very bad mental place I accepted it and have been setting up to use it for the better. For what I lack in one area I have incredible strength in being able to achieve great things across many different industries and roles; a very good friend of mine (Ian Gordon) hit the nail on the head by calling me a specialist generalist as I am able to see the big picture in great detail and understand flow on impacts.

During this time I met Stephen Culpitt at an IT event and we discovered that we both love process and grindcore which is a very rare combination. Stephen also plays bass in a rock band and suggested I come down to see his band at Beats and Bass; I offered to bring my camera to take some shots as I had started doing a little bit of photography again. This combined my love of music and helped me rediscover my love of photography.

The Now

As with any consulting the work can be very ad hoc therefore as I have started to enjoy photography once again I have decided to use what I have learnt over the years and apply it to a business model for photography.

The industry has changed greatly like a lot of industries such as music due to technology; if organisations required images they either had to employ a graphic designer or photographer however now with things such as Adobe Stock images the need for photography in the commercial world is much lower. The other big change has been that anybody with a DSLR camera sees themselves as a photographer and manage to get a lot of the portrait work as well as weddings so the market is oversaturated with people mostly trying to obtain the same customers.

Therefore I have decided to approach my photographic business in a very different way by helping document the amazing underground music scene that is going on in Australia by taking photos and soon to be documentaries which is something that I am not looking at making money on as I believe music is key to so many different parts of life.

Many bands struggle to make enough money to release regular albums therefore I have the different approach of reaching out to fans of music to sign up to my Patreon page.  For this subscribers get access to all of the photo's that have been sent to the bands, and all I am asking for is as little as $1 per month.  This method obviously relies on many subscribers, the more I have the more I can photograph and also video.  My goal is to grow with the bands that I photograph so that we are all succesful together as I feel it is important that different arts genres work together.

Korn @ Melbourne Download 2018

Hayden from Loose Cannon

Mike from Kutabare

Crofty from $2 Peeps

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