This week we chat to Monica Pronk, a fashion and portrait photographer based in Sydney.
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do I'm a photographer living in Sydney, and I’m in love with beautiful light.
Where in the world are you? Right now, Perth.
Do you have a favourite photo that you’ve taken? I have a few, but it would be very hard to just choose one! Right now it would be a shot from my latest test that's still in the works, but it was a very fun shoot!
What inspires you?
Most of all beautiful light and stories, but everything and anything from, interesting beauty, the sky, freckles, crinkles in skin...
What’s in your camera bag? I packed light for my trip, so just my Canon 5D miii body and 24-70mm 2.8.
Who would you most like to photograph in the fashion world? I would love to photograph Gemma Ward; her face is amazing and I think she would be fun to work with.
What do you find rewarding about photography? Creating something beautiful, telling a story and the feeling when it all comes together; of reaching that creative high.
What’s been the biggest challenge? Finding the energy to never stop shooting and keep going with following the dream, even if there are setbacks.
How did you get started in fashion photography? In uni when I first did fashion photography as a subject, I knew straight away that's what I wanted to do. I loved the creativity of it, the story telling. It's still the same thing that drives me today.
Do you remember what your first ever camera was? My very first camera was a simple point and shoot film camera. I remember taking it to school camp and being very excited to get the film back.
What has been the best piece of advice given to you? Never stop learning.
Three tips for someone following in your footsteps?
If you have enough passion and drive you can make anything happen, but following any creative career is hard work. So ask yourself how much you want it and if you’re willing to work towards it every day and never stop, then go for it.
Get out there and get the most practical experience you can get, assist photographers you admire, organise your own shoots and if you can't get a model or friend to model for you - shoot some self portraits. The more you shoot and experiment the better you will get.
Find what inspires you and surround yourself with it. I always carry around a little 'ideas' book, where I jot down any ideas I have for shoots as they come to me.
What’s the hardest part about your profession? I think the hardest part would be how accessible photography is today - everyone has a camera and it’s created a very image saturated world. This means even throughout my time as a photographer I've seen the industry change so fast. This creates an everyday challenge for professional photographers in standing out and proving their validity. - I don't think this is a bad thing as it keeps everyone on their toes!
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be? I can't imagine doing anything else, but if I were to guess it would be something creative... maybe graphic design or illustration?
Where’s next on the travel list? India! (Eventually!)
Colour or black&white? Both are beautiful.
You can see more of Monica's photography work here. If you're feeling inspired and would like to learn more about working with models in fashion photography, take a look at our article here.