Thursday, October 27, 2011

From Sydney with Love: Steven Watson by Shayne Fergusson

One of the things I often want to know about an artist is what led them pursue their passion, not just as a pastime, but as a career. As some of you might remember at one time photography was going to be my future, but.... I let security (and parental pressures) nudge me into a safer (yet not incredibly profitable) line of work. Many of the photographers I profile have day jobs and shoot during their free time, for others it is their only job and source of income. Given my experience and current line work, photographer Shayne Fergusson's path was of particular interest to me.

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Shayne moved to Sydney in 2000. Originally he started off in Graphic Design and Video Production, but, like me, took a safer route, for Shayne, that was social work and youth work.

'I studied at TAFE for about six months before i could no longer resist my love for photography. I spent most of my classes drawing up shoot concepts.'

'Starting in counselling with Gay and Lesbian youth groups, I moved from there into graphic design to pursue a career within the media. In 2005 I got my first break and became one of the primary designers for The Sydney Star Observer (or SSO) and Sx News. These 'free to streets' gay and lesbian publications helped me to polish my photographic and design skills and started to teach me how the media industry works.'

It is inspiring to me that through Shayne's work with youth he was able to find a way to use his artistic skills to help. While assisting other youth care workers at a gay and lesbian group in Hornsby called GAL@H (Gays and Lesbians at Hornsby), Shayne used his photographic and graphic skills to create advertising material for the group.

In 2007 Shayne enrolled at the Sydney College of the Arts in Rozelle. It was there he studied photo media and art history, completing his degree in 2010. Shortly after graduating he became a Photo Editor for an agency called Picture Media. This opened the door for Shayne to freelance, doing a combination of photo editing and photography throughout Sydney including work for publications including Woman's Day, New Idea and SSO.

Much of Shayne's work is focused around the male nude and urban landscapes and he shoots many of his models around abandoned sites and buildings. However for this shoot, with model Steven Watson, the location was on the roof top of his apartment block which Shayne has been waiting to have the opportunity to use in a shoot.

31 year old Steven Watson is an actor, dancer and aerialist. Steven is no stranger to the spotlight having worked in television, film and music videos and has performed on stages throughout Australia and New Zealand. Given his experience as a performer, Steven says he loves to work with photographers whose images tell a story. The story Shayne wanted to capture was maybe more of an attitude than a story, as the aim of this shoot was to explore the 'bad ass' confidence that Sydney is developing within the fashion world.

'The inspiration behind this shoot was more an experimentation than anything else. I wanted to create the same feel as an Armani/Gucci shoot. I based it on the phrase "From Russia with Love", but instead "From Sydney with Love".'

Check out more of the work of Shayne Fergusson:
On ModelMayem
Join Him Facebook
Check out his official site

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