Greta In Fremantle!

If you live near the Fremantle area, or even if you don't and just like visiting the beautiful, cultural port of Perth and exploring what it has to offer (a favourite past time here at Greta) then next time you're there make sure you check out the cafe strip and keep your eyes peeled for our flyers!

We spent the day wandering, photo-taking, coffee sipping and of course handing out flyers to various stores and cafes. For some clues to where you can find our flyers check out the photos below...

And if you happen to come across any during your day make sure you take a pic of yourself and flyer and send it to us at so we can publish it online!!!

Damo Nguyen.

Starting photography in 2001, DAMO NGUYEN now specializes in wedding photography working for Lumen’s photography. However, photography wasn’t always his career goal. Damo studied environmental science, before moving into other industries such as finance and retail. During this time, photography was simply something he did on the side. Before long, Damo realized it was something “I could turn into a business if I played it right”.

His interest in events photography branched from a simple idea. “I was at that age of 18th and 21st birthdays and … I thought ok, everyone drinks and has fun but they have no recollection of it the next morning, so what better way than to do photography that way,” he explains. “Everyone liked my work and it just went from there.” Damo started off doing ‘free work’ to gain experience and posted his photographs on social networking sites to increase his exposure. “All my work was through word of mouth so that didn’t take much work and eventually it just grew”.

Damo honed his skills by experimenting and organising shoots in his free time “so I could pick up my own style”.  The first wedding he photographed came about after a friend had seen some of his birthday shots and asked if he did weddings. Damo’s advice for getting into a field such as wedding photography is to make sure you’ve done some research. “When I saw the market for weddings I had to check out other photographers to see if mine was on par. I can’t charge something ridiculous if my work is not up to their level,” he said.

These days Damo works for Lumens Photography which shoots weddings in Australia and overseas. As well as Lumens, Damo has established his own individual work with Damophotography.  “Obviously weddings have a peak season which is from spring to summer and during the off season I have a lot of free time, so I’ll try to fill that with other shoots whether it be a portfolio for models, birthdays, engagements, just to keep myself busy through the down time,” explains Damo.

Damo enjoys shooting a variety of things but wedding photography is his “bread and butter”. His favourite thing about shooting weddings is being able to capture the special moments for couples and give them memories they can look back on and cherish forever. “Each wedding is unique and different, different personalities and couples so it’s good to see a different mix in every wedding I do.”
In order to succeed in the photography field Damo believes you shouldn’t see it as a job. “What I do is a lifestyle, I don’t see it as work because then it’s something I have to do rather than something I look forward to every morning. If you’re passionate about it just don’t give up.”

When asked what photography means to him, Damo’s response was: “Photography is just a frozen moment in time that you capture and it’s something you can always look back on. You can’t put a price on memories and it’s something you can look back on and reflect on and treasure forever.”

Make Your Mark.

The creative industries is hard to crack into. Photography, writing, fashion and art are all subjective and what some may deem as talent others may disagree with. On top of this, getting your name and personal aesthestic out there can seem like a never-ending struggle - it's often hard to know where to begin. If you're anything like me, you'll find yourself wondering "How did all the great artists get started?"

For those of you who aren't first time visitors to this blog, you'll know that this is where Greta comes in, to try to help out. We have created a platform where aspiring photographers can showcase their work in an online photo book. Of course, while getting your work published is a great opportunity, we also want to inspire you, our lovely Greta lovers, and share with you stories of how well-established and up-and-coming photographers are making their mark. Knowing how other people got started, what they went through and experiences they had is a great way to learn the ins and outs of making a name for yourself. So, over the next few blogs we will continue to search for Australian photographers to share their experiences with us (and you)! We hope you appreciate their stories as much as we do.

Also on another, slightly self promotional, note we've just set up open submissions to the Photo Book. After several themed competitions we decided we wanted to see a wider range from you, our followers, without limiting you to a specific theme. So, start searching through your archived photos or get out there and take some new ones and submit, submit, submit!!!

Love the Greta Team x

Charles J. Page

Born in Melbourne, Australia, CHARLES J. PAGE is now a Brisbane-based documentary photographer with over 40 years experience. He studied photography at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and is currently a lecturer at the Queensland College of Art.
Page has photographed in many countries including Australia, South Africa, China, Somalia and Antarctica, shooting themes that range from war to nature to nudes. Some of his most recognized work includes his work with the Red Cross Projects and the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions.
Page also tried his hand at commercial flying and for a brief period worked as a taxi driver. The flying gave him a greater self-confidence and the driving taught him about social behaviour however, in the end, photography took out the title of primary career.
We had the opportunity to speak with Charles about his work and experience in photography.
                                        Abandoned Hospital                         Steam Trains

Greta: How did your photographic career begin, was it something you always wanted to do?

Charles: I started with an 8mm movie camera in my early teens and then I was given a still camera, so for a while I was using both. However it wasn’t until I went from high school to RMIT that I became passionate about still photography especially when I learnt the technical skills that allowed me to covert vision into images.

Greta: Where was your first photography job and how did you get it?
Charles: I worked for an advertising photographer, simply to get enough money to travel overseas. However I did learn some valuable skills about lighting, studio operations and marketing.
Greta: When did you decide you wanted to be a documentary photographer? Did you experiment with other types of photography first?
Charles: When I started with the movie camera I was trying to tell stories with it, long before I’d heard of documentary photography. Story telling was all I’ve ever wanted to do, however I see that expression as extremely broad. I’ve worked with an extensive range of subject matter, nudes, landscape, war zones etc. hence the story could be about eroticism, beauty or brutality.
                               Landscapes                              Nudes                        Red Cross Project
Greta: Not many people can say they’ve photographed in Antarctica, what made you decide to shoot there? What do you recall most from the experience?
Charles: I’ve always been interested in Antarctica, when I was a child in Melbourne I remember seeing the orange icebreaker that was based in Melbourne at the time. I hadn’t considered going until I found out about an arts program offered by Australian National Antarctic Expeditions (A.N.A.R.E). I applied in 1990 but was unsuccessful. In 1993 I was returning from the war in Somalia and felt that I needed something more positive to engage with so on the flight home I wrote my application.

Greta: How do you decide which projects to pursue?
Charles: I’m in the fortunate position that I only choose projects that interest me. If I feel a connection to the project I will find a way of doing it.
Greta: You’ve come across some controversy in regards to your photography, including one of your nudes on display at the 1991 Warana exhibition. What advice would you give to others in a similar situation?
Charles: This was an era when the state library in Brisbane shredded some of Mapplethorpe’s books. I don’t believe that my image was pornographic; it was in fact about intimacy. The advice is, if you believe in your work be prepared to fight for it.
Greta: What do you think makes you different from other aspiring photographers who have not reached the same level of success?
Charles: I’m a firm believer in the theory of determinism.
Greta: What qualities do photographers need to make it in Australia?
Charles: It depends on which arena photographers want to be involved in, however I feel that young photographers should be thinking global and not just Australia, current technology offers those possibilities, why not take advantage of it.
                                                          Street Photography: Europe

Greta: So far, what is your favourite project and why?
Charles: Going to Antarctica, especially photographing the last huskies is still my favourite project and experience. It embodied everything that the World should be: no fighting, wars or landmines, (there are only two continents that don’t have them and Antarctica is one), international cooperation, a pristine environment and sublime beauty.
Greta: What is the best piece of advice you would offer to young photographers hoping for success in the industry?
Charles: I teach photography and while many great photographers have not had formal training many have. Institutions offer a fast track to acquiring skills and a variety of thought processes and depending on the institution the chance to work with a variety of practitioners. Of course some areas of the photographic industry are changing radically e.g. Advertising, so find out what direction things are moving in and preferably be ahead rather than simply responding.

Christine Kopti Interview

Our third edition photographer, CHRISTINE KOPTI, gave some great answers to our questions. She graduated almost 4 years ago and has had some great experience as a budding photographer, so we're pretty happy to be sharing her full interview with you here!

Greta: How did you first get into photography?
Christine: I was first introduced to photography whilst studying. My Bachelor of Multimedia degree included a broad range of subjects so at first I had no idea what I liked or wanted to do. Graphic Design for me was my initial interest, I then took on a couple of units in Photography and fell in love.

Greta: How long have you been doing it?
Christine: As a hobby I photographed for a couple of years and it's been about 3 years now professionally.

Greta: Where did you learn photography (uni/self taught etc)?
Christine: Through a couple of units at university, though I feel most of it was self taught, especially the post production side of things. I left uni inspired and ready to get hands on and do things my way!

Greta: Where does your inspiration come from?
Christine: I believe most of my inspiration comes from my surroundings, experiences and my world in general. 
For me there are so many things from a magazine, wall art, movie or a quote of some sort, to an amazing garment on a catwalk that will just have my mind buzzing!

Greta: What camera do you use?
Christine: Canon 50D

Greta: What is your photography style?
Christine: It has been described as edgy, contemporary & eclectic. It is expressive, colourful, bold and most importantly tells a story.

Greta: Favourite picture (out of the ones you've given us for the photobook) and the story behind it?
Christine: I can't say I have a favourite picture, but one of my all time favourite series I did with the help of some AMAZING people would have to be the Greens & Co shoot. I was having coffee with Samantha Enticknap (MUA) who had just flown in from the UK (and I had met for the first time) in that very cafe in Leederville. Looking at the ball lights and poster collaged walls, we decided only minutes later it would be the perfect location for a shoot.

After much research and brainstorming, I got in contact with Eddie Dos Santos an incredible stylist, my hair stylist Jody Fiannaca (Hair Couture) and our little star Lauren MacPherson, where we put our thoughts together and brought our idea to life!

Greta: Who is your favourite photographer?
Christine: My favourite photographer would have to be David La Chapelle. Just like many artists I know, the reason why we love his work so much is because he! He knows how to appeal to audiences visually, mentally and provide a long lasting impression. I know he did with me!

Greta: Have you had any mentors and how have they influenced your work as a photographer?
Christine: So many! William Buck, an amazing friend and photographer who has helped me with almost everything technical, How Boon Tay who introduced me to the world of wedding photography, Shamiso Ruzvidzo who has been such great guidance, Emily Bathgate - at so young, such an inspiration..most importantly my family and best friend Stacey for always having the confidence in me and my work.

Greta: What has it been like getting into the world of photography since graduating University? 
Christine: It has been almost 4 years now since graduating and photography-wise I remember thinking 'what now?!'. I was very lucky because I started working part time at Quokka Press doing graphics operating and design whilst studying. Then after many weeks of applications I moved to Artique Designs for a year, where I got to use my photography skills taking shots of products for brochures and packaging.
In this time I used my spare days and weekends to become a little more familiar with the fashion world and photography - what I grew to love more and more. I was then contacted by a fantastic Make-up artist, Lily Webb, who I collaborated and produced a beautiful shoot with. From there it was all word of mouth and I began advertising and showcasing my work on Facebook and Model Mayhem as well as Redbubble (online creative communities) which created greater opportunities to work with some incredible people in the industry. I am currently working part time graphics and part time freelance photography which I dream to one day be doing full time, it's my true passion!
Greta: Best location for shoots?
Christine: My most favourite location to date has been Botanical Gardens in Wanneroo. Beautiful.

Greta: Best season for photo-taking?
Christine: Autumn.

Greta: In one sentence, what does photography mean to you?
Christine: Photography is my world, my passion, a significant form of creative expression used to produce something visually pleasing.

Greta: How about in one word?
Christine: Ooo tough one.. creation!

Nick Fitzpatrick Interview

As promised, here is the full interview of our second edition photographer, the talented NICK FITZPATRICK. You should also know that Nick was a big help in the set up of Greta and without him you might not even be reading this blog, because it may not have exsisted! You can also find some of Nick's work at MYM magazine. Now, let's find out a bit more about him and his photography ...

Greta: How did you get into photography?
Nick: I took photography for the first time in 2008 as a class in high school. I had success with my first photos and that helped to motivate me with keeping it up.

Greta: Where did you learn photography?
Nick: I learnt the basics in school. I think that all one really needs to know are the basics; once you know how to make a picture, the rest comes from your own creativity.

Greta: Where does your inspiration come from?
Nick: Anywhere. People, places, films, music, art, other photography, almost anything can trigger some idea.

Greta: What camera do you use?
Nick: I currently use a Nikon D90. It's hardly anything special, but it services my needs at the moment.
Greta: What is your photography style?
Nick: Tough question. I shoot fashion, but I'm still experimenting with a really wide variety of styles at the moment. I think the best photographers are versatile, and not confined to a single style.

Greta: Favourite picture you've taken and the story behind it?
Nick: My favourite photograph changes all the time according to what sort of photos I feel like taking. Presently, it's a picture I took of a girl with about five tutus around her neck. We tried to photograph the tutus around her waist but it just looked very corny and plain. We put them around her neck and lit it fairly dramatically and the result was really pleasing.
Greta: Who is your favourite photographer?
Nick: I have a lot of favourites. I admire Steven Meisel and Annie Leibovitz, but I'm also a great fan of Ellen Von Unwerth, Ruven Afanador and Hedi Slimane.

Do you have any mentors who've helped you develop as a photographer?
Nick: No, I've had no real mentors as a photographer. I've found that working on my own has afforded me great creative freedom and an ability to break the rules that seem to be adhered to by other photographers. The downside is that I'm unfamiliar in some regions of the science of photography.

Greta: Which is your favourite season for photo-taking?
Nick: Any season except for Summer. Summer doesn't really work with my aesthetic - s
ummer sheds a very harsh and defining light. I prefer to work with soft light at the moment.

Greta: In one sentence, what does photography mean to you?
Nick: Much more than can be expressed in one sentence.
Greta: What is your pet hate?
Nick: People who reduce art to science.
Greta: What superpower do you wish you had?
Nick: The ability to light people on fire with my eyes.
Greta: If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be?
Nick: One of the great artists, I think. Picasso and Dali have always seemed to be fascinating people to me, but the conversation would be horribly awkward, I'm sure.

Alex Bates Interview

I was looking over my work for the Greta Photo Book the other day and came across the interviews I did with each photographer we have showcased in our past three editions. For those of you who have had the pleasure of flicking through the online magazines, you'll know there is a little bit of information about the artist included in each publication. However, this is only a small snippet of what I able to discuss and learn from each of these upcoming photographers.

It really is a great opportunity to get into the mind of a young artist and upon realising you had only received these small snippets, it seemed far too rude to keep the whole interview to myself! So, in the next few blogs I will be uploading my entire interviews with our first three Greta featured photographers for your reading pleasure - starting with ALEX BATES. Enjoy!

Greta: How did you get into photography?
Alex: As long as I can remember I have always loved and been interested in photography but I suppose it would have been at school doing a photography class that was the initial push into the field.

Greta: Where did you learn photography?
Alex: Most is self taught, but I have studied Photomedia at ECU Mt Lawley for the last 3 years so I learnt about the theories and technical side of photography there.

Greta: Where does your inspiration for photos come from?
Alex: From life - other photos, art, fashion, friends, things I like, everything really.

Greta: What camera do you use?
Alex: Cannon SLR 400D is my main weapon of choice but I also have a little handheld that isn’t really worth mentioning, my camera phone and my partner’s iPhone (which has some really good photo apps on it!)

Greta: What's your photographic style/what sort of pictures do you take?
Alex: I would like to think I’m pretty good with street photography, I think that’s what I do best a photographer - just seeing something at the right time or having and eye for things that the ordinary person wouldn’t see. I also love fashion and glam shots. I’m not so sure what my style is just yet - I think I am still working on that.

Greta: Who is your favourite photographer and why?
Alex: Elliott Erwitt. He was the first photographer that really caught my eye with his photos. I find him fascinating and hilarious. I think his work is ingenious, the way he can capture the natural every day comedy of life, of people, that is all around us all the time. This is what I aim to achieve one day in my street photos. He is a man who really knows what interests him in life and has a great sense of humour.

Greta: Do you have any mentors who've helped you develop as a photographer?
Alex: Although I have had a few different tutors over my time at Uni there are a few who have stood out to me above the rest and who have truly inspired or helped me as a photographer, even without knowing it. They are; Emma-Kate Dowdell, Kevin Ballantine and one of the most amazing people I think I’ll ever meet - Max Pam.

Greta: What would you be doing if not photography?
Alex: Whether or not I am really good enough is another question but I would love to model so I’d like to think if I hadn’t found photography I would be doing that.

Greta: Which is your favourite season for photo taking?
Alex: Winter probably - my favourite time to shoot is when the sky is completely overcast and there is that almost surreal lighting effect.

Greta: In one sentence, what does photography mean to you?
Alex: Photography is personal and private, a way you can express yourself or say something greater than with words and not one person can take it away from you.

Greta: What superpower do you wish you had?
Alex: I’m not sure if it is a superpower, but a purse that never ran out of money - and if that doesn’t count I would like to be able to read minds and always know the truth.

Greta: If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be?
Alex: Audrey hepburn - I think she would have been the most amazing and intriguing person. Or perhaps my Grandad who died long before I was born, I have only ever heard that he was a great person with the kindest heart and I would have loved to have the opportunity to know him, RIP xx

... Stay tuned, Nick Fitzpatrick's interview will be up next!

Greta Who?

I always wonder where magazine names come from. A lot of examples that first come to mind are girl’s names – Cleo, Frankie, Madison, Marie Claire. Were these actual people? Or did the marketing team just think it would grab people’s attention? Amazingly enough, I forgot to ask this question when I first started working for Greta (yes, another female name) but, as I found out the other day, Greta has much more meaning than simply being a cool name for a photography magazine. In particular, it has a much deeper meaning for the Colosoul Group’s CEO Tricia Ray.
For those of you who don’t know Tricia, here’s what you’re missing; she’s the one who came up with the whole idea of the Colosoul Group, it’s several magazines and the idea of making magazines by young people, for young people. She’s extremely passionate about what she does, always full of ideas (though sometimes needs help to actually carry them through) and she’s in a band! She also had a sister named Gretta (A ha! It was named after a real person, after all). Gretta Ray was creative just like her sister. She was a children’s book illustrator and a photographer. She also struggled with mental health issues. At a tender 23 years old Gretta passed away, though not without leaving her creativity and artistic smile behind.  
Tricia is sure Gretta would not want anyone else to struggle the way she did and that she would have been honoured to have a photography book named after her. We’re pretty honoured to be named after someone like Gretta, too.
Often overlooked, the truth is 20% of Australians will experience mental health issues at some point in their life, with the greatest number of people experiencing mental illness between 18-24 years. This can be anything from anxiety problems, eating disorders or depression to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Here at Greta we want to inspire people to achieve what they want, no matter what their background is, and we couldn’t be more proud to be named after someone who did just that. As our CEO, Tricia, believes, “Even when you may struggle in life you can still be the creative person you want to be and sometimes it’s simply a way of expressing yourself, which can be through photography”.

Edition 3!

Hello lovely Greta lovers,

We hope you're as excited as we are that our third edition is now online ... though to be that excited you'd have to clap your hands, scream "yes" out loud and bounce up and down in your seat, because that's what I did! But we're happy to settle for you being highly interested instead :)

This edition's photographer is a Miss Christine Kopti - a rather talented young lady. But don't take our word for it - go and check it out for yourselves at the link below, and let us know what you think!


Hard at work with the Greta girls....

And if you're in Fremantle any time soon keep an eye out for our flyers floating around a few of the coffee shops. Just a little sneak peak of what you're looking for ..........................

Dome                            Next Door                          San Churro's


Dear friends of Greta,

As part of the Colosoul Group Inc we're working along side several other pretty cool projects (obviously not quite as cool as us though!) and one of these cool projects is called Foxfeet.

Basically, it's an online store for WA fashion designers which is awesome in itself. But, to add to the excitement, Foxfeet wants us to help them find someone to produce a photo that includes a mix of both human and animal - think Mr. Thomas from Narnia to get an idea. And the best part? The design will then be put on a Foxfeet shirt and sold online at the Foxfeet store!

So if you're a bit creative, interested in quirky creatures, and want to have your work printed and sold on a t-shirt, we want to hear from you :)

Check out further details at our facebook competition page -!/event.php?eid=208026759220794 and get your creative thinking caps on!!

second edition

Hey guys,

Our second edition is now online and ready for your viewing pleasure!
Check it out at....

And we've also just started a little online competition if you want to head to our facebook and check it out :)


Hello all, long time no writing. We know, we know.

We've been pretty busy at the Greta office - planning and producing our second edition (which we're hoping will be up by the end of this week!!! Just waiting for our website guy to put it up for us ... we would do it ourselves, but we're not quite that html savvy). We've also been dealing with the business end of things; advertisers, copyright, all that boring stuff that someone has to deal with.

But there is an upside to the business end of things - business cards! We've finally got ours printed, along with some flyers that we've been passing out all over town. Keep your eyes peeled for them in cafes around metro city area and please please please snatch up as many as you want! But I have to say there is one condition to snatching up a flyer - you have to 'like' us on facebook. See, we love to be liked, and it would make our day if you did :)

Here's a little sneak at what you're looking out for

and our business card - who else is cool enough to have a square business card?!?!

Love always,

The Greta Team x

Trevor Collens

Hailing from Mandurah, Trevor Collens now lives in New York working as a freelance photographer. He has covered sports, news, and feature events and his work has been published in newspapers across the World including USA Today, London Telegraph, Time Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald and The West Australian. His work has also been selected in Life magazine’s Pictures of the Year collection.
Trevor first discovered photography in the form of a gift wrapped Kodak 126 camera for Christmas when he was 11. He was instantly in love, using his family, friends and pets as models. “Our dog was probably the most heavily photographed animal in Western Australia,” Trevor remembers.
Without knowing exactly where he was headed in life after school, Trevor applied at The West Australian for a junior office job. He recalls how the newspaper presses still operated in the building and of course his favourite place there, the photographic department. “The photographers always told the best jokes and I just liked the vibe, and always knew that this was where I wanted to be.” At 18 years old Trevor was transferred to train as a photographic technician, his “foot in the door”.
His move to New York came several years later in 2008, after marrying a New Yorker and tiring of his new role as Chief of Staff for The West. “I didn't get to shoot as much as I would have liked and photographers at the paper were going through a difficult time with the (now former) editor who placed very little importance or value on pictures. I just grew tired of day after day after day of seeing great photos cropped to headshots.”
With New York came a whole new set of opportunities and obstacles.

Greta: How difficult was it to get work in New York?
TC: I had a couple of introductions to picture editors at AP and Reuters from friends who worked in the Australian bureaus, and also an informal agreement with Fairfax to contribute pictures to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and of course The West Australian, but that was it.
To get access to any kind of meaningful media event you need to have press credentials with both the U.S. state department foreign press centre and the NYPD, and a lot of newsworthy stuff happens at the United Nations as well, so first off I had to establish credential and accreditations, then I was good to go.
Surprisingly things started off quite well. I showed my work to AP and Reuters and they both offered me stringer contracts with promises of work in the near future, and within a week of arriving in New York I got sent to the Bahamas on assignment. I was working pretty much full time straight away.
But within a few months the Great Financial Crisis hit and everything went into lockdown. That gradually eased, and I started to pick up work for various Australian government entities here such as the Australian mission to the UN, as well as doing everything from red carpets to the President for various papers and agencies.
It remains a continuing struggle for work though, and I don't think it's going to get any better. Newspapers in the US are struggling, and are getting rid of photographers rather than hiring more so there is a vast pool of underemployed press photographers, but underlying all that is the change in fundamentals in the last few years with the advent of digital cameras, and cheap or free images available to a picture editor on a budget from sites like Flickr.
Greta: What do you think makes you different from other aspiring photographers who have not reached the same level of success?
TC: I certainly don't consider myself as a particularly skilled photographer, more reliable than creative really, but my strengths aren't necessarily related to the act of shooting pictures.
More than anything I have been fortunate to have access to events as there is no doubt that being on staff and assigned makes a vast difference in availing yourself of picture opportunities. You can be the greatest photographer in the world but if you can't get to your subject it's of no use, and once out freelancing I was able to apply what I learnt about gaining access beyond the public barriers. The point is to make sure that you are one of the three or four photographers in the room. You just can't turn up to an event unannounced.
And that means spending a lot of time researching where and when the event is happening, establishing the key people to contact, writing emails and making phone calls, arranging credentials, negotiating your way through security and so on.
 The ability to communicate clearly and coherently with contacts is a crucial skill in the news business and something I feel most photographers don't put enough emphasis on.
Greta: What qualities do photographers need to make it in a city like New York?
TC: The sheer size of the market here means that the competition is intense, but there are also a lot of opportunities. The qualities needed probably apply to any endeavor - perseverance, persistence and preparation, pragmatism and an ability to deliver on promises. But also don't be naive and allow yourself to be talked into working for little or no pay on the promise that it will lead to greater things, because generally it won't.
Before moving to New York I suffered from a minor bout of self-doubt about whether I was good enough to rise to the standard expected in New York City, and make no mistake there are some very, very good shooters here.  But I don't think the standard of work from the rank-and-file guys is all that great, to be honest. I didn't realise how high the general standard of news photography was in Australia until I left, so perhaps another helpful quality to make it in New York is have some confidence in your work.
Greta: What are the main differences between working in Perth and New York, if any?
TC: Mainly logistics. I don't use a car in the City, it's pointless. So that means I have to get around on the subway or by walking or occasionally get a cab. I don't like to carry my gear openly so I have to pare it down so I can carry it in a nondescript backpack so I'm down to 2 bodies (7D and 1D mk III) 2 lenses (16-35 and 70-200) a flash and my pocket wizards.
And huge numbers of other photographers on jobs. I gave up doing fashion week a couple of years ago after counting 82....yes 82!! ..other photographers ahead of me in the line to get on the riser.
As I mentioned earlier there are loads of opportunities in all branches of photography such as fashion, advertising, weddings. It is the world capital of many of these industries so it's the place to be, but similarly it attracts people from all over the world so the competition is intense.
Greta: Have you always been a freelancer, or is it something you worked your way into?
TC: No, I did some freelance work in the past but only as a sideline to expand my horizons while having the staff job to fall back on, but this is the first time in my career I've ever earned my income solely from freelancing. I'd probably earn more money driving a cab but this is more fun.
Greta: Being a freelancer, you have to sell your own images. What is the key to selling to major publications?
TC: Sometimes I get assigned to a particular job, or if there's something that might be of interest I'll send emails, but I also have an agency I send pictures to who sell them on my behalf.
I'm moving more away from agencies though, as they take up to half the sale price as their commission and sadly I'm finding that the reputation that they have earned for being disreputable and dishonest with royalty payments is, in many cases, well deserved.
I am spending more time concentrating on building an archive on my website that allows my images to be found by someone searching for their subject via Google or whatever, and my image is the one that pops up and provides them with a pathway to buy it via e-commerce. This involves making sure that every image has been search engine optimized with deadly accurate caption information and keywords to give it the absolute best chance of being found. I'm just finalising the site now but already have had several sales out of the blue to big publications.
Greta: What is the best piece of advice you would offer to young photographers hoping to become freelancers?
TC: Of course you will need to be a competent photographer, but keep it real and don't get distracted by inanities. Spending all your time waffling on about how creamy the bokeh is on your new F1.2 lens, or how your purist ideals would never allow you to use a flash and will only ever shoot available light doesn't mean you're an expert,  it means you're a wanker.  Learn that the subject matter is far more important than the background, and learn how to light creatively with a flash. Pragmatism is everything.
Understand that as a freelancer you will only spend a very small percentage of your time actually shooting pictures. You will be on the phone, writing emails, archiving, researching, planning, performing monotonous office tasks and updating websites. It is a business and you must approach it as such.
If at all possible retain your copyright. Understand how copyright works and how you can enforce, assert and defend it if necessary. Never sign anything relating to copyright unless you thoroughly understand what the implications are.
Have an archive, and consistent workflow procedures so that you can find images once you've filed them. Make use of the ITPC data and keyword fields and be very, very accurate with caption information. That means correct identification of people, and correct spelling and grammar. This is what separates amateurs from professionals.
And have a decent web site or photo book that you can market yourself with.