Sydney's Most Exciting Glamour Photography Studio!
"Glamour photography by Dare To Be Different is creative and excitingly different. Unlike traditional glamour photography studios, you can be photographed in full and half length poses according to the type of photography you want."
Have you ever looked at the photographs of models and celebrities in magazines and wondered why you don't look like that too? Well there is probably one good reason . . . you have never been professionally photographed!
Let's face it, about the best photograph the average person gets is when they are dressed up going out to dinner or a special function. You're usually running late and whoever is nearby grabs the 'ol instamatic, tells you to stand by a wall and then fumbles with the camera trying to make the thing work. When they finally take the picture, you weren't ready and were probably in mid sentence anyway . . . And you wonder why you don't look like the models that have had professional styling and been photographed with proper equipment in idyllic surroundings!
Until now, the only alternative you had was to take yourself off to one of the glamour makeover studios in your local shopping centre. After they use all their photographic skill to make you look as bad as possible for their "before" shot, you're then transformed into someone even you wouldn't recognize! With big hair and packed-on makeup, they photograph you with a variety of dizzily bright backgrounds with outfits designed to hide as much of your natural features as possible. All this happens in about two hours, where you are then whisked away to view your 15 pictures and select which photos you would like which are then heavily Photoshopped to make them look even more unrecognisable.
While Photoshopping and editing is a fantastic tool, we prefer to use it sparingly and only to correct minor flaws, not to re-create or transform you into someone else. Maybe you have a scratch on your hand or a bump on your knee. We can take that out no problems but we don't go giving you artificially looking porcelain skin that would do a wax dummy proud.
While many people find this type of portrait satisfactory, Dare to be Different offer a far more realistic style of photography that makes the most of who you are, not turn you into someone else.
Background & History of Dare to be Different
As a photographer I draw on a wide range of experience for my work. I have worked professionally in the commercial, industrial, sports, wedding, portrait and fashion market, working with professional models for magazine layouts.
Many years ago I saw what the shopping centre studios were doing and thought how contrived and fake it was. Glittery backgrounds, makeup and styling that often made people unrecognisable to their best friends, mainly just head shots and pictures that looked like they were taken in the 80's.
I knew right away that my experience with model/fashion shoots would allow me to do a LOT better.
I rang a friend to come and do a test shoot with me one Saturday morning, and straight off I knew I could deliver exactly what I had in mind, and a lot better. That friend still has those pictures hanging on her wall over 20 years later.
Work came in very quickly once I started promoting my style of glamour photography, and I have worked with hundreds of clients, now including many from overseas. I have travelled interstate many times to do shoots and worked with so many amazing people.
My wife is a stylist and makeup artist and still helps me when she can, while pursuing her own career.
I often get asked what my wife thinks about me doing this work. She has always supported, encouraged, pushed me and kicked my butt, as well as coming up with a lot of creative suggestions and advice. She has given me a lot of insight through the years and has always been my partner in my glamour work directly and otherwise.
My children also grew up with me doing this work and are also supportive and encouraging of what I do.
I have been tempted through the years to upscale things and go more mainstream with my work, but that is much like your mother trying to cook your favourite meal for 100 people every day. It's the hands on and personal attention that takes time that makes the difference between a lovingly home cooked meal and something from the microwave.
As such I continue to work exclusively for one client at a time and give my full dedication and creativity to each and every woman I work with.
I learned a long time ago that there is a lot of things money can't buy, and inner peace and contentment are two of them.
How I Work
Many photographers just don't "get" this type of work. They get all obsessed with taking the greatest picture ever taken and showing what wonderful photographers they are, and forget about the real wants and desires of the clients and what the pictures REALLY mean to them. They don't get that this is not about pretty pictures, it's about all the things the clients want from them. How they want to feel, the response they may want from a partner or loved one, the pride and closeness that will come from one day showing their children how they looked when they were their age, and all the other truly important desires, feelings and outcomes.
As far as the shopping-centre type studios go, they are just following a set formula and working to a time schedule in order to get you in and out as fast as possible, before trying to sell you the most expensive and frequently completely overpriced images they can.
I understand it is a very personal experience to have pictures like this taken, and there is a lot of meaning and feelings behind it. That's why I take the time to get to know my clients as well as possible and also read between the lines of what they really want. I frequently take images clients have specifically told me they don't want when I perceive it is something they are looking for, but often have a different concept of what it is.
It is this insight and understanding which I think is my greatest asset in this work.
I'm not interested in taking the best picture ever made or the most technically perfect. All I want to do is take the pictures that will make my clients as happy as they could possibly be.
Most clients are very nervous when they first come into the studio or make a booking, and may have been thinking about it for a long time before they actually book. Nearly everyone tells us after the first 15 minutes that they are having so much fun and feeling so good they cannot remember what they were so nervous about in the first place!
When you first come into the studio or we first meet, I'll sit down with you and go over what you are looking for and what you want to get out of the shoot. We will look at any sample style and ideas images you have brought in and go through your wardrobe with you, while you relax with a glass of champagne and strawberries, or a freshly brewed coffee.
After we have discussed the shoot styles, you can be pampered with a full make over and styling.
We believe makeup is supposed to enhance, not recreate, so many people are surprised at how light, fresh and natural the makeup we apply is. By the same token, many people see it is different to what they are used to, but we are working according to what photographs will come up on camera best, rather than what just looks good to the naked eye.
There is only ever the stylist and the photographer present on a shoot and you will not be bumping into other people having their pictures done or a team of pushy sales people. From there, we can start with your first outfit in the studio or travel to the selected location.
Some people ask about bringing friends for support. While we don't stop this, we certainly don't encourage it. Rather than giving the clients confidence, almost without exception it tends to make them more nervous and uptight and has the exact opposite effect and results to what people think.
Undoubtedly I get the best and most standout pictures pictures when there is just myself and the client working together without other people present.
I will push people a little out of their comfort zone because extending themselves is something that creates the most self-confidence and gives people the most satisfaction from a shoot. I always give clients the opportunity to review the pictures at the end of the shoot and delete any they are not comfortable with. So far, not one single client has wanted to eliminate any pictures they have had taken, and the comments I hear time and time again are along the lines of "I didn't think I could do that, but I'm so proud of myself that I did".
This self-satisfaction and pride is one of the huge benefits that having a shoot like I do gives my clients. It lasts forever and can have a big impact on the things they do for the rest of their lives.
Having photos taken in this way is not about pictures, it's about the whole experience and the personal benefits and confidence it will bring for evermore.
I don't rush my shoots and my most popular coverage which is an all-day shoot gives people time to relax and enjoy themselves, without having to worry about watching the clock or feel like they are being put through a process rather than an exclusive and personal experience.
Who Are My Clients?
My clients consist of people from all walks of life and all ages. I have photographed women from 18 years old to well into their 60's. My clients come from all sorts of backgrounds, have all sorts of interests, do all sorts of work, and are single women, wives, grandmothers, brides to be, girlfriends, lovers and every day women just like you, with the same fears, hesitations and insecurities . . . at least before their photoshoot!
Afterwards, they can be very different and far more self-confident and relaxed people.
I like to find out as much about each and every client as I can so I can use that insight to give them the photos that will make them as happy as they can be, and exceed their every expectation.
Many people ask me, "Do you get a lot of clients that love themselves?"
I find that a strange question because I have never had a vain or self-centred client yet. The majority of my clients I believe sell themselves short in many different ways. They are beautiful women inside and out, but typically make unfair comparisons of themselves.
This is hugely evident with people thinking they don't look like the celebrity on he cover of a magazine. Little do they realise, those celebrities don't look like that either! They generally are wearing makeup, often a lot of it applied by professional stylists and those magazine cover pictures are later retouched and enhanced dramatically anyway!
My goal is to put my clients on an even footing with the people they compare themselves to, by giving them the same advantages that the celebrities get (without the overdone retouching!), in professional (but natural) makeup and styling, and professional photography which brings out their best assets and features.
At Dare to be Different, our aim is to give every one of our clients photos of themselves which are everything they hoped for and more.
Unlike high-volume retail studios, we have the time, customer intimacy and ability to create shoots specificaly to your themes and ideas. Be it indoors or out, whatever the location we can work within the environment you want to create pictures that are original, exciting and most importantly, all about YOU.
As a boutique designer studio, there is no three hours in and out at Dare.
We take the time to let you relax, have fun and get ALL the pictures you want, where you want, and how you want.
Have a look at our folio and see the extensive range of styles and locations we have worked with for our clients to give them results that exceeded their expectations.
It's not the gear you use but the results you produce and knowing how to get the best out of each person, each location, each situation, and whatever equipment you have.
Having said that, I use a variety of equipment for different styles, effects and situations. I mostly use professional cameras and lenses by Canon, which are simply the best available.