INTERVIEW WITH PHOTOGRAPHER @Morgan.e.wood
Firstly, can you start with a little bit about yourself ?
I’m Morgan, I currently live at Bondi Beach and I am a freelance lifestyle photographer.
I picked up a film camera for a photography assignment in high school and from there I began exploring this medium. I had always been drawn to creative subjects inspired by my artistic mother so it seemed natural to me. Shortly after high school I went travelling around Africa & Asia for 6 months, trying to resolve my existential crisis about what to study at university. I thought law was going to be my final choice when my dad wisely encouraged me that I’ll have the most impact on the world doing what I love. This was a big realisation for me at the time and one I have carried with me since. My parents supported a creative lifestyle and let me know it was a possible career path if I made it so. From there my passion developed but that’s essentially where it began.
What equipment do you use to create your images and why did you select it?
I work with only a few pieces that I love and adore. Which are the Canon 5D mark iii, Sigma 35mm 1.4 art series lens, Canon 24-105mm lens & new favourite Bronica zenza medium format film camera.
In a lot of ways these things chose me, from hand me downs etc. I strongly believe it is not what gear you have but how you use it! But I’ll always be a canon girl because of the beautifully cinematic way their technology captures the world.
What would be your favourite lens and why?
I do love my 35mm sigma art series because of the way it can soften images and bring in so much natural light. The quality of this fixed lens amazes me, thats why I love working with this when I can control the subject of a shoot.
What inspires your creative vision?
Is it cheesy to say that I’m inspired by life? Honestly though, the moments we can’t create are what light me up with excitement. Natural wonders like huge swell, mountain ranges, golden light in the mornings, thats what inspires me.
Your preference is to work with sustainable brands, how do you decide who to work with?
Always ask from where? How? Who from? It’s about showing that your committed to working towards something better. What are you doing within your power to support better practice? That can look different for everyone, it’s about owning the power that you do have. For me that’s choosing to be exclusive with sustainable labels. We are so lucky to have so many choices and people working towards a brighter future, it is so exciting!
Can you tell me your current must have sustainable brands?
My favourite sustainable labels are without a doubt Hazel & Folk as well as Outland denim. They are such inspirational companies that are really going above and beyond to change the focus of the fashion industry. Other favourites include Citizen wolf, the Seek society, Reformation & Salt gypsy.
You go on some amazing travel adventures, where has been your favourite location?
That is so tough! So many destinations shine for completely different reasons, however my recent trip to Nepal with my boyfriend Christian was absolutely breathtaking. From the get-go it was going to be an adventure when we were racing around the airports trying to find a new flight on Christmas eve. Apparently ours had been cancelled two months ago which we failed to realise. We got there in one piece and have a good story to tell but our experience was like a bad Christmas movie!
After that catastrophe we ventured up to the Annapurna region on a local bus shared with goats and chickens for hours on end. We hiked for 2 weeks in the middle of winter which was the most challenging physical test we had ever faced. From sub tropical to tundra then over to desert in the upper mustang region, no day was the same except for being surrounded by incredible mountains. We met the kindest Nepalese people every step of the way, invited so warmly into their homes. You are so far removed from everything you know and deeply immersed in your surroundings. I couldn’t speak more highly of the experience and would recommend everyone to go!
Which photographers have inspired you, and how have they influenced you?
I went through high school with my nose buried in National Geographic magazines. My dad had subscribed for years and had a massive collection. It was there I became familiar with the work of Steve McCurry & Thomas Peschak. McCurry’s ability to capture moments in unbelievably artistic ways inspired me to start travelling and pursue photojournalism. Thomas Peschak opened my eyes to the underwater world so I began scuba diving and eventually got my dive masters... can you guess which bit of gear is next on my wish list?! These guys inspired me but influence is fluid as your practice evolves over time. Always learning from the beautiful work of artists, picking up bits and pieces to pave your own way.
Three things you have learnt this past year?
Honour your truth, thats my number one core value. Give yourself the respect to stay aligned with what is true for you and be confident in that.
You only have now. It’s easy to keep the big goals & dreams off in a distance but they’ll always stay there unless you use your opportunity of this moment to begin.
Have fun, but really! We don’t know what is around the corner, we all know life can change in a moment. So enjoy your life, play, laugh, explore!
How would you describe your current photographic style?
Currently evolving, the only constant is change right? I’m developing a film portfolio. I’ve always played with 35mm but I’ve finally invested in a medium format piece and would like to be working professionally with it. It encourages you to slow down, set up a shot and be very present in your practice. I’m loving it. I think it’s really important to keep moving forward, experimenting & exploring with photography.
What is your favourite time of day to shoot?
Sunrise! The golden hour just after the sun has come up is my absolute favourite. Golden highlights or solar flares are so much fun to play with.
Finally do you have any advice for anyone who wants to pursue photography as a career?
Always stay in your own lane. There are so many talented people in this industry, as well as a lot of saturation of the medium. Having a personal style or flare is what separates you from others, be confident in your differences because that is what makes it interesting. Stay true to yourself weather it’s with jobs or collaborations, you’ll walk away feeling far more fulfilled than when you say yes to fulfil someone else’s expectations rather than your own.
Find more of Morgan’s work on her instagram: @Morgan.e.wood