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Artist Feature : Steven Penman

My name is Steven Penman and I am a Pet and Animal Photographer based in Ocean Grove. I have always had a love of photography, but I was usually marveling at other people’s creativity and technique. A few years ago, I bought a relatively inexpensive DSLR camera kit and picked up the basics by learning from others on sites like YouTube. Unfortunately, as good as this method of learning is, it doesn’t join all the dots and I was always left frustrated that something was lacking in my photos. It was this frustration that drove me to enroll at Oxygen College to study Photo Imaging.

From the get-go, you learn the fundamentals. I knew a fair bit of this but learning in the proper environment and from industry professionals helps cement what you may already know and sets you up perfectly for the things you are yet to learn. Small tidbits of information that the tutors provide are the invaluable tips that change the way you see photos and helps transform your work from a great image into an award-winning one. You will never discover this type of info from a YouTube video.

In terms of my own personal style, I prefer low key and lit using studio strobes. This involves dark backgrounds, moody lighting and contrasting my subjects in a way that brings out their characteristics such as their strength, power or simply their cheeky nature.

Since leaving Oxygen College, I have been busy growing my portfolio of images and finding my niche with Pets and Animals. Over the last year, I have been consuming as much information as I can on marketing, lead generation, and the customer experience in order to build a client base and set myself up for business success. In addition, I have been developing ideas for the awards season and bringing these images to life.

This year I was awarded 3 silver awards in the Pet/Animal Category at the Australian Institute of Professional Photography Print Awards for Victoria. My scores allowed me to qualify for the Emerging Photographer of the Year, in which I was selected as one of the three finalists by a panel of judges. I was blown away by my result has given the exceptional standard at these awards and the industry heavyweights who judge. By far the most challenging I have entered because it is not just about the image, you are also judged on the printing and presentation.

You can check out some of my work at http://www.stevenpenmanphotography.com or on social media at http://fb.com/stevenpenmanphotography and http://instagram.com/weemrp

Attached are three of my images that won silver awards.