Behind The Photo, Agi Magyarposted on 30 July 2018
Welcome to Behind The Photo
Imagecloud’s new Behind The Photo series interviews industry leaders and influencers within the photographic arts as they reflect on their careers, inspirations, techniques and advice for new professional photographers working in every genre of the industry.
More than simply profiles of photographers, Imagecloud aims to share useful insights for others navigating the world of professional photography in a competitive marketplace. By providing practical information about each photographer’s business and career development through their unique style and artistic voice.
In the first instalment of the Behind The Photo, we’re very lucky to have spent time with Imagecloud user and widely respected photographer Agi Magyar. Originating from Hungary, Agi now resides within the resurgent art scene of Adelaide, South Australia. In 2010, Agi started her career in Sydney, Australia quickly becoming a renowned property and interiors photographer. Agi’s abilities did not go unnoticed, and her talents were used training a number of the leading property photographers throughout Australia and New Zealand. Moving to Adelaide in 2015 Agi has successfully expanded her talents to both boudoir and portrait photography.
When did you first develop an interest in photography?
I was a teenager and was taking photos with a crappy film camera of some outfit flat lays! I was always more interested in arts and artistic subjects in school. It started very early, but no one was around me who was really into photography.
Do you remember the very first paid job you did in photography?
I came to Australia in 2006, leaving behind everything I knew, trying to find my passion and it came in a form of point and shoot Canon IXUS camera.
After playing with manual settings I decided to upgrade to a pro camera and invested in a Canon 40D with a kit lens. This is the camera I used with my very first job which was for a LED light company who installed lights in the lobby bar of the InterContinental Sydney.
I had to do it like I was just a tourist because the guy didn’t ask for permission so it was pretty exciting!
How different is the equipment you started with compared to the gear you use now?
In your current workflow what equipment do you prefer to use?
It depends on the job, but my favourite set up is anything with studio lights!
I used to use Bowens but about 3 years ago switched to Elinchrome which serves me well so far. I love using light modifiers and Elinchrome has got a wide range at a reasonable price.
What kinds of photography do you currently offer to you clients?
Though I love having expanded my photography business with headshots and boudoir, I seperate my work to different websites as shooting property is still very important to me.
Whose work has influenced you the most in boudoir?
I try not to compare myself to anyone in the industry. I was never a follower, but my absolute favourite is Marissa Boucher who owns The Boudoir Divas in San Diego. Their works inspired me the most to start shooting boudoir 5 years ago and I still love it! She lives and breathe boudoir and she got a special ability to bring out the best from every women. She’s also adventurous with her shoots and outfit styling which always amazed me. I’ve been photographed by Marissa and know first hand how throughout her shoots are, she’s got a great attention to detail and the quality of her work is second to none.
And portrait work?
In headshot, Amy Agnew from Amy Agnew Portraits is my favourite. Amy is based in Adelaide and she is the master of creating gorgeous, timeless, clean and crisp portraits. Having been shot by her too, I also know that her shoots are super fun which helps her create such beautiful, authentic portraits.
Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?
When I shoot headshots, my favourite part is when we cross that fine line of my clients being stiff and uncomfortable to feeling relaxed and showing confidence in front of the camera. In real estate photography, I’m in my absolute element when I get to shoot gorgeous lifestyle and detail shots. When I shoot boudoir, it’s when I see women come out of their nervous shell by showing them back-of-the-camera shots that make them fall in love with themselves even more.
Do you get to work with interior designers? Are the property styled before you get there or do you find yourself moving a lot of furniture?
I shoot mainly styled properties here in Adelaide. It has to be a very low budget campaign for any home not to be styled here. I have my favourite property stylists whose work I adore and just love to photograph (such as The Homestyle Co and Art Department Styling)
It’s a big jump from interiors to portraits to intimate boudoir photography, how do you get your boudoir clients to relax?
I know! It’s a bit of a mix but that’s exactly why I love them all – it gives me great variety and no two days are ever the same.
I like change and new challenges in my line of work, it definitely brings me both. The process with my boudoir clients is quiet structured and thought out as clients can be more nervous than any headshot clients would ever be. It usually starts with a Skype session before their shoot date which allows us to get to know each other a little more, I can answer all of their questions about the session, outfits, posing and everything in between.
What tricks do you use to get them there? Humour? Red wine?
Ha! I don’t really know. I’m just being myself, we chat and laugh which also lets my clients be themselves too in front of my camera. I also compliment them a lot when I see a certain angle/pose is working great for them. This certainly helps a lot in them gaining trust in me and my abilities of making them look their best.
On the day of the shoot, we meet at the hotel and her pampering starts. This gives us a couple of hours of chit-chat time while she’s sipping French champagne and getting her hair and makeup done. The first 10 minutes of the shoot is usually the only nerve-racking part for any of my clients. Once they see the first image of themselves on the back of my camera, they realise I’m not just making up all the compliments I give, but they look that amazing. At this point, they all have the trust in my directions and coaching them to pose in ways that will make their body look the most flattering.
What is the most difficult part of being an independent photographer for you?
Like any small business, I think we can all agree that the toughest part is to find new clients, staying relevant and keep the workflow coming in. I’ve just started thinking about getting a virtual assistant who I could outsource things I have no time for. I have so many ideas but little time to execute properly.
What challenges do you face today that are different then when you started?
I moved cities since I started (from Sydney to Adelaide) and it’s a very different community here. A lot depends on personal relationships and customer service here is more important than anything!
Are there any local or geographical challenges that you face which may differ from other independent photographers across the globe?
I think we are luckier than most photographers around the globe due to our geographical location we don’t have major season changes. Which is especially fortunate with real estate where we are able to shoot all year around.
Is there anything that you want to share with independent photographers across the globe?
You can find more of Agi’s work on her websites:
Boudoir Photography www.agimphotography.com.au
Property Photography www.thehomeshotco.com.au
Portrait Photography www.theheadshotco.com.au
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