Behind The Photo, Byron Maxwell, Australiaposted on 28 August 2018
Welcome to Behind The Photo, Byron Maxwell, Australia
In the second installment of the blog series Behind The Photo, we’re pleased to introduce our readers to the highly respected independent real estate photographer and Imagecloud user Byron Maxwell.
Growing up in the picturesque country town of Camden roughly an hour south of Sydney Australia, Byron has been passionate about photography since the age of 16. Having been raised in a family with roots in the real estate industry, Byron started his career with first-hand knowledge of the demands placed on real estate photographers. With the support of his family, Byron quickly turned his passion for photography into a business and was being paid for his work by the age of 19. Studying both photography theory and business at college, Byron quickly established himself within the real estate photographic industry creating a personalised brand of high-quality photography and cinematic property videos.
After spending a number of years growing his independent real estate photography business MAX VISUALS servicing Sydney’s South West, Byron has recently added landscape, travel and aerial to his portfolio of services with great success. The quality of Byron’s work speaks for itself.
When did you first develop an interest in photography?
While art and music had always been a part of my life, I really only started using a camera when I was 15 years old. I remember going on a family holiday to Ballarat, Victoria and using my mom’s pocket camera the entire time. I’m not too sure what happened, but something clicked and it just felt right! Since then,I took photos at family events and filmed goofy videos with my siblings for a few years but never imagined I would pursue it as a career.
Do you remember the very first paid job you did in photography?
My first paid job was my dad’s friend’s wedding anniversary. At this point, I had my own little Lumix pocket camera. I tagged along with the hosts to their venue while I experimented with the camera’s automatic scene choices. While I was very much a nervous beginner, the photos from that event turned out pretty well!
How different is the equipment you started with compared to the gear you use now?
The pocket camera I had for the events I photographed was given to me by my parents as a present, which got me playing with photography straight away.
During my last year in high school, I also worked in a Photography Studio at The Rocks in Sydney’s CBD which helped me gain skills in the side of the business you rarely get to see, image post-processing. Being able to learn and practice photo editing tools was a massive opportunity for me to gain an edge on the other people of similar age in the industry.
After saving my earnings from this job, I eventually purchased my first semi-professional kit, a Canon 7D and 50mm ƒ1.8.
A few years later, my amazing grandparents loaned me the funds to purchase a workstation to help edit my footage effectively, that’s when things really started moving!
What inspires you? What do you do to stay motivated and creative?
Keeping creative and motivated can get tricky, I feel it has a lot to do with who you surround yourself with. My family has been involved in real estate all my life, so when I need to talk ideas, they’re there to help which keeps my goals set. Along with that, I find I get a lot of creative influence from sources outside of photography, such as exercise, travel, and music.
In your current workflow, what equipment do you prefer to use?
The main elements of my current kit are now the Sony A7Riii with Sony 12-24 ƒ4 G & 24-70 G, DJI Ronin-M, and DJI Phantom 4 Pro, among other bits and pieces.
What kinds of photography do you currently offer your clients?
These days I provide photography, drone, video and 360 services for real estate clients 5 days of the week and photograph landscapes for prints on the weekends.
Whose work has influenced you the most?
When I initially jumped into photography I was inspired by the landscape photography of Ken Duncan. I loved his compositions and ability to capture such dynamic lighting scenarios in his images, that really pushed me to get creative with my own photographic art. As I’ve explored the different avenues of photography over time, I’ve continued to travel and shoot landscapes.
Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
Some of my favorite work comes from listings that clearly have an impressive architectural aesthetic of some sort, stand out properties with a lot of care put into their construction. When you get one of these listed by an agent who loves to stand out? That’s when I get to be creative!
Take this video I created with an agent of mine in Merrylands, for example. We went all out, hired a luxury car for the day, photographed and filmed all day and got the agents themselves to star in the video! Without their enthusiasm, none of this would have been possible.
We were able to market to the right audience with products that matched the price tag of the property. It was an amazing day to shoot, and really shows just how much fun you have with architectural marketing – you’re not just selling the property, you’re selling the lifestyle that goes with it.
Another piece of work I enjoyed putting together was an auction video filmed in Canley Heights. I set up angles around the area to film the event while I also filmed the agents and auctioneer from my own rig. It was a very highly-anticipated auction, attracting the attention of Sky News Real Estate! Having the ability to work their live footage into the final render really made it shine. Though, the cherry on the cake was the expressions of the happy new homeowners!
Not all of my favorite work is just real estate and architectural-based, I also love landscape photography which really connects with my passion of the outdoors.
Being immersed in nature helps keep me grounded and motivated. Traveling through Scandinavia 2 years ago was an incredible experience that got to challenge me and my photography skills as I experienced the midnight sun.
My fiancée and I explore our home state of NSW, Australia regularly and have some incredible shots from our travels. Recently, we traveled up the coast to a place my family have been going to for years and managed to get this incredible shot on my drone of the coastline at sunrise! I’m lucky my fiancée is such an early riser!
What is the most difficult part of being an independent photographer for you? What challenges do you face today that is different than when you started?
I’ve found that the most difficult part of working as an independent photographer is managing extra workflow, while it can become a squeeze, it’s not a bad problem to have. A very real aspect of the real estate photography industry is it’s fluctuation from a busy market to a calm market. In the busy market, it’s crucial to keep on top of admin duties while in the calm market, it’s important to keep the work week filled with productive work either for clients or for your own business.
Are there any local or geographical challenges that you face which may differ from other independent photographers across the globe?
The biggest geographical challenge that I face is the actual area of Sydney that I cover. Unlike some smaller communities around the world, it can take over 2 hours just to cross Sydney on an unlucky day. I shoot multiple properties daily all around Sydney; from my own hometown of Camden, NSW up to 50 km away for certain agents, with the occasional 3-5 hour drive up or down the coast for premium listings!
This travel time is a challenge in itself as it requires me to ensure that bookings have enough time between them while not clashing with peak hour traffic! The real estate market in Sydney is a fast-paced world that requires me to think on my feet at every listing. A picture tells a thousand words, which makes these photoshoots crucial for a buyer’s first impression.
Is there anything that you want to share with independent photographers across the globe?
It’s been roughly 9 years now, so some advice I would give to a budding photographer is no matter what life throws your way, KEEP CREATING. The more you get out photographing, the faster you’ll find your confidence and style! Confidence makes a big difference, not just in the public space, but also in how you progress your creative ideas. Don’t let your dreams be dreams, just do it!
No matter how the world changes in the coming decades, there will always be room for creatives. So don’t be afraid to pursue something you’re passionate about!
You can find more of Byron’s work on his websites:
Max Visuals www.maxvisuals.com.au
Byron Maxwell www.byronmaxwell.com.au
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to find out about adding Imagecloud to your workflow and make your independent photography business the best it can be! To read the first installment of the blog series Beyond The Photo please click here https://imagecloud.tv/behind-the-photo-agi-magyar/
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