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A gathering of everything I’ve learned | Sally Brownbill

Words by Sally Brownbill & Images by Marcus Thompson

By July 25, 2023August 18th, 2023Members News, News

Sally Brownbill of The Brownbill Effect has released a must-read new publication for emerging and early-career photographers looking to break into the professional industry. You can purchase How to Develop Your Career as a Photographer now as an eBook or a beautifully printed version via the website, see link below.

We all found things to occupy us during those dark days at the beginning of the pandemic. Some became at one with their ovens, baking bread and whipping up gourmet meals. Others started the projects they’d left sitting on the backburner for many years. I decided to write a book.

‘How to Develop Your Career as a Photographer’ began as an idea to fill a need. I’d always felt graduates wanting to kick start their photographic careers should have access to a ‘how to’ guide. Why not create it myself? 

I had written several shorter articles on the subject for various magazine editorials, so I had those up my sleeve. Once I worked out how to expand the articles, I decided on the most important ideas I wanted to get across. 

I then followed my own advice.

For example, there is a chapter devoted to the importance of collaboration. This book owes a lot to my collaboration with a wonderful writer and a very talented young designer. They were both great to work with, taking on all my concepts and contributing some terrific ideas of their own.  

I had already earmarked Marcus Thomson as the photographer I wanted to get involved. I have known Marcus for many years and am very familiar with the quality and breadth of his work.

As I was thinking about the chapter headings, I had his images in mind. They don’t spell out the messages, they support them in a highly original way. I think this adds to the overall appeal of the book and I’m glad everyone seems to agree.

Example spreads from How to Develop Your Career as a Photographer

Starting a career in the arts can be a daunting task at the best of times. We each have to wear many hats; designers, photographers, marketing, business management and so forth. Luckily enough, we have leaders like Sally Brownbill to look to for guidance when trying to figure out how to put all of these pieces together. In Sally’s new book, How to Develop Your Career as a Photographer, she puts forward all the wisdom she has gathered over her 25 years in the business.

From collaboration to inspiration, from finding work to making work, How to Develop Your Career as a Photographer lays out the fundamental building blocks any artist needs in order to start off on the right track. Drawn not only from Sally’s own experience, but from many years of operating The Brownbill Effect, a creative directory that matches your skills with an industry that needs them, it is this diverse knowledge that Sally imparts so successfully within the pages of her book.

“I think Sally’s book looks fantastic and am convinced it will be an important resource for a lot of photographers starting out. Those who have the book – and who know my work – understand most of my photography features people. I have always liked meeting people and getting to know their stories. You can approach someone with a great idea already in mind but once you hear their story that vision often goes out the window. My love for travel and adventure has a lot to do with the people I meet along the way. I was pleased Sally asked me to be involved in this project. The photograph accompanying the Inspiration chapter is my father who was and continues to be a great inspiration to me. So that was a happy coincidence.” – Marcus Thompson 

‘How to Develop Your Career as a Photographer’ was always intended to be an eBook, available to download on my website. While this has proven to be a successful approach, I’ve also been inundated with requests from people wanting a printed version. The book makes great use of Marcus Thomson’s photos and I think photography is one creative medium people like to have in hard copy. I collaborated with Momento Pro to print a limited edition and listened to their guidance on the size and the paper stock. The printed books have come up beautifully and are also very popular. 

It is always daunting to tackle something you’ve never tried before. 

As I discuss in the book, you must not let that fear get in the way and I attempted to approach my ideas with confidence. Many things can help build that confidence in an emerging photographer. I’ve mentioned collaboration and another is inspiration. Photography can be anything from an attractive image to an expression of what it is to be alive. We all need to put aside the white noise that surrounds us and tap into something that inspires our creativity and explores our relationship with our art.

I know I am glad I put my doubts aside and wrote this book. It’s a gathering of everything I’ve learned since I graduated as a photographer many years ago. I trusted everyone I worked with and found it a painless and joyful experience. There is also a sense of satisfaction in helping graduates and emerging photographers find their feet and establish financially and creatively sustaining careers.

Photo Collective

Photo collective represents photographers, advocates, educators and curators working towards the collective goal of celebrating and contributing to the changing ecology of Australian photography. We achieve this through award recognition, publications, exhibitions, community engagement initiatives and educational programs.

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