ViewBug community member stevenmarkham's inspiration comes from movies around the original Star Wars times. "I just loved the journey into a fantasy where you felt a part of the settings, it’s always nice to have a break from reality. I took these inspirations and tried to somehow develop it into stills photography. I love photography that takes you to another place." - stevenmarkham

Enjoy our conversation with Steven and learn from his insights and tips:

What are your 3 tips for others who want to become better photographers?
1. Learn your camera settings, it helps you to never take your eye from the viewfinder.
2. Some rules are meant to be broken, this can help give your images something different.
3. Trust yourself, and try to give the audience your vision, even if everybody doesn’t agree.

What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?
My first camera was a Kodak Brownie Box, I still have it and love it. I now shoot with a Nikon D810, the dynamic range is crazy, I just love it.

What is it that you love about photography?
I love how you can capture a moment that makes people feel an emotion, whether it be happy or exciting, or just taking them away from their day to day life, even for just a moment.

What has photography done for you?
Photography has opened my mind to how beautiful world is, and how we can take so much for granted. The little things I may not have noticed before photography, I can see now.

What are you trying to communicate when someone looks at your photos, ?
I love my images to make people feel like they were there, with a little fantasy mixed in.

How do you describe your style?
I would like to think my images are surreal, and take the viewer on an experience.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
Definitely my 70-200mm @2.8, you can shoot anything with this lens and it looks good, I don’t leave home without it!

Do you try to be conceptual or do you prefer to show the feeling behind a photo?
It depends on what I’m shooting. If it is fashion, I love it to be surreal, not too conceptualised, but different.
If I shoot landscape or documentary, I love my images to betray reality.

Have you received negative feedback from your work? What did you do about it?
Some of my early portrait work was criticized as being over retouched, I can look back now and see the issue. I searched everywhere online for retouching tutorials, but quickly found out I’d have to pay to get it right. Creative Live have some of the best people in the industry who teach 3+ day workshops, you have to say committed but it pays off. I found a workshop by a guy called ‎Pratik Naik, it was the day when my retouching changed and became complete.

Where did you learn to take photos?
I’m a self-taught photographer, and learnt most of my skills around my home town of Sydney. Taking photos of my family at a young age helped so much with my people photography.

Raw vs jpg and why?
I only shoot RAW, no matter what anybody says, there is so much more data in a RAW file, this can really help you out if you got the exposure wrong on a shoot, in a program like Lightroom, you can recover so much from a RAW file.

What do you carry in your camera bag?
Nikon D810
Nikon 18-35mm @3.5
Sigma 24-70 @2.8
Sigma 70-200mm @2.8
Sigma Maco 150mm @2.8 (great portrait lens)
Sigma 85mm @1.4
Vanguard Tripod and Head
Nikon Intervalometer
Torch
Manfrotto Camera Bag

If you could have the gift of a great photographer who would it be and why?
The ability to think on my feet like Joe McNally, that kind can pull anything off.

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?
People tend to shoot for an audience and not themselves.

What is your dream location to shoot?
I would love to do a fashion shoot in The Admont Abbey Library in Austria, an absolute dream place for a shoot.

How do you decide on where to shoot a photo?
It is usually the type of fashion that we will shoot as to what location we’ll choose and what mood you’re trying to achieve.

What is next for you? Any planned adventures with your camera?
I have a few projects coming up with big fairytale style custom dresses, we are just trying to finalize some locations now.

What is your goal with your photography?
My goal is to create images that people notice, if you are flicking through a magazine, I’d love to be the image you stop at because it’s so different, whether you like it or not.

View more amazing phtoos, visit stevenmarkham's profile!