Brett Rutkowski – Photographer

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Brett was born in Sydney and raised in Mudgee. He moved with his family to forster six years ago for a sea change and has never looked back.

Full Name Brett Rutkowski

Age 24

Live Tuncurry, NSW

Star sign Scorpio

Years behind the lens Five

Something we don’t know about you …

I was born in Sydney, raised in Mudgee. I moved with my family here to Forster six years ago for a coastal lifestyle.

The past five years I’ve been working at Hog’s Breath Café Forster and have enjoyed every moment. I am a huge country music fan – people from here just don’t quite understand my obsession with it. My boss has recently banned me from playing my music in the restaurant!

I love pasta. If any restaurant I ever go to sells pasta, I will order it. Oh, and I’ve never taken a single photography course. But don’t tell anyone.

When did your passion for photography start?

My passion for photography started when I noticed the artistic aspect of CD album covers and booklets. When I got my first camera, I used similar ideas from the albums’ photography and put it into my own. There were days I would go out to properties/farms around Mudgee and walk around for hours taking photos. I would then go home and stay up nearly all night editing them.

Last year I emailed some of my photos over to one of my favourite photographers, James Minchin III from the US and got some great advice from him. He has photographed many recording artists for their album photography.

Something we may not know about photography.

Photography has nothing to do with the camera and everything to do with the story. A good photographer can make a shot from a camera phone and still change your life.

A lot of people around my age and younger are getting out there and taking really great photos. I guess now with digital taking over, it just makes it a lot easier. You can take hundreds of photos – upload them, edit them and there you have it – it’s so easy! You may take a heap of photos and only find a few that you like, but it’s all about the experience and having fun while doing it.

Your favourite subjects to shoot …

I take photos of pretty much anything, but I mostly shoot portraits and open spaces.

I love shooting portraits

Why?

I think portraits capture an emotion that other subjects can’t quite grab, where as scenic shots say more about the moment and my childhood in the country. I take them because I can look at them all day.

You have to be interested in what you shoot, otherwise it becomes a task. Finding good lighting and surroundings for portrait photos is another reason why I enjoy doing them.

Any advice …

Pretty much just get out there and take photos of anything that inspires you. Be unique! Some of my most popular photos with my friends have been of cement walls, or a van parked on the side of the road.

When photographing kids, you aren’t going to get them to pose, so the best thing is to let them run around and be natural and you’re guaranteed to get some great shots.

The same goes for pets too. The best lighting for portraits is natural lighting. Find a good spot in your home that has good lighting and you’ll be set.

Also, I find scenic photos are better taken in the morning or afternoon. Edit your photos! A photo you took might look plain, but it’s nothing that editing software can’t fix.

It may look daunting the first time you use editing software, but it comes with practice. You can play around with photos and make them look professional.

Your five other favourite things to do …

Playing guitar and unsuccessfully writing my own songs, belting out a tune in the car, long trips to small country towns, watching ‘The X-Files’ in the dark and editing photos for hours on end.

Where will we find you in five years ...

I’m not sure exactly, but I’ll be behind a lens!

Your New Year resolution …

Start up a gym membership and finally learn how to use the iFitness app on my iPhone.

Thank you Brett.

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