Photographers Spotlight – Chantel Renae Photography

Chantel Renae Photography | Round Up

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Photographer Spotlight Interview with Chantel Renae Photography

Studio Name: Chantel Renae Photography
Studio Location: Meandarra, Qld
Facebook Page:

What is your background and how did you get into photography?

I was born and raised in Brisbane and moved to western Queensland at 19. I tried my hand at a few different industries – cooking, retail and teaching and finally settled into a life working in the woolsheds in 2007.

I have always documented my life in the sheds with some sort of camera, starting with a $200 Canon IXUS. Over the years my obsession with photographing the industry grew and eventually turned into my career. Then Chantel Renae Photography was born.

Chantel Renae Photography | Ronny and Jetta BW

What type of photography do you shoot?

I am a fine art photographer with a main focus on the Australian wool / shearing industry

Chantel Renae Photography | Shearing Sheep

What is your favourite type of photography?

I love photojournalistic styles of photography – telling a story of how things are, whether good or bad, I love to instill emotion.

Chantel Renae Photography | Sunset Photo

What is your photographic style? How did you develop this style?

I love to people watch. Observing how someone moves, talks, works and displays their emotions.

I try to tell their story through my images in a raw, bold style.

Focusing on small details that make a subject stand out to me. I often will watch a shearing team for a day before I even get my camera out.

Chantel Renae Photography | Plight-of-the-Merino

What is in your photography kit?

My main camera is a Canon 5d III with my go to lens being a Tamron 24-70 2.8 I also have a Canon 50mm 1.8 that I sometimes use for portraits.

Chantel Renae Photography | Canon_5D_Mark_III

What is one piece of photography kit you just couldn’t live without?

My lens cleaning spray and cloth! My camera is taken into dusty sheep yards and woolsheds on a daily basis and it’s a full time job trying to keep my equipment clean!

What post processing tools/software/plugins do you use?

I mainly edit with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 for minor adjustments. I try not to change the image too much and keep some truth to my story telling. Photoshop Elements 11 is also on my laptop and I use this for watermarking mainly.


What is your best photography tip and post processing tip?

Investing time into your subject and forming a bond with them makes it very easy to tell their story.

For me, whether I am shooting a shearer, sheep or working dog I take the time to watch and observe them and learn what characteristically makes them, them.

For post processing, I try to keep the image true to itself. Most of my editing is adjusting clarity and contrast to match the mood of the character I was photographing.

Chantel Renae Photography | Cunnamulla Dust

What was your greatest challenge so far as a professional photographer?

My photography is aimed at such a niche market that my marketing has to be quite specific. Although I have found that most Australians have a tie to the wool industry in one way or another and can appreciate my art, to go from that to selling has been the hardest. I’d rather spend a day in a sweaty shearing shed with my camera stuck to my face than behind a desk!

Chantel Renae Photography | Col-Ferguson

What is your favourite InkFX medium to have your work printed on & why?

I have only ever had my canvases printed though Ink FX Printing. The quality and craftsmanship is of such a high quality that I have never looked anywhere else to compare. I’m just 100% happy!

Chantel Renae Photography | Counting-Sheep

If you were able to give any advice or recommendations to someone starting out in their Photography career what would it be?

Find your niche. With anyone being able to buy a ‘good’ camera these days and start a facebook business, you need to stand out from the rest.

Photograph what YOU love and stay true to the story you are trying to tell with your images, not what everyone else is doing.

Chantel Renae Photography | Go-Back

Have you entered your work in any competitions or won any awards?

I have been accredited with the AIPP since May 2015. Awards I have won include:
International Photography Awards 2015
Sunsets Category -2nd place
Royal Queensland Show 2015 – Restricted – 2nd Place
ABC Open Pic of the Year 2015  – Winner
I was also the main photographic contributor for Evan McHugh’s book ‘The Shearers’
I have an exhibition also from 15 April – 27 May 2016 at the Mitchell on Maranoa Gallery. Another exhibition 12 August – 30 September 2016 at the Quilpie Shire Gallery

Any last words of wisdom, advice or marketing tips?

Just get out there and start clicking! I am self taught and have learnt all I know through countless hours of lying in sheep droppings, chasing working dogs and waiting for that right light at the end of the day.

If it doesn’t work – dust yourself off and try again tomorrow.

Chantel Renae Photography Portrait

Chantel Renae Photography
Meandarra, Queensland Australia

#chantelrenaephotography #inkfxprinting #photographerspotlight

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