Podcasting has exploded in the last few years, with shows of different shapes and sizes catering to just about every area of interest. Photography has no shortage of quality podcasts, including numerous hosted by talented Australian photographers with a knack for discussion.
A new light-hearted podcast joining this fold is The Down South Photo Show, hosted by Victorian specialist retailer and photographer, Brendan Waites, alongside Tasmanian landscape photographer, Cam Blake.
The podcast focusses on landscape photography, with Brendan and Cam covering a few topics each episode such as gear, photo printing, photography etiquette, working as a photographer, working as a retailer, location scouting, copyright, and more. It isn’t super serious, with Brendan and Cam sharing stories and tips with a few laughs along the way. Their target audience leans toward enthusiast landscape photographers, but casts a reasonably wide net with their extensive backgrounds in the photo industry.
The duo became friends in 2004 while working the floor at one of Melbourne’s leading photo specialist retailers, Camera Action, which was taken over by DigiDirect in 2013.
After a stint as the store manager at Camera House in Geelong, Brendan opened his own shop in 2013 nearby on the Bellarine Peninsula, Ocean Grove Camera and Photo. Printing is the backbone of Brendan’s business, and following the success of this rather risky venture, he opened another outlet down the road in Torquay. As well as operating both stores, Brendan also sells landscape prints and hosts the odd workshop.
Inside Imaging has spoken with Brendan several times, first touching base to ask why on earth someone would open a photo store in this day and age. And later to find out how the heck he managed to open another!
Cam went down a slightly different path, relocating to Hobart to pursue a career as a landscape and wilderness photographer. He’s often selling out multi-day photo tours and one-day workshops around Tasmania, where he takes attendees to photograph the island’s iconic natural scenery.
In the first episode they reminisce about Melbourne’s photo retailing scene in the early 2000s. How Elizabeth Street had a vibrant number of specialist retailers. And it wasn’t only competitive between the shops, with so many customers that the adrenaline would kick in and employees would wrangle to land on the top of the sales leaderboard.
They also touch on the important of a lost art, photo printing.
‘Photo printing is the forgotten, important part of photography,’ Cam said. ‘It’s something I drum into my workshop attendees. You’ve gone and taken this beautiful photo, you’ve done a bit of editing and now it looks even better, and then you go and put it on a hard drive for no one to ever see again. Print your photos and hang them on a wall or give them away. Do whatever you need to do to get them out there.’
Brendan, naturally agrees.
‘And obviously I have a vested interest in people doing that because it’s my business. But there is nothing like the kick I get when I see someone pick up one of their prints, whether it’s a fully framed photograph on archival paper, or a framed canvas print.’
Now that’s a message the whole industry can get behind!