Gavin Moroney has been our photographer here at Coffs Coast Focus for over a year now, and we thought it was time to properly introduce him to our readers!
Gavin moved here from Sydney a few years ago and decided that it was as good a time as any to change up his work life too, so he picked up a camera and immersed himself in the world of photography, lighting and retouching. His experience is varied, shooting everything from weddings in natural light, to products and real estate, to detailed beauty and fashion work in the studio. But the constant in his work, no matter what he is photographing, is his passion, his creativity and his incredible attention to detail.
Hey Gav. Tell us how you came to live on the Coffs Coast.
I was pretty much born and raised on the Northern beaches in Sydney until about five years ago, when I had the crazy idea of having kids, settling down and finding greener pastures. My wife and I have been visiting Bellingen and the Coffs Coast for years for our holidays, and we decided it would be the perfect place to live. Turns out, we were spot on!
What’s your “backstory” behind the lens … What inspired you to first pick up a camera?
I wish I could tell you an amazing story of growing up around photography and cameras, but photography is still a reasonably new thing for me. It was about five years ago when I moved to Bellingen that I really decided to go down the photography path. I had been a landscaper for about 10 years and decided that wasn’t for me anymore. I have always been a little arty and loved drawing since I was young, which led me into doing a little graphic design at nights during the time I was working as a landscaper.
A lot of the work I was doing was based around images, and graphic design soon turned into retouching. That’s when I decided to take the plunge and see if I could take photos myself. I think the second I had a camera in hand, I was hooked. I spent the next years and many late nights living and breathing photography.
What would best describe your style of photography – and has it changed?
I guess I’m a little bit of an all rounder and do a bit of everything. From the beginning until about a year ago I was mainly shooting in the tattooed model industry, working for various magazines like Inked Australia etc. so my style reflected that kind of work. These days if someone was to ask, I’d call myself a beauty and fashion photographer, as that’s the new direction I’ve been taking.
What’s one of your favourite aspects of photography?
Lighting. I think I have a weird obsession with studio lighting, which can be very love/hate at times. Photography is all about light, and working in a studio is like being a painter, where your subject is the canvas and the lighting is the paintbrush. The possibilities are endless in what you can create.
What has your time with Coffs Coast FOCUS been like?
Working with FOCUS is really fun! Every time you’re out shooting, you get to spend a little part of your day with the locals of Coffs, and there are a lot of great ones! I have met and worked alongside some really inspiring and rad humans!
What’s the process like from start to finish on a shoot?
Sometimes the process can be quite long, depending on the kind of shoot you are doing. First off you have the planning, either with mood boards or a brief from a client. You figure out the lighting and depending on the shoot, this can take a few hours. Once the shoot is done, you bring it all back to the computer, then the retouching starts. Retouching is one of the funnest parts and is an artform in itself; it goes hand-in-hand really well with a few cups of coffee, because you can spend up to four hours editing a single image.
You often work alongside your wife. What’s that like?
Don’t tell her this, but I really enjoy working side by side with Daisy. My favourite images have been working alongside her, as she does a lot of the makeup and hair for my work. We both share a similar taste with beauty and fashion work, so you end up bouncing ideas off one another and end up getting some really rad images.
When you’re not shooting, what do you get up to?
You will find me hanging out with the wife and rugrats, usually either at the river or down at the beach. If they had their way, they would live in the water!
What advice would you give to photographers who are starting out?
Get out and shoot! I think you learn the most by doing and experimenting with different styles. You don’t necessarily need the best gear to take amazing photos; that comes with a good eye and time. Remember it’s OK to make mistakes, because you learn so much from the mistakes, rather than the successes.
Where can we find more of your work?
You can check out some of my work on Instagram @gavincreative, and on my website gavincreative.com