INDUSTRY PROFILES

Alice Wesley-Smith

Alice Wesley-Smith
Q. Describe your journey in a nutshell:
My journey has been an ever-increasing integration of the things that most inspire me. While photography has always been my preferred visual language, even whilst studying design in a Visual Communications degree, I’ve worn a variety of hats including co-creating a collaborative and multi-disciplinary design studio, developing a cold pressed juice and raw chocolate business, directing, film editing and of course still photography. I always seem to return to the still and moving image.
Q. What do you think your business and your team excel at (areas of expertise)? There are many components to a successful photographic image. What element particularly do you believe sets you apart or do you enjoy the most?
I believe my greatest strength is also what I’m most passionate about - creating still and moving imagery in food, lifestyle, travel and underwater photography. The photographic image is a powerful tool to tell stories. I’ve always seen it not simply as a static image, but rather one that can convey a sense of something having come before and something that will continue to unfold afterwards. I’m always looking and hoping to evoke an emotional response and to create atmosphere, helping the viewer feel a part of the scene, like they could reach out and be immersed in the light and texture.
Q. What brands and / or places / personalities / plates have you shot of late?
Conde Nast Traveller UK, Vogue Australia online, Good Food, Fish Butchery, Arthur Restaurant, Tasmania and seal diving on Montague Island, NSW South Coast. I’m about to set out on a 3-week photographic trip to South Australia to visit the Pink Lakes, Lake Eyre (which is the most full it’s been in over 45 years) and Lake Mungo National Park.
Q. What are the greatest challenges photographers currently face?
One of the greatest challenges photographers face is the de-valuing of both the photographic image and the craft of photography itself. Technology has meant we can capture incredible content much more easily, through underwater advancements, aerial drone photography and low light capture with high ISO cameras, however, it has also obviously given access to most people with easy-to-use high-powered smart phones in their pockets. The down side of digital photography and social media has meant that we are in a time of mass consumption of imagery and the insatiable need for content encourages quantity over quality and our decreased attentions spans means often subtlety is lost and discouraged.
Q. What do you love most about the craft of photography and your business you have created in response?
What I love most about photography is its ability to tell a story, to convey an emotion, to create atmosphere, and hopefully to inspire and create change. With my work I hope to inspire others to live well, to explore, to reconnect with the natural world, and to eat and cook well!
Q. What do you tear your hair out about?
Lately – obstinate technology and wrangling endless amounts of data! Haha that’s very much the last week of my life, but generally it’s just trying to fit everything I want to do in. Manage jobs whilst maintaining my personal work, travelling to and photographing all the places and experiences that inspire me and trying to give back to the world along the way.
Q. What’s your greatest career achievement to date?
Having the courage to step away from what was known and what was expected (and was easy) to step in a different direction, to not be afraid to try on different hats and cultivate other interests, and ultimately to find meaning in my craft and in my work again. I never stop learning and absolutely love and am passionate about what I do and to me that’s everything.
Q. And your worst disaster!
There are have been plenty of cancelled flights, lost luggage, broken lenses and damaged cameras! But if I really think back to significant moments that didn’t go the way I had hoped or planned, it was always because I didn’t believe in myself more. I generally believe that there are no mistakes, only lessons, but if I had the opportunity to give a word of advice to my younger self it would be to never sway from being 100% authentically myself.
Q. What’s next for you & your career arc?
I’m constantly developing so I can offer clients a comprehensive still and video package of food photography, lifestyle, underwater, interiors and aerial drone photography. In-between I’m currently working on an exhibition that will be shown next year. It’s a series of still life and landscape images centred on the Australian landscape and I’m really excited about it.

I’m passionate about conservation and sustainability and I’m really looking forward to getting more involved in that space. My idea of success is to be able to look back at my career and know that somehow it impacted positively and that I managed to give back and inspire change. That will make me happy.
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