Young filmmakers are becoming more prevalent within the millennial generation, with more and more people picking up a camera and shooting whatever they can. Schools, such as the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries in Brisbane, have pumped out talented filmmakers who have been working on their craft for years before, during and after their time within this creative environment.
Photographer and videographer Tatjana Hamilton is a 20-year-old music and landscape photographer who is set on big things for her career.
“I’ve been working at this for so long, since I was a little girl, I’m at a stage where I am professional and I am doing this as a living… so the age and the professional thing comes into play a lot.” Learning under her professional photographer father, Tatjana has been inspired from a young age and has an impressive and extensive portfolio for someone so young.
“There is still a stigma with older clients, they’re like oh you’re young you don’t know what you’re doing.” She has photographed for Australian artists such as Yeo and rapper Tom Gaynor, or better known as Allday. She has toured with the artists, photographing their performances and further adding to her portfolio. “He [Tom] sees that I love my job so much and he’s just incredible, he’s an amazing musician, he loves what he does… That’s why I love the music industry as well, because there are so many young people doing so well, they’re doing what they love and they see that I love what I’m doing.”
Tatjana met the Australian rapper last year at the Maroochydore music and arts festival when she sat down to interview Allday’s Dj. “I met Tom at Maroochy music festival last year… I interviewed his DJ, Paulo… Met tom, met a few other really cool people. I was kind of fangirling. I met George Maple… I don’t even know now it was a blur.” When she met the artist, she was one of the head photographers shooting for music magazine Futuremag Music. The magazine captures Australian artists through photography and interviews. Hamilton also began her own magazine in 2016, The Creatives Journal. Similarly, to Futuremag, the journal captured interviews with world class artists.
“I’ve met lots of people through my magazine… and once you meet one person you kinda meet another and then you gain contacts… as a friend of mine said the other day I don’t make contacts I make friends…”. Hamilton’s direct approach to artists for photography jobs is well beyond her years and astounds people when they discover how young she is. Being a part of the industry requires a drive that pushes photographers to consistently go beyond what is comfortable and approach professionals that have colossal fan bases and thousands of followers.
“People think of it in such a sterile environment, ‘oh yeah, I make contacts’… successful photographers and videographers do really well because they treat these people like friends… A lot of it is about hustle, I used to not be about that. I used to be quite timid… If you have that determination a lot of the time they’re kind of like ‘oh, cool she really wants this, I’m gonna give them a chance.”
For someone of such a young age, many 19-year-olds find it difficult to approach even strangers to ask a simple question, let alone someone they admire and are a public figure.
“I went on tour with Yeo last year in September and they actually approached me… that was a massive moment in my music photography career especially.” With some photography jobs leading to dead ends, like Hamilton described, working with artists such as Yeo pushed her career forward, opening doors for her that led to people knowing her name as a Brisbane photographer.
“It gave me a lot of credibility… if you have that name behind you then people are like ‘yeah I know that photographer’… I meet photographers and they know who I am, it’s the weirdest thing ever. It’s a good feeling.”
Many of Tatjana’s inspiration are local and global photographers. Many of which have varied styles when it comes to their photography. Artists such as Elsa Bleda and Todd Hido, who’s work looks at landscape photography with a lot of night shooting, glimpsing into a lonely and often beautiful night world.
“Its peering into a moment in life at night, she’s just incredible…I love her work [Bleda], I’m trying to implement stuff like that… I don’t want to limit myself to one thing like she does because I feel like I can capture a lot of different things well… I don’t want to do just music or landscape, I want to do all of it. All sorts of photography interest me.”
Hamilton’s approach to the way she shoots her images is an explicit description of how photography affects people who appreciate it. Emotion is the key driving force in her work, something that is emotive and powerful. Photography for her isn’t a hobby, its impulsive and an obsession. “Sometimes you look at something and think yeah that would be good, then you look at it again and think yeah I have to take it… If it elicits and emotion from you in any sense… you can take really good photos.”
“I really like the idea of one still photo… It’s one moment, still in time and that really stands out to me... there’s something really special about that”