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with Samantha Everton

Hey Samantha, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you developed an interest in photography?

Becoming a photographer was a slow development for me. It came together from previous careers that all evolved and meshed into one linking career. Photography is an extension of my lifelong love of creativity. I began as a hairdresser creating avant garde hairstyles as my main passion. I then moved into photojournalism as a cadet photographer and from there, I worked with Penguin Books and Harper Collins being commissioned for my unique approach in being able to do hair, makeup, set design and photography to create unique book covers, this was the start of my interest in photography as a theatrical stage.

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How did you capture three of your best images?

For me, photography is about sketching ideas, planning, sourcing and building sets then after everything has been planned and staged, letting go and discovering that one spontaneous moment. I called this organised spontaneity. In my Indochine series that constructed, spontaneous moment happened with Jacquerie.

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What do you enjoy most about Fine Art photography

I enjoy the creation of my work without restraints.  Fine art photography inspires me with an unlimited creative canvas.  Your imagination can take you in any direction, and your limits are only your ability to realise this vision.

We’re thrilled to have you part of our APA judging committee again this year. Do you have tips for our entrants on how to choose their best images to submit?

I find the APA competition very inspiring and appreciate the time and effort each and every person puts into the decision making of what image to enter. My only advice is to trust your own gut feeling of what is a powerful composition and image that speaks to you. Trust your first impressions. An image is fleeting but the impression lasts.

From where or whom do you draw your inspiration?

Without wanting to sound clichéd, I genuinely draw my inspiration from daily life in all aspects: the good, the challenging, and the highlights. Culture and Identity is a strong reoccurring them in my work and life.

What do you feel makes a winning image for APA?

That combination where an image has strong composition, uniqueness, and passion. Something that holds the viewer longer than you expect.

That unique image doesn’t necessarily always come from perfect framing or the strongest composition, but there’s something about it: that fraction of a second that holds you, and you keep coming back to it. You don’t necessarily know why. Rules can be broken, it’s not necessarily tangible, it just captures you.

What is the most memorable experience you’ve had while photographing?

Working with a Burmese albino python in the middle of Vietnam, conquering my fears and pushing through the end of a 14-day straight photo shoot to capture the perfect moment, the perfect swirl, the perfect head position of this 2-metre long python.

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