2019 Aperture Photographic Conference

Six of the world's top photographers joined host Ray Martin to talk about their most famous works and the reality of their profession in their chosen genres.

Aperture Photography Conference is the biggest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The event has a TEDx Talks-style presentation format that offers attendees a glimpse into the life and work of each photographer.

The 2019 keynote speakers were landscape photographer Christian Fletcher, National Geographic photojournalist Ami Vitale, film stills photographer Jasin Boland, contemporary photographer Tamara Dean, conflict photojournalist Stephen Dupont, and ocean photographer Ray Collins.

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The conference kicked off with Ray Collins, who in my very humble opinion is one of Australia’s most talented photographers. I have followed Ray Collins for the last few years on Instagram (Ray Collins), completely inspired by his world class photography and unique take on oceanography. But his story is even more compelling than his photography, a coal miner by trade that used his love of the ocean and photography as a means of rehabilitation after a workplace accident. His passion and hunger for photography has lead him to achieve the unachievable and show to his audience a completely unique take on ocean photography. Ray’s story resonated with the 700 strong photography enthusiasts and it short.. his story is “all about overcoming”.

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Tamara Dean (Instagram) was a photographer I didn’t really know much about, however in saying that I have seen some of her work before. A self confessed introvert her body of work is about exploring her connect to nature. Her story and how she got into photography and her current projects was very inspiring and her ability to keep pushing the boundaries in her fine art field. The concept of her projects to explore sensory experiences is rather interesting. As a recently graduated student of photography I found her story rather inspiring and relevant with avenues I can pursue on my photographic journey.

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Jasin Boland (Instagram) is without doubt on of the most energetic photographers, but when you find out what he does, well no wonder he is fuelled on adrenaline. Jasin is a motion picture skill photographer who has worked on films such as The Matrix, The Bourne Supremacy and James Bond. If you think about it, he is probably one of Australia’s most published photographers. His ability to go out there and capture raw emotion and find himself in the right place at the right time was incredible.

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Christian Fletcher (Instagram) is a photographer I have long admired, his work in the landscape photography industry is thought provoking, in most cases oozes simplicity and restraint. I love his editing style and the composition of his work. I found above anything Christian’s story refreshing and it really did get me thinking about how many creatives live with an anxiety or depression disorder. His often humorous talk was refreshingly honest and his journey to being one of Australia’s most accomplished landscape photographers completely inspiring. I will learn from Christian in the near future.

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Stephen Dupont (Instagram) is a conflict photographer who I actually studied at RMIT University so I was really looking forward to his imagery. I find his style in the vien of W. Euguene Smith and his ability to tell the story up close and personal but from the civilians perspective. He is without doubt one of Australia’s most talented photographers across multiple genres. His landscape photography is simply beautiful. I love his honesty about his journey and how his career has shaped his life and his future plans. His creativity left you wanting more. I now cannot wait to watch season 3 of Tale by Light to watch more of his story.

Ami Vitali (Instagram) is

Danielle Watson