Not one to shy away from a challenge, Amanda Campeanu overcame being made redundant from her corporate job to forge a career as a highly successful brand photographer. Several years since making the switch, Amanda now operates production house Timbre Media from sunny Brisbane, Australia, where she creates photo and video content for beauty, fitness and lifestyle brands.
Creative all-rounder Amanda is a skilled stylist and photographer and comes up with colourful concepts to showcase her clients' products. She also has a knack for lifestyle content working with models to demonstrate the features and benefits of the products she's working with.
More recently Amanda has turned her attention to video production and honing her motion skills as the demand for branded video increases. Video seems like a natural fit for Amanda who is comfortable on both sides of the camera and regularly vlogs about her creative process.
Through sharing her story online Amanda discovered her passion for teaching and has recently opened the doors to her online course, Become a Brand Photographer to help educate aspiring creators.
We had a chat with Amanda to find out more about her creative journey and what inspires her each day. Read our interview to see how Amanda went from small collaborations to creating content for some incredible brands.
Welcome Amanda! We'd love to find out how you got started as a brand photographer?
In 2017 I was made redundant which formed the catalyst to realising that even working for someone else, I didn’t have financial or job security. At the time I had an online finance and career blog where I’d take terrible flatlays for the blog photos. So this was my introduction into the online space.
Initially I was going to start a stock photography membership and realised how difficult that was and I didn’t like taking photos of random things (e.g. there was no hero product). I would follow all of these influencers on Instagram who took these really pretty photos promoting products and I wanted to do that too! So I pivoted and just decided to start shooting products. I did a lot of free collabs at the beginning to build my portfolio and out of those I got my first paying clients...and now we’re here!
But overall, I never wanted to be a product photographer. It’s something I fell into but I also believe my pathway with being made redundant aligned me to my passion which is product photography and teaching others!
What are some things people might not know about you?
What equipment do you currently use to produce your images and video?
I use a Canon R5, a Canon L Series 24-70m lens and Canon 100m lens. Tripod we have 2 that are Manfrotto and for lighting I use 2x Godox FV150 lights as we do both photo and video, having the hybrid function works out very well.
Do you have a favourite lighting setup?
I really enjoy lighting products from the side with a hard light and then having one key light on the other side with a large octabox filling in the shadow a little. I think this lighting creates really nice depth and is visually pleasing. It doesn’t work for all of the brands I shoot with but it’s the one I most enjoy.
Do you have any advice to share with aspiring product photographers?
I have a few things actually!
How do you keep learning and evolving your skills?
I’ve invested in all the Moodelier courses that have come out (I’m not sure if these are still available though), Karl Taylor’s membership, and some Domestika courses.
I think it’s also totally fine to approach photographers who don’t sell any kind of educational content and ask them if they’d be willing to do a 1:1 tutorial for you (obviously be willing to pay them). I’ve done this with my editing and asked another photographer if he’d teach me some of his editing techniques. So don’t be afraid to reach out to people.
Who inspires your own work?
My gorgeous friends Jess and Huzi from Florence James Collective. I’ve always loved their creativity and when I found out we lived 10min away from each other we became real life friends.
Sam from Germaine Photo. I love the simplicity of his work and his retouching is exceptional.
Cindy Clauds' work is so clean and crisp! I’m always obsessed with it.
And for mindset, one of my best girlfriends Madison Dohnt. I think it’s SO important to find someone who inspires you mindset and goal wise (not just creatively). We met on Instagram and have become such great friends. Any time we catch up I always find myself taking action the day after. We’re kinda like each other’s business/life coaches. Find someone in your life who motivates you that way.
What are your top go-to props to use on shoots?
Lastly, we'd love to know - what's next for you?
My partner Alistair and I are working on something HUGE. It’s a top secret project which is tailored towards solving a problem in our industry. We’re hoping to have it released in 2022. It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done and we are beyond excited for the next chapter it will bring us. That’s all I can say about that haha.
But other than that, I’m always working on ways to evolve my course Become A Brand Photographer to help my students evolve and bring more free content to my YouTube channel. I’ve thought about a podcast so that might be in the works too for next year.
Thank you Amanda for being at the forefront of product and video content production, and being so generous in teaching others.
You can follow Amanda's journey and see more of her inspiring work at @amandacampeanu and learn more information about her coaching and courses, including enrolling in her Become a Brand Photographer course, over at her website Timbre Media House. Don't forget to check out her YouTube channel too.
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