A professional football player turned photographer, Ryan Brabazon’s images showcase his love for traveling the world, snapping moments of his friends and beautiful fashion shoots, where the surrounding landscapes take center stage evoking dreamy moments.
Interview by Vanessa S Miranda
Before being a photographer, you were a football player for the Swans. These are two very different professional fields. How did you move from one to another?
I started playing football as a job as soon as I had left high school. But those careers have a short life span and it got to the point where I had to start to look at life after football. I only wanted to pursue a career in something I was genuinely passionate about. For me, that was photography.
Doing sports at a professional level can also be very demanding both physically and physiologically. How does that period of your life reflect on the person you are today and to your approach to your work?
Playing sport at a professional level forces you to take your mind and body to the absolute maximum of their thresholds. You learn how hard you can push yourself and how to deal with pressure. Doing this for a number of years holds you in good stead for whatever comes next.
When did you stop and think … Well maybe photography is something I want to do full time and pursue as a profession… did you have one of those ‘Aww’ moments?
I always knew I wanted to pursue photography after football so when I was still playing in Sydney I assisted a photographer friend of mine on a couple of jobs. It allowed me to see how the industry functioned and showed me how I could eventually make it into a profession.
You are from Australia, the land of the surf, the amazing beaches, beautiful people and always sunny…can we say that the place we come from always influences our work style and the images we want to capture as photographers?
Yeah I am very fortunate to have grown up on the beautiful beaches of Western Australia and I spend as much time as I can by the water. I think that the majority of people feel more comfortable and confident in familiar surroundings. And that generally influences their style.
You do a lot of ‘personal photography’ with friends, places you visit, things you see and on the opposite side you also do more guided fashion editorials, where there are always guidelines and restrictions…do you have a favourite or they both complement your style as a photographer?
I always make sure my editorial work is free of restrictions and allows me to shoot how I want. I also like to document my travels and the people involved in those. So I think both of those are linked pretty closely with each other and from there my style comes through.
Your first solo exhibition happened just last year, in May, with the support of a well-known Australian fashion magazine, Russh. What was it like?
I have been working with Rush magazine since I first started shooting a few years ago and we have built a good relationship. The exhibition was also supported by swimwear label She Made Me who I work with very often.
I often combine my landscape photography with my fashion work and when the opportunity arose to exhibit in conjunction with the both of them, I was really stoked. They are both such great companies and I was honoured to be given that chance.
What cameras do you normally use on your shoots?
I started out using any old film cameras I would find at flea markets and yard sales but they were always so fickle. Eventually I got hold of one type that I really liked though, so I looked around and found a couple of the same model and now just rotate between them.
Best Soundtrack for a road trip…
I have this old iPod that is broken and I can’t update. It has a giant music library that I have taken around the world with me a bunch of times and is always on shuffle. Right now I am on a train in Scandinavia and the last three artists have been Brook Benton, Yves Klein Blue and Beach House. Variety is key.
When on the road one cannot forget to take with him…
2016 will be the year too . . .
2016 for me is living out of a backpack. I left Sydney in August last year to travel the globe and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.