Dev is one of the many brilliant women operating in the creative realm with her focus being mostly on music photography. Her work has a distinctive style and is leagues beyond her peers. Her hardwork and dedication to her art is nothing short of inspiring and we cannot wait to see what she gets up to the rest of 2019.
CLUNK: How did you get into photography?
Dev: I actually started my interest in cameras through YouTube. As embarrassing as it is, I started vlogging around the age of 15 or 16, and over the years I’ve had multiple cringeworthy, narcissistic YouTube channels. When I was around 17, I was due to go on holiday with my ex boyfriend and his family to New York, and I knew that was going to be one hell of a vlog. I was starting university when I got home, and so figured a decent camera, but nothing too pricey, was needed. So I received a little Canon powershot for my birthday, and when I saw the quality of the photos on it, I just went a little nuts, and never looked back.
CLUNK:Was there any person that inspired you to pick up a camera?
Dev: In terms of a person that inspired me to start photography, I can’t say it was a specific person- but rather a culture. I grew up as a typical teen who was fanatical about their favourite alt-bands and everyone was making their own merch or art etc. I’ve always been a writer, and that’s what I always wanted to peruse. I started a blog when I was 16 that slowly got a group of contributors and grew, and it made sense to take a t least a couple photos of the shows I was reviewing to go along with the articles. But then- when those shots started coming out okay, I wanted to get better, and to share those images. I miss the days of thinking, if something wasn’t available to you- you’d make it yourself. I was just interested in any media I could create, I would make youtube videos, gifs, do a couple shoots, write a few reviews and do my weekly radio show all in the space of a few days and I just didn’t stop. And these kids today want to talk about content!
I do remember though, hearing Zane Lowe on the radio, and hearing the excitement he had for the music. He would be unable to contain himself from singing along, or literally screaming about how good a track was. I hadn’t seen that genuine enthusiasm within the industry since I was a kid, and it was refreshing. I felt as though he represented that same feeling I had for music and media, and he did inspire me to become a journalist/mediahead of any sorts. It was a natural progression, I’ve always loved media, and been creative in all ways, and I guess it was inevitable that I’d pick up a camera eventually.
CLUNK:What has been your experience being a female photographer?
Dev: Being a female within the music industry, whether you’re a writer, publicist, photographer, manager or anything, will see the same attitudes from some. I feel like there’s two ends of the spectrum. Some celebrate you simply for being a female in the industry- as though it shows some sort of bravery or they put you on a pedestal simply due to your sex. I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t care what you identify as, the only thing that matters to me is the quality of your work. I’ve been referred to as a ‘badass’ woman before. Well I appreciate the notion- I find that kind of statement a little counter-productive. I’m good at what I do regardless of my sex/gender. So I’m not a ‘badass woman’, I’m just a badass. Period. That’s not supposed to sound narcissistic, I say that a little tongue in cheek, but you understand the sentiment.
“Being a female within the music industry, whether you’re a writer, publicist, photographer, manager or anything, will see the same attitudes from some”Dev Place
The other end of the spectrum is being perceived as a fangirl who got lucky. When there are some men who are way more fanatical and unprofessional than any woman I’ve ever met. I’ve had this attitude presented to me a couple times, and it is so insulting. I’ve experienced it in several ways; boys not believing I could like as heavy music as they do, or get involved at shows the way they do, or be as knowledgeable as them on music, or as good as them at a job. When the truth is, I’ve wiped the floor with some guys in all those areas. It’s almost like my sex isn’t relevant to those topics…
CLUNK: You focus on music photography but are there any other areas you’d like to explore?
Dev: I do focus on music photography as of course that’s my main interest. I’ve always loved live music and worked with music publications, so that’s the way it panned out. This year I’m doing a few weddings, however some people in photography look down on that. But I think it’s a shame when that happens. You CAN be super creative and uphold your style and artistic integrity whether you’re photographing a wedding or a satsuma on a picnic blanket. I enjoy weddings because it’s a huge responsibility to be trusted with and having a couple thrilled with the photos of their special day is a really nice feeling. But mostly, I really enjoy portraiture. I have a long list of kind of abstract shoot ideas that I want to do this year. Something you don’t get too much with music photography is a high sense of narrative, and I’d love to play around with that some more. I’d love to do more fashion stories. I’m currently working on that and have a couple zines set to release in the summer.
CLUNK: What advice can you pass on to other aspiring female photographers?
Dev: Stop classing yourself as a ‘female photographer’, ‘female creative’ etc etc. Just be good at what you do. Don’t succumb to the marginalisation of talented females. Don’t allow yourself to be pushed out of any genre of anything due to it being male-saturated. What does it matter? Get hit at a hardcore show cramming your neck for that shot. Take sports photos, male fashion etc. Ultimately the label ‘female’ is just an unnecessary word to add on to your profession, when it has no relevance to the role. Do you hear anyone describing themselves as a male accountant? Vegan hairdresser? Black barmaid? Drop the ‘female’ tag. It doesn’t make us better, worse, different or more relevant than anyone with the same job title. Just smash it, and don’t fuel the culture of seeing females as a rarity or sub-genre of creatives.
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