Boss. We knew that whoever posted this Instagram of a Camps Bay backpack and Union Street messenger bag had to be one. And we had to find out more about him. We reached out and soon discovered that the photographer, 19 year-old Patrick Self, is an Australia-based freelance photographer whose talent has taken him all over his home country and to many countries around the world, including Japan, New Zealand, Italy and England. Check out Patrick’s stunning portraits and travel shots below. And if you’re a creative soul in need of a little spark for your inner muse, be sure to visit his blog.
In high school I discovered quickly that being a photographer had certain advantages. I was allowed to skip out of class to photograph the bands… I was invited to the parties that introverts don’t get invited to, and could use the camera as an excuse not to excessively drink. The camera became a reason for me to be involved in the community, it gave me a reason to meet people I otherwise wouldn’t, it gave me a reason to push my boundaries.
Eventually I became obsessed with learning everything I could about photography. I’d read photographic encyclopedias, scour the internet for what I believed to be the best work and regularly read the blogs of about a hundred professional photographers all over the world. It started as a bit of a laugh, but quickly it consumed me.
I’ve been photographing seriously since I was 16 and initially produced some truly awful work. Thankfully I improved and am now working as a freelance photographer in Brisbane, Australia. I focus on music portraiture and am aiming to move into editorial this year.
I use Canon’s 5D Mark II commercially, a Leica M6 for personal work, and my iPhone every day.
The work that is most inspiring to me is about telling people’s stories. A great photo is able to show people simultaneously as they are, as they think they are, and as they want to be. If in a single frame I can tell something honest about a person, then I’m satisfied with my work.
I’m also inspired by travel and exploration: seeing different and wondrous places, capturing these places, and trying to communicate the wonder I feel. Photography is my career, but travel is very important to me personally.
How did you first learn about the Camps Bay and Union Street?
I admire the work of Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, and I consider Jamie a personal role model because of how much she loves her work and what she’s doing. She gave the Camps Bay an honest (and glowing) review not long ago. I investigated further and found what I believe to be one of the best made and most stylish camera bags on the market. The most obvious thing I like about the ONA bags would be their excellent design, both in their usability and aesthetics. They’re understated, stylish, and timeless. The craftsmanship is excellent, the materials are of a very high quality, and there’s a great attention to detail.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you or your photography?
I believe we’re living in a very exciting time. A time unlike any before, where some teenager in Australia can learn from some of the best minds in an industry. I am incredibly lucky to be one of those teenagers. I can sit in my studio in Brisbane and watch Platon speak about how he created iconic portraits, or Vincent Laforet teach video for photographers, or David Hobby on lighting. There’s this amazing information freely available to people like me, and I am very grateful for that.