When I met Melissa Findley at Pow Wow Hawaii earlier this year, I instantly fell in love with her vibe and her beautiful, open mind. Based in Melbourne, Australia, she’s a world traveler who draws inspiration from the people she meets, but also the simple things she experiences on the road. She travels and works with her boyfriend Steen, and as a couple they feed off of each other’s creative energy. Her photography speaks for itself, it is sensual and universal. This is the first Live Fast Mag feature for this self taught photographer, and I look forward to many more!
LF: How did you get started with photography?
MF: I guess you could say by accident.. I never thought that a hobby that started in my teenage years would eventually come full circle and now it’s my career. It’s been a fun ride so far.
LF: What’s your favorite thing to document?
MF: My favorite thing to photograph would definitely have to be people. It’s so interesting and engaging when you interact with people on such an intimate level.
LF: What have you been working on lately?
MF: Following my dreams. As a freelancer my days can be totally sporadic. At the moment I’m working with a tourism company and I’ve been lucky enough to travel around greater Melbourne. I’m also working on refining my personal photographic style and direction, I love working with females and I’m trying to hone in on this and expand my portfolio.
LF: What’s your favorite photo you ever shot and why?
MF: Choosing one is really hard, but for sentimental reasons a portrait I took of my Grandparents for their 50th Wedding Anniversary. It’s raw. It’s real. They look so happy and as in love as the day they met. It might not be the most technically correct or perfect photo, but yeah I’d say it’s a favorite.
LF: Who / What inspires you on the daily?
MF: It’s probably the most cliché answer but the truth is everything inspires me. Sometimes I can be inspired by a location I stumble across, a stranger in the street, by artwork, by a song, even other photographers work or something I have seen in a magazine that catches my eye and sparks an idea. Then begins the creative process. I carry a notebook around everywhere and try and keep a note of all my ideas triggered from these inspirations.
LF: What do you think is an edge of being self-taught?
MF: Not knowing the rules. It makes them easier to break.
LF: What’s your favorite tattoo?
MF: “True Love” a traditional swallow on my ribs by Dutch Tattoo Artist and friend Jelle Nelemans.
LF: You work very closely with your boyfriend Steen. How does it work for you guys? How do you find balance?
MF: We drive each other crazy, but we keep each other sane. I get to spend every single day doing what I love and with my best friend by my side.
LF: What is your ultimate goal in your career? in life?
MF: Ideally to be able to travel and go on the road with Steen, it would be amazing to live and work overseas together. The more I think about it, the more I realize I need to get working on this plan!
LF: Being a world traveler, how does any given city influence your craft? Is your work a product of your environment?
MF: Of course my work becomes a product of the environment whilst travelling, but I always find I come home with a new perspective and new eye. I couldn’t image life without travel, I’m never settled and always seeking the next adventure.
LF: Had any good dreams recently?
MF: If and when I sleep, I rarely remember my dreams.
LF: How fast do you live?
MF: It depends. Where’s the good coffee at?