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BEHIND THE LENS with Sydney-based photographer Ivy Erlinger

Posted on 27 October 2019

As an Australian Swimwear Label, we were enthralled to be able to collaborate with the luxury European company VOSS Water, who we have admired for years as a premium lifestyle brand available in over 50 countries. Shooting at Coogee, one of Sydneys most iconic beaches we were able to create an incredible marketing campaign with the help of local photographer Ivy Erlinger. 

As a fellow DREAMR, we ask Ivy what it is like to be on the other side of the lens, her perspective on the industry and how she created her dream job and dream life… 

Describe what do you do for a living and what your journey was like to get there? 

I'm a fashion, lifestyle and wedding photographer, meaning I get to take photos of beautiful people in beautiful places. I was fortunate enough to grow up in the industry, my father is a fashion photographer and I started shooting, with his encouragement, at the age of 13. I got my first paid photography job at 15. At the same time, I was learning how to do professional retouching, film + edit videos, studying graphic design, and have continued doing them all alongside photography ever since. 

Do you feel like it is a good time to be a creative in todays social media landscape? Are there more advantages or disadvantages? 

I think social media allowed access to what was once a very elite industry, in a way that never was allowed before. It has both disadvantages (an over-saturation of creators leading to the lowering of rates) and advantages (inclusive + more room to experiment!) so it really just is what you make of it. 

What is your best career memory to date? A moment that you dreamt of growing up that you have now achieved? 

Currently, I shoot for Zimmermann, which is a pretty amazing role. The brand has such name recognition and it's an honour to work for such a female-supportive and well known Aussie label. But shooting alongside my dad earlier this year is probably my best career memory to date. We flew up to the Gold Coast to shoot for a German fashion magazine, and though it wasn't the first time my photos were in a magazine editorial, it was so amazing to have my work printed alongside my fathers. 

What would you tell your younger self when you were starting out in this industry, if you knew then what you know now? 

Just keep practicing! I used to carry my DSLR around every. Single. Day. I carried it to school, to tennis, to the beach, anywhere I went, it came with me. Mainly I was just taking photos of friends, in and out of school, but having the camera glued to my side familiarised myself with the settings in a way that no book, YouTube tutorial or teacher ever could.  

What does a typical day in your life look like? 

There is definitely no 'typical' day, it's is constantly changing.

If I were to try and average it out though... Usually wake up at about 8-8:30. Stretch + wash my face. Then settle in to send some emails + invoicing and get some preliminary editing done for whatever the most recent shoot is. Get distracted by my cat, decide to bake something (salted caramel cheescake, anyone?). Ready my camera gear. Depending on what I'm shooting, I'll either take a backpack or a full suitcase, and thus either my motorcycle or car respectively. Make a quick lunch, edit some more, head to a late arvo shoot! After that, back home to download the cards, cook myself dinner, and settle in for an evening of retouching! Depending how much retouching I have to do, I can either finish up around 8-9pm, but sometimes I get in a zone and retouch till 1am. 

Favourite quote/mantra? 

'If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?' (Thanks RuPaul)

Who do you look up to most as a mentor in your industry? Whether you have had the pleasure of meeting them or watch their journey from afar.  

My dad, Blasius Erlinger, without a doubt. He has always treated my work, and the work of fellow photographers + assistants with such respect. He is gracious and generous with his time, even on set, when 10 people are needing his attention. He has always encouraged me, pushing me to try new styles, and it's so great to have someone to be able to discuss ideas with. 

Finally, in todays perfectly curated Instagram world/feed it can sometimes feel like everyone is living the perfect dream life from the outside. What is the best advice you could give to young people growing up in this environment?  

Don't follow people that make you feel shitty! Search out people who don't just present the perfect dream world, because that's not representative of how life is. We all have struggles and hardships, it can be unbelievably difficult to share that with the world, but it makes us all better if we do. Despite how isolating social media / Instagram is, it doesn't have to be! It took a long time before I felt comfortable posting about my mental health struggles, but it allowed me to use social media to connect with people in a way I hadn't before.  

Website |  www.ivyerlinger.com

Instagram |  @ivyerlingerphoto 

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