I sat down (virtually) with Luke Dubbelde, a wild creative who rolls with the punches. Luke and I became friends when we both worked at IMG, Luke Art Department for IMG Models APAC, me Marketing Manager for IMG Fashion APAC (aka fash week). We always enjoyed a good night out together but it wasn't superficial. We also loved to talk ideas and future. I was very proud of Luke when he backed himself and left IMG to pursue his freelance Photography career. Right off the bat he was represented by top agency DLM and has since been the lens behind celebrity and creative campaigns. He's got an incredible eye and can captivate an entire mood with one click. He's one to watch.
Here's what we chatted about, on this occasion...
WHO: Luke Dubbelde.
CURRENT LOCATION: Sydney, Australia.
STORE: Potts Point Bookstore.
BEACH: Milk beach.
BAR: Fratelli Paradiso.
STAR SIGN: Aquarius.
BEST PLACE TO TRAVEL: Los Angeles.
MOST PRIZED POSSESSION: My never ending hard drive collection with all the originals to every photo I have taken over the past 10 years.
FAVOURITE FOOD: Carbonara with extra chilli.
WHO YOU'RE MOST INSPIRED BY: Without a doubt my circle of friends. I am really fortunate to have such an electric, inspiring and amazing group of friends and people in my life that I seek knowledge and inspiration from on a daily basis.
WHAT YOU DO: Photographer.
THE DEFINING MOMENT THAT LED YOU TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER: I actually remember it very clearly. I was sitting at Low302 on Crown Street with an old friend who had been listening to me complain year after year about being stuck in a rut, not feeling fulfilled or creatively inspired. He pushed for me to take some risks and introduced me to my now agent Dolores Lavin at DLM who I took a meeting with shortly after. We had arranged a few meetings and discussed at length my vision and my work and I instantly knew I was on the right path by perusing photography as a full-time career. Shortly after those meetings I had resigned from job and started that journey.
WHEN YOU'RE NOT SHOOTING, YOU ARE: When I am not in the studio or on location shooting you will usually find me at home in my office retouching or planning for the next project. If I am having down time I live for long lunches turned into dinner with good conversations, friends and wine. If I have a gap in my schedule and timing allows in-between jobs I usually like to be on a plane.
IF YOU WEREN'T A PHOTOGRAPHER, YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN: It sounds very cliché but I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else now. There was a point a few years ago when I was debating whether to pursue PR/Management but photography was always my biggest driver.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR CAREER: There has been many challenges that I have had to overcome throughout the course of my career. I think for the most part anyone freelancing, working in creative fields and running a small business could definitely relate to all the trials and tribulations that come with the territory. It’s definitely a transition period when a passion turns into your every day profession.
It has actually been extremely reinvigorating to have the time throughout this current pandemic to really sit and reflect on my career, where I am at and where I want to be moving forward.
One of the biggest realisations I have had recently is the power in saying no sometimes and maintaining balance between the commercial side of the business which is obviously essential to making a living whilst maintaining creative integrity and having the time to shoot imagery that is personal and meaningful to me.
I have always strived to be a storyteller through my work and for my images to reflect how I am feeling at the time and to also capture the essence of my relationship with my subjects.
I recently realised that a lot of my work was starting to lose that depth that it once had so in recent weeks I have predominantly been spending my time re-sparking the love I have with what I do and I think it is really starting to show through in my photos again.
Another challenge at the beginning was learning to let go of control when necessary. As my career progressed and more people became involved in my day-to-day it was hard initially to find the balance between trusting my own intuition on certain things without discrediting other opinions and advice because those opinions and outside feedback (and sometimes criticism) is incredibly essential for growth and development both personally and professionally.