Daniel Linnet – Photographer & Facilitator
Posted October 23, 2017, by Jenny Sakr
Over 20 years in photography and Daniel says it still feels like he's getting paid for his hobby. Photography is his number one passion, saying “it’s given me so many gifts over the years including the ability to see and experience life at a much deeper level.”
Daniel runs his own freelance photography business and is the director at Sydney Photographic Workshop.
What did you study and what are the steps you took to be where you are today?
As a photographer, I was self-taught through books, magazines and lots of practice. Although technically photography can be learnt fairly easily these days via YouTube, it takes years of practice to develop your confidence, proficiency and individual style. My path into the industry was more direct than others, rather than assisting other photographers (an apprenticeship) I started chasing work almost immediately, saying yes to every job that came my way and then made sure that I learnt everything I needed to get it right.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Influenced by the movie Wall Street I wanted to be a high flying stockbroker
What was your first job?
My first job straight out of school was for a stationary company doing phone sales, I then transitioned into real estate working in the domestic market for six years during which time I obtained my Real Estate and Auctioneers license, later progressing to project sales and marketing for one of Australia’s leading property developers.
When did you first know you wanted to take this career path?
My passion for photography was born while I was working in my project marketing role, I was desperate to find a creative outlet I could pursue on my days off so I took up painting and life drawing, and subsequently photography. Being a less than patient person at the time I was drawn to the immediacy of the medium and was instantly hooked. For a while, it remained a serious hobby and it wasn’t until the company that I was working for asked me to take some photos for them did I consider it a serious career option.
Explain a typical day at work
What I love most about what I do is that there is no such thing as a typical workday. For me, photography is very much a lifestyle that is constantly evolving. Every day brings new and exciting challenges which keep me engaged and keeps things interesting. One day I might be photographing portraits in a corporate environment and the next at an outback rodeo face to face with an angry bull.
When I’m not on assignment I’m catching up on admin work, pitching for new business, working on personal assignments, paying bills, learning new techniques, preparing for forthcoming photography workshops or conducting private photography sessions and corporate training sessions in photography.
What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you in your career?
Although I have had an incredible number of amazing life experiences through photography I have to say the four years working with Australian Top Gear magazine were the most exciting! Particularly being embedded with an F1 team for the duration of an Abu Dhabi GP and then hopping straight into a 6ltr V8 Chevrolet for a wild two-day road trip to Qatar and back.
Name the best and worst parts of your job
It’s hard to have too many bad things to say about what I do as I generally love everything about it. If I was to pick a couple however, I would have to say that working as a freelance creative is like riding a roller coaster, the intense periods of creative output which sap a great deal of energy can often be followed by a quieter period during which it’s tough to stay motivated and productive. Also dealing with a creative block as well as clients who greatly undervalue the effort involved in producing great images.
What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?
Early on in my career one of my mentors told me that “you are only as good as the worst image you show”. This really resonated with me at the time and has been my quality control mantra throughout my career. I make sure that I am 100% happy with every image that ever leaves my studio and no one ever gets to see the bad ones.
What do you wish someone had told you before starting as a photographer?
Transitioning to a creative field from corporate I was keen to leave my business hat off and just be creative. Would have been great if someone would have told me that I’d be wearing it more often than not in running my own photography business.
Where do people have to start to get into photography and what is the standard salary?
The logical and most common place to start in the industry is by assisting at an established studio or for a photographer – it’s a great way to get a better understanding of the industry as well as learning many tricks of the trade. During this period it’s important to keep building your own portfolio which is how you will ultimately start getting your own assignments. Although far and few in between, studio positions would usually offer a standard industry award as an apprenticeship style arrangement. Alternately working as a freelance photography assistant (a contractor) you can set your own day rate between $250-$450 a day depending on experience.
As a photographer, there is no standard salary but it’s important to do your market research and know what the various industry rates are so you don’t sell yourself short. Day rates would generally increase based on the quality of your portfolio and industry experience.
Name a career highlight
A more recent career highlight was being appointed as a Canon Master. One of only 16 in Australia!
What’s next for you?
You never know what’s around the corner in this industry. At the moment I am starting to play more and more with motion in addition to my stills photography.
Keen to take your shutterbug skills to the next level? Zoom in and take a look out our Photography courses – enquire today!
Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.