The Man Behind the Lens

The Man Behind the Lens


Whenever we set out to treat you we always give you the best. Today is no different. We’ve got a chat with Luke Going lined up, the fab photographer who gave us our current issue’s cover pic. Grab a cuppa. You won’t want to miss this one! Oh, and check out some of his glorious work after the interview.

Was photography always something you wanted to pursue? I remember when I was about 18 all I wanted to do was travel the world photographing people and places I saw. Naturally, the most appealing career path to sate this appetite was working for National Geographic. I travelled a lot around Asia during my early twenties, getting a taste for such a lifestyle, but when my first daughter was born, I had to reconsider things.

Did you ever imagine you would become a full-time photographer? Of course. I imagined it all the time. It was a dream that ebbed and flowed through my consciousness. When it finally happened though, it was an immensely gratifying experience.

Was it a scary decision to do photography full-time? I had just completed my first year of a Counselling and Psychology degree. The first term of the second year, the very first assignment I was working on, the light bulb came on and I knew this was not what I was meant to be doing. It was obvious I was a creative, and photography was what I needed to do. Once I set my mind to something there is no stopping me. So no, it wasn’t scary because I knew it was what I was meant to be doing.

Were your family and friends supportive of your decision? My dad was sitting right next to me when that light bulb came on. He thought I was crazy, but being an artist he understood and is incredibly proud I have been able to make a career of my passion. And of course, my mother is my biggest supporter, as most mothers are. Go mums!

How do you feel when you are behind the camera? I feel like I am in a dream. Chaotically moving from one moment to the next, waiting to pounce on the opportunity of something great. Anxiety meeting exhilaration; impatience meeting meditation—a synthesis of the ideal and happenstance.

Are weddings something you always wanted to document? No way! It was a common attitude back in the day that wedding photography was a fall back option for photographers who couldn’t make it else where. It was a cringe worthy job I stayed clear of contemplating, despite its alluring lucrative opportunity. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the work of Jonas Peterson that my whole attitude did a complete back-flip. I can be pretty confident in saying that Jonas’ work has had the same influence on a lot of photographers. With the advent of digital photography and the rise of talented photographers destroying the cliched image of tacky wedding photography, I realised I could make a go of it in my way, support my family and have a great lifestyle at the same time.

Could you ever imagine life without photography? Not now. I have created the life I want from photography. I am working from home for myself, supporting my family, following a career path that is perfect for me in every way. It would have to be a pretty major event to make me give it up. I understand I have a pretty short attention span and could get to a point where I need change. But I think I am at an age now where I have to transform that lackluster feeling into an opportunity to try and inspire myself through other avenues within the medium. There are a plethora of opportunities out there, I just need to get off my ass and go for them!

Spare-time antics? My wife and I have four kids between us, so running a full-time business with four kids leaves little ‘spare’ time. Rosie and I are always dreaming of what we would do without the kids in our life. Travel is usually first on the list. But after the fairy dust has settled, we realise we actually have an awesome life and that brings us back to the present. If I did have spare time I’d be getting back into my sculpture/wood carving, getting through the library of books that await my attention and catching up on the last 10 years of all the amazing films we have managed to miss. 

If you were not a photographer what else would you have done? As far as a legitimate career goes, it is hard to tell. I always saw making money through art to be next to impossible. But having had the success I have had in this career it has opened my eyes to the possibilities. The only thing I could see myself evolving into after wedding photography would be cinematography. Film making is an amazing medium and far more expressive than photography. If I could sing, I’d probably have been a musician. But, with my love of music and imagery, cinema seems like the most fertile environment for my creative ambitions to grow.



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