Greta Costello is a Melbourne based photographer who is invested in both her personal art practice and delivering high quality imagery for commercial and private clients. Whether photographing people, places or food, Greta prides herself on attention to detail and a strong awareness of composition and form. We had a chat with her to find out what it really takes to be a photographer. Here’s what she had to say…
“The fascination with photography began under the dim red lights of the darkroom when I was in high school. My grandfather gave me his Canon AE2 and I began photographing my brothers, friends and beloved dog. From the beginning, I have studied the history and theory of photography and I like to think this informs my current practice.” – Greta Costello
George Takes Twelve
1. Pleasantries first… Tell us about who you are and what you do?
My name is Greta Costello and I am a freelance photographer.
2. When I was growing up I wanted to be….
A swimmer! I still love doing my laps and ocean swimming, but I don’t think I was ever cut out to be a professional swimmer…
3. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If you believe you have done your best, that is enough.
4. What’s been your favourite moment so far in your career?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one… generally it’s the hardest projects that are the most rewarding. So with that in mind, I would have to say the Portraits of Knowledge project that I worked on in Groote Eylandt and solo exhibitions of personal work are some of the highlights.
5. What do you feel is the most challenging part about being a photographer today?
Our world is saturated with all manner of imagery, ranging in quality, originality, and integrity. So it’s a constant challenge to work out how to best promote what you do. I am not naturally drawn to social media but it’s a reality that needs to be understood. Whether actively or passively, your images end up circulating online so it’s important to decide how to implement social and online media whilst staying true to yourself.
6. What words of wisdom do you have for a go getter look at breaking into the world of photography?
Keep shooting what you are naturally drawn to, and archive all your work so it’s easily accessible for submissions, competitions, folio reviews, etc. Develop a relationship with an established photographer and get assisting experience with them if possible. Be respectful of your peers and have fun!
7. What’s the most treasured belonging/item in your own home?
My baby boy. I realise he isn’t an item but for the moment, I feel he belongs to me and there is nothing in my home that I treasure more.
8. What’s one thing other people may not know about you?
I like to play golf.
9. Can you pinpoint the moment photography turned into a profession for you?
It has been a fluid journey of snapping away. One of the first images I have of my Dad is a picture of his knees. Whilst studying I took on small jobs, then assisted a commercial photographer for some years (Adrian & Adair Lander) and I guess after I finished up with them I realised that photography was my profession as well as being part of my personal life.
10. When’s the last time you were on the opposite side of the camera lens?
My friend / amazing photographer Chris Newton shot a roll of film of my baby boy and I with a Rolliflex just the other day… it is great to get an appreciation of what it is like to be on the opposite side of the lens and to see how other people work.
11. You’ve got 24hrs to shoot any person or subject in the universe. Who or what is at the top of your list?
24 hours hey… I would set up in the abandoned ballroom above Flinders Street station and invite 24 of the most influential people in my life (dead or alive) for a 1 hour session each, combining my love of art history, people, and architecture in the centre of the city I call home.
12. What’s next for you? Any exciting new projects in the pipeline…
Ooh the two most exciting would be a local project incorporating portraits and food and an outdoor installation accessible for viewing via rowboat…
Meet the Photographer Radio
“Greta’s Nostalgic Tunes” Playlist
“A few tracks from different points in my life.” – Greta