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Behind the Lens with Simon Upton


It’s hard to describe the magic of just what was captured during our shoot on the Gold Coast with Steph Gilmore. It was a day where everything seemed to fall into place after a string of stormy days that threatened to have the project moved another 24 hours.

Behind the Lens with Simon Upton

What we didn’t expect was a crew that kept the good vibes rolling from first light until the final shot, and who was leading the charge? Renowned fashion photographer, Simon Upton.

Despite Simon’s work gracing the pages of Vogue, Harpers Bazzaar and Elle to name a few, he’s one of the most down to earth people you are likely to come across. He has an innate ability to set everyone at ease and this shines through in his work.

Behind the Lens with Simon Upton

How did you get started in photography?

I got started in photography a few years after I finished my swimming career (I swam in the 1988 Olympics for Australia). I had always had an interest in photography and when my sports career ended, I moved to Holland. There I began assisting established photographers who were in the fashion industry and after 6 months of assisting decided this is what I wanted to do so I began my career. I taught myself by shooting images everyday of everything and anything I could, though I always loved photographing people.

Behind the Lens with Simon Upton

Where are you from originally?

Born and bred in Avalon Beach, Sydney, NSW.

Where are you currently based?

Currently live at Bilgola, with my wife and 2 sons on Sydney’s Northern beaches.

Behind the Lens with Simon Upton

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by a will to get better at what I do in everything. I really feel that I get better with time, especially with photography which is something I really feel you get better the longer you do it, your knowledge and understanding of light evolves.

Behind the Lens with Simon Upton

Behind the Lens with Simon Upton

Where is the most captivating location you’ve visited?

I’d say the most captivating for me are the most remote places like the Solomon Islands, or the Telo islands where I’ve been lucky enough to visit. In saying that, I’m a bit partial to the far North of Western Australia, for its unique beauty, light and indigenous culture.

Behind the Lens with Simon Upton

What was the highlight of shooting with Steph?

Steph Gilmore is super easy to work with she’s very relaxed and at ease with herself. Photographing her is more fun than anything else. I worked with her quite a few years ago and in that time, she hasn’t changed a bit. A highlight was seeing her surf. I surf myself so being around a World Champion was a great part of the day. Though you’d never know she has 6 World Titles, she could be just another girl at the beach (She just rips!!!!)

Behind the Lens with Simon Upton

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