Glynn Lavender
IG  •   FB   •   LI  •   WEB

I have one great photographic love, and that’s photographing people. I rarely shoot anything that doesn’t have a person in the frame. I run photography workshops in Australia and the USA and lead photo tours to countries such as India, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Myanmar.

Tell us a bit about your photographic journey. How did you get started, and what keeps you passionate about it today?

I was thrown out of school at the age of 15 (something about being disruptive in class) and my dear Mum dragged me by the ear into a camera store and told the manager to employ me. He did and 40+ years later I’m still in the industry. Either my Mum had an incredible insight into what would be the perfect job for me or I simply lacked the imagination to try anything else. A few things keep me passionate today. 1: Sharing my knowledge through teaching, it’s always a thrill to see someone’s photography world change, 2: Sharing with others the places that mean so much to me on a tours. An experience shared is an experience heightened and lastly the very act of photographing people means that no two shoots are the same as no two people are the same.

How would you describe your approach to capturing a scene or subject? (What’s your photography “style”?)

My style, pretty much like my personality, is “In your face” I like to exclude any and every thing from a shot that doesn’t add to the story of the person I am trying to capture and this leads to simple images but hopefully ones that are powerful and easy to understand the point of the image.

What role do Tamron lenses play in your photography?

Every shot I have taken for over 15 years has been with a Tamron lens. As a teacher I think it’s really important to produce high quality images but with gear that is accessible to your average photographer. As good as Tamron lenses are (and they are very good) I think I can be a better teacher by showing that your skill is often more important than your gear and not pulling out $20,000 worth of gear to take a portrait helps get this message across to my clients.


Beyond technical skills, what are some essential qualities that helped you become a better photographer?

I fell in love with light. Pure and simple. The better the light, the better my images are and for that I am always seeking that next patch of glorious light.

Secondly, understanding how to ‘see’ like a lens allows me to work in locations most photographers wouldn’t give a second glance at and yet allows me to craft interesting images.

And lastly, I try and take a little time and look for the story in the scene I am looking at. There’s no need to rush to shooting, it’s better to spend 4 minutes looking and 1 minute shooting than the other way around. After all how many photos do you need? The answer, of course, is one good one.

Who are some photographers (or artists in general) who inspire you, and how does their work influence your own?

I don’t actually look at many other photographers’ works; I never have and likely never will. I tend to focus on looking ahead to my next shoot rather than back at what others have done.

That said, I really admire Canadian photographer David DuChemin. While his imagery is lovely, it’s his words that resonate with me the most. He has a remarkable ability to get to the heart of ‘WHY.’

Aside from him, I follow a few friends who are photographers. Three that I particularly love are Andrew Studer, Cody Conk, and Mike Hollman. They are very different photographers, but each of their visions never ceases to amaze me.


Tell us the story behind one of your most impactful photographs.

It’s interesting that the images I love most often don’t resonate with others. However, this photo of a young girl in a brick-crushing village outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, speaks to me of hope. It embodies hope for a brighter future, dreams of who she will become, and thoughts of what her world will look like. It’s evocative and innocent at the same time.

Any advice you have for aspiring photographers?

Light first and always, learn to write with light and sculpt with shadows – if you prioritise these elements in your images then you are already halfway to producing dynamically strong images. Secondly, take less shots. Less will always be more when it comes to creating quality work.

Are you working on any exciting projects you’d like to share with our readers?

I’m currently putting together the finishing touches for my upcoming India tour in November this year and researching possibilities for next year’s trips. It’s always one of my favourite tasks to ‘keyboard travel’ and plan future trips as at that stage anything is possible and you can almost see the images you will capture start to form in your brain.

What’s your favourite Tamron lens, and why?

 As I said earlier my style could be considered a little ‘in your face’ so I love shooting very close and wide with my Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 G2 usually fixed on 15mm and then the other extreme with my Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 G2 at 200mm – so many of my images tend to fall at either extreme.

Thanks Glynn!