On our latest Elements Series, we caught up with Ain Raddik an incredible freelance Photographer, Cinematographer & Director based in Australia.
Lets start at the beginning. When did you first get into Photography?
I went on an exchange to Germany when I was 16. I've always loved the outdoors so I'd quite often head out into the forests around where I was living, looking for old ruins and just enjoying the scenery. While I was there I picked up an old GoPro and started taking photos with it. It didn't take long for me to become fascinated with photography and documenting adventure.
You live in Melbourne now, where did you grow up?
I actually left Melbourne last year just before they had the big lockdown. I spent a bunch of time right up the top in Far North Queensland before somewhat settling in Byron Bay at the end of the year. I still spend a bunch of time in Melbourne though, it's a lovely city.
When did you realise you could make a career out of it?
As I was getting towards the end of school I had to figure out what I was going to do. None of the courses at uni interested me at all but I loved Photography so I decided to give a career as a photographer a crack. The first year out of school I worked part time in a ski and snowboard shop while I was building my business on the side and by the end of that first year I had enough consistent work to shift my focus full time to photography & cinematography.
What’s your go to set up? (Camera) & Video
For photography I’m currently shooting on a Sony A7RIV and a A7III & for video I’m shooting on a Sony Fs5mii with an Atomos Shogun Inferno.
What do you prefer Video or photography work?
It depends on the project. For a meaningful project with a strong message video is always much more rewarding but I also love the simpler process which is photography and how it allows you to capture a singular, perfect, moment.
You shoot a lot in the outdoors and in the elements, has this always been a passion?
Personally I love a challenge, there’s nothing more beautiful than setting an ambitious goal for yourself and achieving it, so shooting in the elements is by far the most rewarding way to shoot. It’s capturing the force and power of mother nature, putting yourself in situations that you’re scared of and having the memories through photographs to look back on. There’s always a challenge or scenario to navigate and it’s always exciting. I’ve always loved the feeling and always will!
How important is story telling when you are shooting for the outdoors industry?
Storytelling is such a powerful device to establish a personal connection. For example, by engaging a viewer through a strong photo series that triggers emotion, it makes the viewer feel like a part of the brand or the story and will create a lasting impact in their memory.
What are the challenges when shooting in the elements?
Keeping camera gear dry, not packing too heavy, the physical challenge of whatever the shoot might be, remembering to capture the story even though the situation might be frantic, there’s a lot to think about but it’s always fun!
You have worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including Mitsubishi, Salomon, Arcteryx, Samsonite, Destination NSW to name a few, what makes a good client?
A good client is someone that remains open minded, listening to ideas and considering how they align with the goal of the campaign, providing input but not being too hands on!
What’s the best hike you have done for a shoot?
A couple of years ago I did a shoot down in the Coromandel area of New Zealand. It was 3 of the most intense days of hiking through bush on no trail, following a river in an area that had hardly seen any people for the last 70 years. With about 25kg of camera & hiking gear there wasn’t much room for food so it was a super tiring and hungry 3 days but such a rewarding experience and such beautiful landscapes.
You shoot a lot of skiing and snow based photography, do you Ski / Board yourself?
Yeah, I love it! I grew up skiing but switched to snowboarding when I was about 13.
Favourite place you have travelled to shoot?
That’s a tough one! Northern Honshu in japan for backcountry snow shoot was wild but probably my favourite would have been a trip to Tonga in 2018 to swim with Humpback whales.
Any mistakes you made early on in your career that you can look back on and laugh?
Cameras are fiddly things, often with minds of their own. Usually any technical errors you have can be smoothed out in post but one that comes to mind would be getting back from one of my first shoots with a new drone and realising the thing had switched back to JPEG instead of RAW.
When you are not shooting, what are you most likely doing?
I’ve really gotten into mountain biking the last few years. It’s such a fun way to exercise, gets you to some beautiful places and there’s always so much to learn and improve on. I’ve had some time off recently so I’ve been cruising around, camping and finding new trails to ride.
In the world of fashion we are always looking at trends and what other brands are doing, is this the same in the photographer world? Is there any photographers that really inspire you or get a lot of inspiration from?
Absolutely, it’s always good to see what other people are up to, finding new ways to push yourself and shoot something differently. I always love the work of Mark Clinton, Corey Wilson & Seb Zanella.
As technology keeps getting better and better, its gives everyday people more of a chance to take profession looking photos. How do you see the industry changing over the next 10 years?
I definitely don’t think the industry is at risk with changing technology. I think It’s one thing to have a camera or even a phone that is capable of taking a nice photo but it’s another to know how to use it properly and to tell a story. I’m looking forward to seeing where the world of FPV drones takes us and also interested in seeing how compact cinema cameras like the RED Komodo continue to adapt, so we can capture better quality footage in places further away.
Lastly any quick bit of advice for someone who wants to make a career out of photography?
Take the time to figure out what it is that you want to shoot and then chase that passion. It can be a tricky industry to crack but definitely not impossible, it just takes a bit of hard work and determination.
From our latest collection, what style do you have on heavy rotation?
I’ve been wearing the sports range a bunch recently, super comfy, light and a nice fit.
Lastly finish this sentence: I like getting back outdoors into the elements because….?
It’s the place that brings me the most joy.
To learn more and check out out Aiins work. Please visit: