The man of many talents… Meet Damon Hunter
Tell us something we may not know about you…
For just over a year I’ve been working on a photography project involving the homeless, entitled ‘Living Rough’. I head into the CBD on a Friday or Saturday night and take photographs of people living on the streets. I then talk with them and get their stories – their upbringing, schooling, how they came to be where they are, their dreams, skills and aspirations. Then, with their permission I post one photo, along with their story, on a Facebook page, I’ve set up specifically for the project. I don’t try to raise money or get donations, the only purpose of the project is to raise awareness. The Facebook page is called, ‘Living Rough’.
You are an actor, model, and photographer. Tell us how you got started…
I started acting as a child and into my early teens but then stopped for years, going back to it in my early 30’s. I then acted for about 7 years, doing film, television and theatre before once again leaving it due to ‘day job’ career stuff – it’s that age old conundrum for creatives of pursuing what you love versus having a stable income! Anyway, it was during that period that I got heavily into photography and started getting some good exposure doing that. Eventually, it got to a point where I was able to all but leave my day job as I was making enough from photography to pick up the financial slack. And now I’ve got the best of both worlds; I’m able to pursue my acting and more recently, modelling, whilst doing a ‘job’ I love (photography) and pursuing that also. It’s funny how these things work out!
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I’d always enjoyed taking shots whilst travelling etc and had been told that I had a good eye for it. So when I stopped acting it left a massive creative gap in my life, and that’s when I decided to start taking photography more seriously. I never really went through the “hobby” stage; I started as a casual shooter and then went straight to shooting all the time for myself, being published in both the U.K. and New York, to starting my own business and going pro. It was May 2011 when I bought my first DSLR, so it’s happened pretty quickly!
I love shooting everyone who gets in front of my camera, people are so different and their expressions so diverse, there is something unique and amazing in every person, and I love capturing that.
I don’t have one, But the one I use the most is my Panasonic-Leica 42.5 1.2, it’s the lens I use for all my studio headshots and many of my quarter-length shots, it’s just so sharp, it’s ridiculous! Yep, love that lens!
Tips to get the model to relax during a shoot?
This is a hard one because I don’t actively try to have the people I work with relax, I just talk a lot during the shoot, and that pretty much relaxes everyone right away, probably because they’re laughing at me! But that’s cool, I can live with that lol If the model is working with a photographer who’s a good people person they shouldn’t need to worry about having to relax, the photographer should make them feel relaxed from the get-go. I’m a pretty easygoing, energetic and friendly bloke, and although I take my work seriously, I don’t take myself very seriously – and I think (hope!) that those facets of my personality come across during my shoots.
3 fitness tips (or health).
As far as fitness goes, especially if you’re relying on your appearance in some way for income (i.e. modelling), you really need to be combining some sort of cardio with weights. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing to get your heart rate up but you need to be doing it and you need to be doing it a few times a week, at least. As far as health and diet goes, I keep a pretty strict regime; not much sugar, pretty much no carbs at all after breakfast, and I use an app to count calories in order to make sure I stay on track. I would actually recommend that to anyone who wants to trim down further or just remain super trim; download a calorie counter app and find out how much different foods you’re eating are affecting you. I was shocked by where I was taking in kilojoules I didn’t need, and although I was always trim, using an app has helped me trim down more, and I’m not finished yet! All of that said, on weekends I relax my regime and eat whatever I like but still, I don’t go overboard.
Tips to stay in shape when you are time poor…
Ok, this is going to sound harsh; discipline. That’s it. You want to stay in shape? You make time. I’m so time poor it’s ridiculous but your health has to be your priority, otherwise, you might find you don’t have as much time in the long run, full stop! You don’t need to be at the gym every day and you don’t need to be there for hours; or you could be playing sport, or doing anything else that gets that heart rate up, it doesn’t have to be a chore.
Favourite healthy treat?
Probably a banana smoothie with cinnamon.
Words to live by?
“If in doubt, don’t; if in fear, hit it head on.”