It could be said that photographer and creative extraordinaire Emma Steed is just a bit of a rebel at heart herself. Starting her own business from scratch, Emma encourages all women to discover their inner and outer beauty through her glamour and boudoir sessions, offering the only dedicated boudoir studio in Tamworth. But Emma is equally at home photographing gorgeous weddings or piloting drones for real estate shoots, and she is also an accredited professional photographer through the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP)…
Hi Emma. What’s your association with the New England area?
I moved from the Hunter Valley to a little property just out of Willow Tree 20 years ago, to be closer to my mum. I then moved to the Tamworth area and have been here ever since.
I absolutely love the New England area and what it has to offer. I currently reside in Tamworth with my husband and two daughters.
What kick started your interest in photography?
I received my first camera as a birthday present when I was around eight years of age. I would always love taking photos of my horse and dogs and any other animals I could find.
From there, I went to study photography in high school, using film and darkroom processing.
Then in 2005, I started taking rodeo photos every weekend, which kicked off my interest again, so I began studying – gaining credits and distinctions along the way.
Tell us a bit about how your business, Rebel Heart Photography, was started – and how it’s evolved since …
I have always had a passion for photography and in 2007, I started my business, Emma Wells Photography, photographing rodeos and weddings of a weekend.
In 2015 I started to operate as a full-time business and after a successful year, I was rewarded and honoured to be a finalist in the Tamworth Chamber Quality Business awards.
In 2016 I rebranded my business as Rebel Heart Photography. The business plan was based on my values of “believe in yourself, pursue your passion – others’ opinions don’t matter – and always follow your heart”.
I also wanted my clients to feel important and to know that I valued them, and I was willing to go out of my way to deliver the photography services that they required. This meant I needed a studio, so in 2018 I opened a business in the CBD of Tamworth. With the only dedicated boudoir studio in Tamworth, Rebel Heart Photography offers tasteful boudoir sessions in a glamorous, comfortable and friendly atmosphere.
Since becoming full-time, I have been privileged to have my services appreciated through a variety of awards – the highlight being a finalist with the Australian Bridal Industry Academy.
I am an Accredited Professional Photographer and a member of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photographers). An Accredited Professional Photographer is a photographer who doesn’t just claim to be a “professional”, but earns that title by successfully completing the rigorous AIPP accreditation process.
Accreditation is designed to give you, the consumer, confidence that your professional photographer is a proven, experienced, technically capable, professional practitioner, who complies with all legal business requirements, has appropriate insurance and who is willing to agree to the mandatory Code of Professional Practice and to the requirement of improving their photographic skills by committing to continue their professional development.
I always continue to keep abreast of the current trends and technology, and in 2018 I was licensed to legally fly drones as a CASA Licensed and certified operator.
I am proudly celebrating 12 years of being in business this month!
You have a few areas you specialise in with your photography, and they’re very diverse! Weddings, boudoir/glamour, real estate, commercial and drone photography … what special skills do you feel you need to have to work across all of these fields?
Being diverse has increased my skills as a photographer in my specialised areas, which I thoroughly enjoy shooting. You wind up becoming a very well-rounded shooter, able to adapt to ever-changing scenarios and lighting situations!
It has also enabled me to work full-time as a professional photographer during weekdays and have more time with my family on weekends, except during wedding season! And, most importantly, to be able to offer amazing customer service – I love what I do and believe customer service is the most important part of my business. I enjoy the ability to connect with clients from all walks of life in a professional, fun and relaxed atmosphere.
What’s involved with your boudoir and glamour photography? Do you offer a full “makeover” service with these types of photos?
Through my passion for photography and desire to help women discover their inner and outer beauty, my Rebel Heart Photography’s signature boudoir and glamour sessions are helping women truly believe in their beauty.
The premier women-only studio caters to all women, from those after the risqué Boudoir Sessions, to the more conservative Glamour Sessions, complete with hair, makeup and styling.
Whether for your partner or just for yourself (as a reminder of the goddess you truly are), I will support and guide you every step of the way. We know how to make clients feel sassy, sexy and downright gorgeous. I want to fill you with a newfound sense of confidence, energy and pride. It’s the most exciting and enthralling type of therapy out there – seeing with your own eyes just how breathtaking you really are.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that confidence is the key to amazing photographs. So many of us women forget what it’s like to feel beautiful and strong. We get too busy with our lives, our family and our jobs.
I will coach you down to your fingertips and capture your most beautiful and radiant self, from the moment you sit in the makeup chair to the moment you skip with confidence out of the studio. You’re going to feel like a million dollars!
At the Rebel Heart Photography Boudoir & Glamour Studio, it’s all about you … Amplifying your unique style. Capturing your beautiful character. Flaunting your amazing body – every curve, every line, every perfect imperfection.
The Rebel Heart experience is all about making you feel as comfortable and gorgeous as possible, and it begins the second you walk through the door …
Our team will be ready to provide “you time”, with a full makeover and a few words about what to expect throughout the shoot.
Once you’re ready to step into the spotlight, you’ll slip into your first outfit and let the Rebel Heart experience consume you. Trust us – you’ll love every second.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for and walk away with memories to last a lifetime. Let’s find the inner Rebel in you!
Drone photography is a rapidly growing field in the photographic world these days. What type of drone/s do you use … and what sorts of shoots do you most often use them for?
I fly a DJI Phantom 4 Pro and a DJI Mavic Pro. I help my clients promote their business, real estate agents to showcase properties from the best possible angle; and I also capture stunning wedding and event images with a bird’s eye view.
Drone photography is conducted by me, Emma Steed, trading as Rebel Heart Photography. I am a professional pilot accredited and licensed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). I hold a Remote Pilots Licence (RePL) and RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC), and I am fully insured, ensuring drones are flown legally and safely and clients have maximum peace of mind.
What’s your favourite thing about photographing someone’s wedding?
I couldn’t name one favourite, as I love so many things about capturing weddings. I love to capture my clients’ incredible day in the most natural, romantic and creative way possible and give them beautiful images that reflect who they are as a couple and take them back to those special moments, time after time.
Photographing a wedding is never boring, as every one is unique, and photo opportunities are endless. I love being able to be creative whilst capturing a day full of emotion, love and laughter.
How far and wide will you travel for shoots?
I will travel anywhere! I absolutely love to travel and capture moments in new locations! This last week I photographed a wedding in Bendemeer, events at Copeton Waters and Lake Keepit, real estate shoots in Tamworth, Wallabadah and Quirindi, and an engagement shoot just out of Tamworth.
Some of the weddings I have coming up in the next couple of months are in Tamworth and surrounds, Armidale and Glen Innes.
I’ve shot weddings as far as south as Cooma NSW up to a rural property 100 km from Dalby in Queensland and many places in-between, such as Sydney, The Hunter Valley, Coffs Harbour, Moree, Armidale, Tamworth and all over the new England and North West.
What do you hope to achieve in 2019?
To continue to provide a professional photography service that is focused on providing amazing customer service and unique, impeccable imagery.
Where can we find out more about you and see some examples of your work?
To find out more, visit my website www.rebelheartphotography.com.au and check out examples of my latest work on Facebook www.facebook.com/rebelheartphotography and Instagram @rebelheartphotography
Interview: Jo Robinson.