Hey! My name is Paris Shepherd. I’m a video producer/photographer at Hustle Media in Sydney. I’m in the jack of all trades, master of none category. I enjoy the variance and flexibility in being a part of all aspects of production.
How did you get into / what inspired you to get into photography & videography?
I’ve been obsessed with making videos since I was a kid. I have such vivid memories of making videos with my brothers and immediately hooking up our cassette handycam to the tv once we’d wrapped to watch it back over and over. I dabbled in making videos in high school but once I knew I wanted to pursue video/photography as a career I basically took every opportunity I could find to learn.
I crowdfunded my first camera, a Canon 7D, for my 21st birthday. I shadowed a couple of videographers/editors I knew who set me up with the basics. I saved up for a laptop, watched a lot of YouTube and taught myself different editing softwares. I worked a part time job in childcare whilst I slowly built up my showreel. I shot a lot for free initially, just to gain as much experience as I could. And eventually I landed my first real video job back in 2016.
I think what inspired me to get into it is just the endless creative possibilities that come with both video and photography, and that there’s always room to improve and push boundaries.
What / who are your main influences and inspirations?
I follow a bunch of incredible DPs and Directors - people like Salomon Ligthelm (USA), Olan Collardy (UK), Nik Pilecki (Canada). They consistently inspire me to learn more and try new techniques and hopefully one day get to that level.
More generally I’m driven by the online creative community as a whole. There is so much content constantly being made and brought to our attention via so many social media channels. And now that the algorithms are so good my feeds are constantly flooded with creative people doing insane things that I could never have thought of, but that also come with full breakdowns of how they did it so I can take that technique or style and apply it to some of my own projects.
How would you describe some of the work you do / what do you intend to achieve with your work?
At Hustle our work is super variable. We do a lot of work with the NRL & NRLW, we do some commercial red carpet work, we work with a number of Not For Profits. Very much a little of column a and b. It’s taken us around Aus and we meet a lot of really interesting characters. Often those are the people we note down for potential passion projects down the track. I love getting the opportunity to capture peoples’ unique stories and in a way that reflects their character. That’s definitely the content I enjoy creating most and hope to do more of.
What is your proudest accomplishment / favourite project?
A stand out would have to be a short doco I was a part of, filming in Uganda, called Just One. It was our first time shooting a doco, in a country that was so different to anywhere else I’d ever been. The people we met were incredible and looking back it’s still a project I’m very proud of.
What is your best advice for someone interested in your field?
The best advice I could give is just start shooting. It doesn’t matter what gear you have, just start shooting something. And take any opportunity to learn from people further along in their career. Shadow them, ask questions, be proactive. I never studied film or photography, I just kept trying to learn more and improve with whatever gear I could access at the time. And don’t be ashamed of having a part time job in another field if it means funding your journey into a career in video/photo.
Any other Hobbies/Interests?
A couple years ago I got into punch needle art. It’s sort of like embroidery on a larger scale. You can make rugs, wall hangings, cushions, whatever you can dream up. I love creating something physical with my own two hands and it gives me so much satisfaction seeing a design through from start to finish. I’m back at work full time but I still make them and I actually sell them now too at @seamslegitau