Q&A with Vanessa van Straaten of Vanessa van Straaten Portrait, Gold Coast QLD

Our Q&A series are a fun and fantastic way to find out more about the life behind the lens. We hope you enjoy this photographer feature today on the blog.

Vanessa van Straaten Portrait, Nerang QLD

How did you get started as a photographer?

Learning from an early age in my dad’s darkroom really set me up to have a passion for creating photos. I started out being working for an event photography company in the late 90’s. From there, I stumbled and fumbled for a few years in other jobs before starting my own business with weddings as a main genre, that I fumbled with again for a few years. I then took a few years break, raised a couple of kiddos, and came back and better than ever in 2018 focusing on Boudoir photography in the studio. At the beginning of March this year, I moved into a brand new studio on the Gold Coast. I branched out a little more in 2019, so I offer Fine Art Portraits, Headshots, Glamour Makeovers and also still an amazing Boudoir Photography Experience!

What did life look like before photography?

I worked in hospitality mostly, and other very boring jobs 🙂

Tell us about a day in the life of a professional photographer …

Wake up, get kids off on their day, arrive at studio, plan out session for that day, I like to write shot list down. Photograph session, have fun, client loves it, upload all photos to main computer and external hard drive (just in case!!) Cull, and pick out favourites from the session.. If no other shoots on that day, start editing and organizing images… 🙂

Do you have a special story to share?

One very special over 50’s lady came in for a makeover session a couple of years ago when a friend of hers bought her a gift voucher. I didn’t know it at the time but she was in a very dark place after a workplace accident, and spiralling down even further. We went through the whole makeover, she was having a ball, and love her photo session. When she came back with her hubby, he wanted to buy every single photo as he hadn’t seen her that happy in a long time. She called me last year to say how that photo session was a turning point in her life, she gained so much confidence and more from that makeover that she entered some of her photos to a modelling agency. She is now in her very first show, as an extra, and has already picked up some modelling jobs.. She kept thanking me, saying if it wasn’t for that photoshoot, she’s scared to think of where she might be now…

If you could photograph 1 thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?


What is the best thing about your job?

Doing what I love every day, and people loving what I do for them

Tell us something we don’t know about professional photography …

As a portrait photographer, I look at everyone and find something beautiful about them that I’d love to photograph..

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?

Learning to be one.

Here’s a blank cheque! What are you going to spend it on for your business?

New lenses, camera, and studio space.


If you could photograph someone famous, who would it be and why?

Johnny Depp or Anthony Hopkins! So much character in those faces, would be such an experience.










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