UniSport Surf Nationals

Joanne Stephan

Image: Joanne Stephan, Alpha 7 III (A7M3) UniSport Surf Nationals

Hey, I’m Jo, a Sydney-based photographer, award-winning videographer and licensed drone operator who loves the outdoors. My greatest passion is action sports photography – my love for sport runs deeper than the ocean and stems from my many years competing as an elite athlete. This passion is what inspires me to capture and create stunning content, showcasing an athlete’s talent in all its glory.

Whether it’s capturing the surf while soaking up the salty fresh air, putting my body on the line to attain crazy skateboarding tricks or being out among the intense trails with a mountain biking crew, I love to capture fast-moving things, 1/2000th at a time. There is something special about freezing moments the human eye can’t often keep up with – it is super satisfying and sometimes dangerous, but the adrenalin makes me feel alive!

I also work at Macquarie University, where I manage and create the majority of the university’s photo and video content. As a result of working at Macquarie, I have developed extensive environmental portrait and product photography skills, and have learned the art of cinematic lighting.

I want to help other photographers understand and learn these skills, and experience all of the fun that is had when capturing life in the fast lane! And if you really want, we can sneak in some portraiture for something different. I look forward to meeting you!

What is in your camera bag?

I have the a7iii, FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, FE 85mm f/1.4 GM, FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM, Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 E-Mount. I also pack some variable ND filters, my multi-tool and some hand-sanitiser!

What is your go to in your Alpha kit and why?

My favourite combo is the a7iii, a brilliant hybrid camera option for both my photography and video work, and the FE 85mm f/1.4 GM, which produces buttery bokeh. I use this for portraits, sport and lifestyle shots. My other favourite lens is the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, which allows me to capture more of the environment around my subject. The sharpness on both of these lenses is amazing!

Most memorable moment shooting with Alpha?

It would have to be at an archaeological dig site in Israel a few years ago. I was commissioned by the university to travel with archaeology students, and document their experiences and finds. There was a moment, standing at the shores of the Sea of Gallile with a friend I had made on the trip. I had my camera with me and could have taken a shot there and then, but I waited for the sun to set. We both sat down in silence on the sand bank and moments later I took a shot looking out to sea. It was the most at peace I’ve felt in a long time, a very different pace to what I’m normally accustomed to. And the shot was just stunning!