Gen Engelhardt is a Melbourne based photographer, who has a love for the small things in a city, enjoying the fight between the urban and natural worlds and a love of travel to explore these passions. With a background in Graphic and Digital Design she doesn’t just search for the everyday street scapes, urban scenes, offices and suburbia, it’s about looking for something that fits an aesthetic, it’s about being able to find the particular composition and being able to bring it to life with the saturation of colour, weird angles and things that the ‘normal’ person would walk past without even noticing.
We asked Gen about what inspires her, what she enjoys most about her photography and what she’s working on now as well as what she wants to do in the future.
Tell us a little about your background and what made you start your craft.
I’ve always been creative, I started out in Graphic Arts and now work in Digital Design, but I’ve always had a love of photography. Photography was always a subject as part of my studies, but it was only in my late 20s that I started taking it more seriously.
My dad and his father always had analog cameras around, there was always heaps of photo taking as a child. For my 21st my dad gave me my first semi manual digital camera. And it slowly grew from there.
Why did you choose in.cube8r? What do you hope to accomplish as a cuber?
What do you create?
Colourful memories. Having been honing my photography for a few years, I now endeavour to take photos that create nostalgia and bring back memories of a certain time of place. I want to create that sense of nostalgia and feeling of long-lost happy memories in a photograph, even if you haven’t visited a destination that is in the photograph.
Is your small business a hobby, a side hustle or your full time gig?
I would love it to become a full time gig, but currently it’s as a side project. To support my art I’m still working mostly full-time, so to have the time and energy outside of work to go out on a photo shoot, organise to have things printed and framed, or to apply for exhibitions of grants is difficult.
What is your favourite thing about being a photographer?
What are you working on? What are your future plans for your craft?
Currently, I’m mainly working on an Instagram project called Those Little Shop Fronts (@thoselittleshopfronts_). It’s a way of documenting the old school shop fronts of Australia, be it Coin Laundry’s, Butchers, Auto Shops or Restaurants… I’ve mainly been focusing on Melbourne with this project, but it would be great to go further abroad.
Outside of this, I’ve always been interested in the urban landscape and travel side of photography. I’d love to do more work as a travel photographer, but instead of just shooting those amazing natural landscapes, I’d love to showcase the urban side of travel, especially those nooks and crannies, old school signs, cafes, shops, streets, lane ways and architecture.
As a child, what did you want to be “when you grew up”
I vaguely remember something about wanting to be a Vet, or a Rock Star.
What inspires you? Who & what are your influences?
I’ve always found that people expect me to be influenced by other photographers, but I’ve always been more inspired by the streets around me or painters like Howard Arkley and Jeffery Smart. It’s their use of colour, composition and subject matter.
Have you ever exhibited somewhere prominent?
The two spaces I’m excited that I’ve exhibited at are the Brunswick Street Gallery and the No Vacancy Project Space at Fed Sq (no longer there unfortunately).