We had the good fortune of connecting with Ren Pidgeon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ren, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk has played a big part in my career. Before I was a photographer I worked as a retoucher for about 6 years.. I absolutely hated it. After a holiday, I decided I couldn’t sit in front of a computer anymore and I needed to pursue a career in photography. I handed in my resignation on my first day back in the office, I had no savings or any other jobs to fall back on. I didn’t even own a camera at that point. But the risk was worth it, throwing myself in to another career in that way pushed me to succeed, it meant I didn’t have any other option than to hustle and figure out how to become a photographer.
I’ve really thrown everything in to this career, I maxed out credit cards to buy equipment and only a year later I opened a studio with a rent that I couldn’t afford.. and now around 6 years in to my career, I packed up and left Australia to move to LA and dive in to a brand new market.
Doing these types of things are probably not the most ideal business models- But for me it works, I have to run on stress and anxiety, it really makes me work harder. I had succeed or I’d be in a lot of trouble, so I did.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a fashion photographer, my work is editorial, it’s a little cinematic in tones and quality. I love straight horizon lines and shoot wide frames to make the landscape and lighting as much a part of the image as the model and clothing.
My work has been in the pages of Vogue, Marie Claire, GQ, Grazia and many international brands.
Photography is a really tough industry, it really takes time, the first few years are a struggle.. it takes time to craft your style, you need a lot of help along the way. It’s a collaborative industry so you need a lot of people involved to improve your folio and gain new clients. No one wants to work with you until you’ve done a lot of work. But it’s worth it, once the ball starts rolling you can pick up momentum very quickly.
I’ve moved here 6 months ago, it definitely felt like starting again, I built a name in Australia but you realise very quickly that it doesn’t mean anything in giant city like LA where there is so much incredible talent.
I’ve enjoyed the challenge, obviously COVID also made it the worst possible time to move countries but things have really started to move quickly, I’ve made some amazing new clients and some great connection, I’m so happy to be here. It’s definitely high risk, high reward being here. I found that I really needed a new challenge and what better place to challenge your career than LA. It really feels like there is no limit or ceiling to the potential here.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Start in Venice because I live here, walk the Canals then on to the beach, maybe stop at Great White (reminds me of home) on the way. Make your way over to Bronson Caves for a quick walk and a nice view of the Hollywood sign.
Pick up some wine and groceries at Wine + Eggs in Atwater Village.
Favourite places to eat – Sugar Fish, Wall Flower, Nueva
Drink – Roosterfish in Venice, The Rainbow for some rock history.
Then you have to head to Palm Springs and stay at the Ace for a couple of nights and drink by the pool.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife Lucy – she’s an Art Director with an amazing creative eye – sometimes all I want is a “well done” but I get “maybe you could have tried it like…”. It kills me, but then she’s always bloody right. She also puts up with me never being able to sit still.