Behind the Door: James Seneviratne
- BY: SARAH SWIFT
- Nov. 7, 2016
Behind the Door is a series that goes behind the scenes with Miro Door volunteers, exploring the many ways in which we help connect young people with opportunities within the fashion and creative industries. Today, we get to know James Seneviratne - a photographer and creative who proves that one chance meeting can open up doors to a whole new career.
Hi James, tell us a little bit about yourself and background!
I'm from the UK, I have an Honours degree in motorsport engineering and I’ve been in Australia for almost three years now.
How did you discover Miro Door?
I discovered Miro Door when they had a drivers program where they were looking for volunteers to help drive guests around for fashion week. From having a strong interest in cars and fashion I thought this would be a great experience for myself as I was also very new to Sydney at the time. I kept in contact with Miro and I was able to come back again for a second and third year this time as a photographer.
What roles or tasks did you perform while working Miro Door?
The first year I was a chauffeur taking designers, editors, models and VIP guests to the various locations around Sydney that are used for Fashion Week. The following years, I was a photographer shooting content for Miro Door focusing on backstage, runway and street style photography.
What types of professionals did you work with while at Miro Door?
I was working under the guidance of Miro with a team of photographers and videographers. It was very rewarding working with a group of people who are enthusiastic, passionate and motivated about what they do.
What was your favourite part of working with Miro Door?
There have been many favourite moments working with Miro Door. I love the fast pace of Fashion Week, you have to run around a lot between shows shooting as much content as possible as so many different people are always arriving. So from this I greatly developed my photography, networking and communication skills. Shooting the various shows at amazing locations around Sydney was an incredible experience, as you get to see places that you would not normally have access to. Getting to shoot models such as Bella Hadid, Shanina Shaik, Erin Heatherton and Bridget Malcolm has been amazing and of course working under the guidance of Miro has been an invaluable experience to say the least.
How did your time with Miro Door influence or shape your career path?
Before I worked with Miro I had never properly used a camera. I got chatting to someone I met at an event through Miro Door and showed them some street style shots I took outside the event as they were asking me what I’ve been up to as I was very new to Australia at the time. From meeting that one person my life has completely changed as I would have never thought being a photographer would be a role that I would suit as my background was automotive engineering! From meeting that one person I got a test shoot with an agency so I got to gain more photography experience outside Miro Door. Then coming back as a photographer for Miro Door my photos have since been reposted by many big designers, such as Alice McCall, Bianca Spender, Romance Was Born, We Are Handsome, Bondi Bather, Ginger & Smart, 10 Pieces, P.E Nation and also IMG Models to name a few. Since working for Miro I have now been able to take up photography as a career. I now mainly focus on fitness photography and I work with many individuals, brands and businesses around Sydney and now Australia, creating content to showcase them or their product in the best way that they envision. I have been asked to travel overseas for work. My photos have been published in national magazines, the Daily Mail and the Australian newspapers; I’ve been able to shoot for David Jones at their fashion shows, and I’ve worked with many other brands such as Tom Tom, various Australian based activewear brands and also shoot at many gyms around Sydney such as 98 Riley Street, F45 Training and P.E Dept to name a few. I’ve also been able to style shoots and be a creative director on some. So my life has now completely changed to me having this career that I would have never have imagined being possible only a few years ago.
What is your ultimate career goal?
My ultimate career goal is still a work in progress. I see photography, which I love as a way for me to get to where I would like to end up one day and photography will always be a huge part of it. I am always expanding my portfolio which now includes videography which I am already getting requests for even though I am extremely new to it and I now have a few other ideas up my sleeve!
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to Miro Door members who are just starting out?
The best advice I can give to anyone starting out with Miro Door or anyone wanting a creative career is to always be willing to do jobs and experiences that are outside your comfort zone, give people more value than they expect from you, always keep constantly putting out new content for people to see on social media and network as much as you can. It does mean giving up a huge amount of your social life but you never know where it will take you, and if you create good quality content that is what you want to do, you will find that more and more people will start to come to you for work or for your advice. I mean look at me, I worked on cars and in an office and I had never properly used a camera before I met Miro, and now I work with the most amazing people in the fitness and fashion industry and I’m still only getting started!
You can follow James’ journey on Instagram @jamesjoel, and check out his photography at www.jamesjoel.com
For all the latest fashion events and volunteer opportunities, check out the Miro Door jobs page.