Feature Image by: Aaron Teece

Five Photographers Embracing the Camera Sharing Economy

The evolution of the sharing economy has transformed everything, from where we stay on holiday, to how we get around, and now how we capture the stories we want to tell. Enter – Kyōyū, our camera sharing platform that gives everyone access to better photography gear, as well as fostering a community where people come together to share knowledge, experiences and expertise. A community where everyday people get the opportunity to share their stories using gear they've never tried before, like these talented artists below;

Heidi Romano: Dirt Under Their Nails

Heidi is a German independent artist, working in the wider field of graphic design & photography—from printed matter to exhibition design, storytelling and digital media. Inspired by the world of photography, community, and publishing you’ll find her continually experimenting with new ideas. Heidi is currently living in a small, off-grid cabin in the heart of the Goldfields Region in Australia.

Sunflower image by Heidi Romano

“There’s something particularly rewarding about one’s endeavours working in the garden. From digging holes and shoveling manure, to warding off bugs and watering plants until they’re ready to be admired in a vase, gardening requires patience and physical productivity, care and commitment. I’ve always been an avid gardener and for many years wanted to photograph passionate local gardeners in my area. I wanted to see how others were tending their gardens and find out what inspires them. So, one Sunday I put the call out. By the end of the afternoon I was inundated.

This series simply documents the delightful and passionate garden folk I met, most of them strangers, and the gardens I found in the areas surrounding Castlemaine in Central Victoria. A celebration of the gardener and an exercise in connecting myself to others who are proud to have dirt under their nails.”

Gear Borrowed on Kyōyū
EOS 1D X Mark II
EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM
EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Aaron Teece: Looking for Menu Inspiration

Internationally renowned chef Aaron Teece was born and raised in the Northern Rivers near Byron Bay, spending the formative years of his career in Brisbane. Feeling the lure of London, he travelled to expand his knowledge and after a long stint at the prestigious Harvey Nichols’ 5th Floor Restaurant, turned to the private chef path working for Lady Margaret Thatcher, even serving the Queen on several occasions. He eventually returned to Australia where he set up his own business, Studio Neon. A pioneer of the foraged food movement in Australia, he’s swiftly become the go to chef for food education workshops and tours.

Sea Urchin image by Aaron Teece

“As a chef you never stop thinking about food. Whether it’s about your next meal, or an event coming up that requires some quirky menu item you have to create. It’s the one thing that never leaves your brain. To escape the hectic pace of kitchen life, I return to my first love, the sea. Boating, fishing, diving are my passions and, inevitably, there’s a food connection. There’s something special about producing a meal on those days, starting with nothing and relying only on nature, my skills and knowledge to forage and collect ingredients along the way. At the end of the day, whatever I’ve caught and harvested – fish, sea urchin, edible weeds – is cooked in a fireside feast on a secluded beach.”

Gear Borrowed on Kyōyū
PowerShot G1X Mark lll
RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens
RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM

Salty Travellers: It’s A Salty Life for This Surfing Dog

Monique and Jasper from Salty Travellers are an adventure seeking couple currently living life on the road and traveling around Australia with their dog, Bowie. Using their love for photography, a personal blog, and creative videos, they hope to inspire others to spend more time living and less time working.

Image of a dog at the beach by Salty Travellers

“Meet Bowie. He’s our 3-year old Cavoodle chasing waves and surfing around Australia. Unlike other dogs, Bowie doesn’t just wait on the beach while we surf. This thrill seeker is bent on being out in the water, catching his own waves. Learning to surf from a young age, this so called ‘lap dog’ had a natural connection with the ocean and a strong desire to get out on a surfboard. Whether he’s sharing waves with us or embracing a solo ride to the shore, you can almost guarantee confused onlookers will stop and watch with excitement. We felt inspired to try something new and showcase the story of Bowie’s surfing life through videography, and for the first time we’ve been able to truly capture his experiences in the water and the positive impact he has on the people around him. It’s a chance to share his story with the world, one wave at a time.”

Gear Borrowed on Kyōyū
EOS 5D Mark IV
EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Life Without Andy: Manly Beach with Jamie Krups

Big Mitch Ross is a surfer, little Mitch Tomlinson is a snowboarder, and the two great mates have somewhat turned documenting their globetrotting careers into a wildly popular youth website that serves as a barometer for all things cool. If you don't yet follow Life Without Andy, then you're missing out on a heap of '90s pop culture (think young Leonardo DiCaprio), tons of NBA action, bucket-hat-loads of hip-hop, provocative fashion shoots, and the best party pics from in and around the action sports industry.

Image of surfing by Mitch Tomlinson

“Mitch and I have been photographers for most of our lives and have deep roots in the surf industry, but for whatever reason we’ve never shot ‘surf action shots.’ Maybe it’s because we’ve never had access to the best equipment like we do now. To put ourselves out of our comfort zone, and give us a challenge, we decided to try our hand at surf photography with Sydney Professional Surfer, Jamie Krupps. Little Mitch shot the action from the land with a 100 - 400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, and I had the job of getting wet shooting action from the water with underwater housing.”

Gear Borrowed on Kyōyū
PowerShot G7X Mark II
EF 100 - 400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Annette Widitz: Mayon Benson

Annette is a travel and fine art photographer based in Sydney. Her interest lies in exploring the intangible connection between human beings and the natural world.

Image of Mayen Benson models by Annette Widitz

“I’ve always loved stories about grassroots creators. People who are driven by their passions and need to practice their craft no matter what. One such person is Mayen Benson. Mayen is a Nigerian-born British/Australian fashion designer based in Sydney. She creates vibrant one-off pieces in her home studio such as kimonos, clothing, earrings, neckpieces and clutches. Mayen’s work also inspires other women around her to create. Her enthusiasm and energy is immediately noticeable and infectious. I speak with her friend and collaborator, Kenyan-born Joanne Kalute, a very talented textile designer in her own right and owner of Clovelly Cozzies. Mayen also works full time and it's really inspiring to watch how she carves out the time each day to create. Just that discipline she has. She's inspiring all round."

I was lucky enough to document Mayen’s story and designs through photographs using the EF 16-35mm f/2.8 II USM and EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lenses. As I had visualised some wide landscape shots in the forest and some nice close up photographs of Mayen and the models wearing her designs, I knew these lenses would be essential in achieving a more visually compelling story.”

Gear Borrowed on Kyōyū
EF 16-35mm f/2.8 II USM
EF 85mm f1.4L IS USM

Tell your own unique story using the gear you need, with Kyōyū.
Rent photography gear here.

A big thank you to Heidi, Aaron, Salty Travellers, Life Without Andy and Annette for sharing their stories.

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