Yvan Rodic – the photographer better known as The Facehunter – is seriously living the dream. He has three books under his belt, gets on average 1.5 million unique page views on his blog each month, and rarely spends more than a week at a time in the same country.
We caught up with the Swiss-born photographer to get some tips on turning your photography hobby into a real-life dream job, find out his fashion week faux pas and, most importantly, figure out how he’s made himself immune to jet lag.
What do you like about shooting Australians?
There’s an interesting balance between sophistication and casualness. The style is not over-the-top fancy, but it’s not just functional either. It’s fresh and easy and colourful, and it makes great images.
How did you go about turning your blog from a hobby into a career?
It was difficult because I started so early, in 2006. Back then a lot of people didn’t know what a blog was, so there wasn’t much money involved. It’s only since 2009 or 2010 that brands have started to realise that bloggers can be potentially influential. But now it’s almost like it’s become a mainstream marketing idea, to the point where there’s almost saturation in some fields.
How do you make yourself stand out?
What I do is a bit more specific. There’s so many pretty, fashionable girls who are the face of their blog. I guess I’m selling more my vision, my eye, my taste, and that’s a bit less common. Also, I started with style, but over the years I’ve upped my spectrum to culture and travel. For me fashion is just one aspect of what I cover.
What are your tips for aspiring photographers who want to turn it into a career?
Social media is essential now. Obviously you need talent, too. But if you’re very talented but no one knows about your work, it’s hard. And I think people should not be scared to just experiment all the time and try new things and take risks – that’s the only way you’re going to get a chance to be noticed.
You must get asked this all the time, but how do you not get jet lagged?
I feel jet lag is a reaction to a regular pattern of sleeping, and the less my pattern of sleep is regular, the less I get hit by jetlag. I also focus on sleep when I’m on the plane and make sure I don’t sleep during the day when I arrive. If your trip is exciting enough you don’t think about sleeping.
And the ultimate fashion week faux pas?
Probably the peacock syndrome. Sometimes it just gets a bit disturbing or obscene when you can tell people are just doing anything they can to be noticed. I also think it’s kind of weird when people change outfit for every show. I understand it’s a business thing, but it’s hard to take people seriously when they have the time to change five times during the day.
Photography by Michele Ham