The beauty in a career change
For Kim Dumayne, living life to the fullest means trying new things regardless of age or stage in life.
After 15 years as an interior designer, Dumayne made a powerful move to switch careers and pursue photography.
“A career switch to photography came very naturally having already been involved in an art and design profession. I became more interested in the practice of image making as a form of expression and communication,” he said.
“I have been greatly influenced by the great photographers such as Irving Penn for his still life editorial work, William Eggelston’s mundane street photography and Saul Leiter’s abstract urban compositions.”
Dumayne aims to “create images that are both visually pleasing and conceptually interesting”.
“Through my still life photography, I often start with an idea or narrative to explore and represent visually. I like to incorporate layers within my images so that they become more than just a pretty picture. I would like to think that my photography is recognisable for a mix of undefinable elements – whimsy, nostalgia and humour – to hold the viewer’s attention,” he said.
“On the other hand, in my urban photography, I enjoy the randomness the urban landscape provides. It becomes almost a form of meditation trying to find interesting perspectives and making seemingly random elements come together in a harmony. I like to distill a scene down to a form of minimalism.”
Dumayne, who is studying at Photography Studies College (PSC) said it helped him get closer to his career goals and vision for life.
“PSC has provided valuable access to a network connected to industry through the teachers themselves as well as extra seminars and exhibitions and all manner of industry-relevant insights,” he said. “I have really learned what my niche is and what kind of photographic work I love to create.
“I feel I have gained a genuine gateway to a photography community that I would not otherwise have. In my experience, the college does a great job at supporting students in this regard.”
“I have always enjoyed making things and being creative, but I wouldn’t say it’s always been easy to express myself creatively. Partly because I’m pretty introverted when I feel like I’m being judged.”
“A large benefit of studying has been getting used to the process of producing work, presenting it and being critiqued. It’s made me realise it’s not the end of something, it’s just the beginning of how to improve. Photography has become my vehicle of expression quite naturally and gradually.”
For Dumayne, whether it’s sharing stories about people or social issues, or creating brand awareness and selling services or products, photography is also a great way to connect with the community.
“Through my photography, I am either trying to present a narrative that is relatable or intriguing, or I am trying to provide an emotional escape,” he said.
“I would like to be working either for myself or for an agency providing visual content for brands, businesses or individuals. I would also like to present my creative fine art photographic work through exhibitions. Who knows, it could be a mix of all of that!”. •
While it was a direction he felt most comfortable with, he said photography came with its own challenges.
“I feel these days there is a saturation of people that have fallen in love with photography, making the industry very competitive. The onus is on individuals to make the most of the opportunities that come to you and be active in seeking what will help you achieve your goals.”