Behind the Image: Charles Dennington on Purposeful Contradictions

Behind the Image is an ongoing series taking a more personal look at both established and emerging creative talent.

image courtesy Charles Dennington

Charles Dennington, photographer

Hometown: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Based: Sydney
Representation: M.A.P Management & Production (Sydney)

How did you get into your chosen career?
I always wanted to work as far away from a repetitive full-time job as possible. During my foundation year studying design, I experienced photography as an art form for the first time. Prior to that realisation I was going to pursue illustration which seemed like a big mistake once I started playing with taking pictures.

What other jobs have you had?
I’ve been a clown for parties and a builders labourer. I prefer photography.

What have you watched/heard/read lately that has inspired you?
I just read “The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War” which is an amazing true story of the biggest counter spying operation by the MI6 Intelligence service.

What do you love about what you do?
I love that every day is different and that crew can really have fun as part of working. Traveling as part of working is also always a favourite part.

What have been the biggest challenges you have faced professionally?
There are so many decisions to make as a photographer and sometimes these decisions can seem almost arbitrary. Trusting my judgment on many different choices for creative direction is super important but it is challenging.

Selected Works

image courtesy Charles Dennington

Adut Akech, Vogue Australia, December 2018
I shot Adut and her family for Vogue Australia at her childhood home in Adelaide. The sun burst through the clouds just in time for this moment.

image courtesy Charles Dennington

Oyster Magazine, Issue #108
I remember checking extensively for snakes in the undergrowth by loudly stomping a path wearing a pair of gumboots before asking the models to form a line.

image courtesy Charles Dennington

Kendall Jenner, Vogue Australia, June 2019
Kendall started giggling while I had her doing backward somersaults over a giant sausage bean bag.

image courtesy Charles Dennington

Adut, 10 Magazine Australia, Autumn/Winter 2017
I love it when fashion looks exist which are this fun. One of my Adut’s earlier editorials and my first time meeting her. I like how her hands appear to be floating amongst the fur.

image courtesy Charles Dennington

A portrait of my friend Tully. I’m interested in experimenting with multiple exposures. In an abstract sense, there’s potential to record more detail of someone’s presence. It is also obscuring the likeness of that person. It’s a fun contradiction to work around.

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