Having originally studied graphic design, Chantel King discovered a love of photography during her last few months of her degree. Today, she has shot for magazines including Revolution Beauty, Stylist, Grazia, Boots Magazine, Hunger, Tush and Schon!
“I knew nothing when I started out. I literally had no idea about lighting or cameras, so in the beginning I was like a sponge, trying to soak everything up. And after a very insightful work experience placement at a studio, I declined the offer of full-time work, as I knew I would gain more valuable experience assisting.
“During my years as an assistant, I felt more backlash as a woman, than a woman of colour. I worked as the first assistant to a photographer, where I was in charge of hiring assistants for shoots and maintaining the studio space. There was a regular male assistant, who was slightly older than me and – as I later discovered – had a real problem with me telling him what to do.
“He sent an email to the photographer saying how badly I treated him. It was ridiculous, I was just doing my job! The photographer showed me the email and said the assistant had underestimated our relationship, and we stopped getting him in for shoots. It was not a great experience. I worked so hard to get to where I was, but this guy felt threatened by me and wanted to take my position.