SABA x Ted O'Donnell

We invite you to sit down with the talented fashion and lifestyle photographer, Ted O’Donnell. Known for capturing photographs and portraits which evoke a great sense of passion and emotion, he frequently collaborates with his partner in art and life, painter, Vicki Lee. Parents to two beautiful daughters, he swaps roles from being behind the lens, to being in front of it for our Father’s Day profile.

What was the first picture you ever took?

I can still clearly remember the first role of film I ever shot and processed. Mind you, it was a more involved process back then, hard to forget the first time loading film in a dark bag. I remember the fascination of unloading the processed film and holding it up to the light, amazed that it worked, and there they were... those moments I had captured. It felt like alchemy. The photos were nothing special but in hindsight that was a defining moment for me.

Has becoming a dad change the way you approached photography at all?

Yes, for sure. Photography is more about storytelling than neutral observation because the camera is a very discriminating device. It’s as much about what you choose to NOT look at as what you focus on. So as my whole situation got spun on its head, I wanted to have a more positive influence on the world, whereas before kids I wasn’t thinking of much beyond myself. I became more interested in leaving a positive imprint.

How would you describe your personal style?

I probably wouldn’t.. haha.. I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m not very expressive in a fashion sense. My creative expression is more about what I make than what I wear. So I guess I’d say its utilitarian, unbranded and comfortable.

What are some funny phrases your children have started to say on repeat?

Since being stuck at home in lockdown they are starting to reflect our habits back to us. When our 4 year old is requesting Vivaldi’s summer concerto over breakfast, and our 6 year old is discussing Maria Callas and the different colours she associates with the music, it is obvious my wife has been taking their home schooling very seriously!

3 words your kids would use to describe you?

I just asked them. They said amazing, fantastic, and fun but they know I’m a sucker. My girls play me like a fiddle.

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