Introducing four award-winning photographers

24th November 2015
Canon Australia today announces the appointment of four of Australia’s elite professional photographers as Canon Masters, a select group acknowledged as leaders in their respective fields: Kelly Brown, AIPP Master of Photography – newborn and family portraiture; Ryan Schembri, AIPP Master of Photography IV Hon. LM – wedding photography; Phil Hillyard, photojournalism Walkley Award winner – sports photography; and Daniel Linnet, AIPP Master of Photography – commercial portraiture. 

Together, the Canon Masters contribute to the photographic culture in Australia by inspiring and enabling photographers of all levels to find and apply their creative eye and capture their unique view of the world. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome Daniel, Kelly, Phil and Ryan as Canon Masters and we can’t wait to see the impact that their skills, passion and energy will have on our programs to inspire creativity in others,” says Jason McLean, Director – Consumer Imaging, Canon Australia. “Collectively the Canon Masters have such broad appeal due to the wonderful mix of genres they represent and their shared mastery of the art of visual storytelling.” 

Introducing the new Canon Masters 
Kelly Brown, founder of Little Pieces Photography 

Canon Master Kelly Brown is a portrait photographer, specialising in newborn and baby portraiture. 

Her nurturing desire to capture her family as it grows led to launching her business, Little Pieces of Photography in 2005. She has since travelled the world speaking at events and teaching newborn posing classes. In her quest to capture the little pieces of life, last year Kelly photographed 139 newborn babies, mentored 23 photographers and held 19 newborn posing classes across 12 countries. 

Kelly has won numerous awards, nationally and internationally, including most recently the AIPP Australian Family Photographer of the Year (2014). She is also a Master of Photography with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and Wedding & Portrait Photographers Association, where she was awarded eight first place titles. Kelly was also recently recognised as a 2015 AIPP APPA Award finalist in the portrait category for her image depicting one family’s struggle with miscarriage and the joy of the birth of new twin babies. 

“Every day I push myself to grow as a photographer, to think outside the box and create meaningful images that tell real stories of love, courage and personality,” says Kelly Brown. “The aim is to document the lives of my subjects so family members, both present and future generations, can better understand their heritage and the people who shaped their lives.” 

“Becoming a Canon Master is the pinnacle of my career, and it means that my work has been acknowledged by the best in the business. It feels like a dream,” Kelly concludes. 

Top tip photography from Canon Master Kelly Brown: Create a powerful first impression. You want your audience to jump out of their seats and feel emotions from your story. Remember to stay true to yourself as an artist. 


Ryan Schembri, founder of Ryan Schembri Photography 

Canon Master Ryan Schembri has been part of the photography industry his whole life. Growing up in a photographic family, he was printing at his father’s laboratory at the age of 12. Ten years ago, he took over the family Wedding & Portrait studio and now shoots more than 60 weddings a year in Australia and overseas. 

An award winning photographer, at 20 years of age Ryan was the youngest ever recipient of the AIPP Australian Wedding Photographer of the Year (2012). He has since gone on to win numerous awards, including three NSW AIPP Wedding Photographer of the Year honours and is an AIPP and WPPI Master Photographer. 

“I love what I do because I don’t simply record weddings, I create images that become treasured family heirlooms and beautiful memories that will live on for many generations,” says Canon Master Ryan Schembri. “Wedding photography to me needs to be modern and fashion forward but, most importantly, it needs to be timeless.” 

“As a Canon Master, I’m looking forward to helping raise the profile of professional wedding photographers in the general community and help them understand the craft, art and skill it takes to capture raw human emotion and stories,” says Ryan. 

Top tip photography from Canon Master Ryan Schembri: Be brave. Too many photographers aim for technical perfection over storytelling. Take images that will make people stop, think and thirst for more. 


Phil Hillyard, The Daily Telegraph - News Corp Australia, Sports Photographer 


Canon Master Phil Hillyard selected his vocation to be a press photographer at the age of 12 years after viewing inspiring images of athletes in a history book about Australian Rules Football (AFL). Landing a full-time job as a press photographer straight out of high school, Phil dedicated the past 25 years to capturing the big moments in sports and, more specifically, to capturing that one moment that sums up the most powerful story of the day. Focusing on cricket and AFL, Phil has also captured four Olympic Games, countless AFL matches and most all of the NRL Grand Final from the past two decades. As a press photographer, Phil has been on the frontline of breaking news stories, bringing the world coverage of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and shadowing former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. 

“I’ve been a photographer for 25 years and I’ve never found my job to be easy. That’s why I’m so passionate about it,” says Canon Master Phil Hillyard. “There are no replays in sports photography, we’re constantly up against the conditions and, when covering a sport like cricket, any of those 540 balls could be the winning moment. It is frustrating and exciting at the same time to learn how to tell a story in sport. You have to know who the hero is, you have to know the sport, know the play, and only then can you learn to know the moments that matter.” 

“As a Canon Master, I’m keen to show people that if you’re passionate about your dream and you put your mind to it, you can achieve great things.” 

Top tip photography from Canon Master, Phil Hillyard: Be driven by failure and don’t be afraid to work hard to achieve what you want. Capture the things you like the most. The things you know best are the subjects you will be the best at shooting. 


Daniel Linnet, founder of Linnet Foto 


As a hobbyist painter and illustrator, turned professional photographer, Canon Master Daniel Linnet is recognised throughout the industry for applying a unique creative flair to commercial and editorial photography. Combining a passion for manipulating light with postartistry techniques to achieve premium illustrative imagery, Daniel’s photographs are used to communicate messages for some of the world’s largest brands, including MasterCard, Pfizer, Castrol, Country Energy, and St George Bank. Daniel’s focus on portrait and automotive photography is also evident in his editorial work with magazine’s Men's Health and Australian Top Gear. Achieving esteemed AIPP APPA Awards across a variety of categories including the AIPP National environmental Portrait Award and Portrait Photographer of the Year, Daniel is dedicated to refining the creative process of photography, interpreting a client brief and delivering an image founded in creativity and technical precision. 

“For me photography is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. I’m constantly looking around to capture inspiration from every part of my day and it is that kind of dedication to the craft that separates professionals from weekend hobbyists,” says Canon Master Daniel Linnet. 

“In photography, there is no such thing as a boring subject, just an untapped creative opportunity waiting to be explored. As a Canon Master, I’m honoured to inspire people to build narratives through their images by using subtle detail and the perfect light,” Daniel concludes. 

Top tip photography from Canon Master Daniel Linnet: Focus on your passion for photography and not on making a living from it. Photography is very much an emotive response to the environment around you which requires you to think about the subject, the light and the story. If you live photography your images will always come alive for you. 

For more details on Kelly Brown, Ryan Schembri, Phil Hillyard and Daniel Linnet and to see more of their photography, please see the Canon Master’s website, here: https://www.canon.com.au/en-au/Professional-Imaging/Masters
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