The Canon Collective is a group of passionate photography Ambassadors dedicated to helping you grow your skills in relaxed, down-to-earth environment. In this article Jenn Cooper — one of our Sydney-based Canon Collective Ambassadors — shares a bit about what makes him tick.
Describe yourself in 25 words or less:
I’m a Mum, a Photographer, and an Adventurer! I work as part of the Canon Collective, hosting photography workshops
Tell us about your photography journey so far:
I travelled regularly with my parents from a young age, and was intrigued by the people and places we saw. Early photographs show me with a camera in my hands at around age four or five, and I purchased my first SLR camera at 12.
After travelling extensively, the cultures and countries I visited inspired me to take my camera everywhere. But, it wasn’t until I began developing my own images in the darkroom that I became truly hooked.
I spent most of my schooling hours either on the sports field or in the darkroom; my photography teacher was so supportive of my passion for photography that she gave me a set of keys for the darkroom. Needless to say this was the start of my photography journey. The magic of seeing a photo come to life in the developing tray is what sparked my passion for photography and inspired me to pursue a formal education in photography and darkroom processing.
I’ve got a passion for new experiences and love being outdoors. Being able to combine travel and photography is the perfect way for me to keep those passions alive.
Share the story behind one of your most memorable photographs:
Making landfall on Salisbury Plain, in South Georgia, was one of the most extraordinary highlights for me: the large coastal beach is home to over 500,000 breeding pairs of King Penguins! As far as the eye could see were gorgeous little brown balls of fluff, all singing and moving about in the hustle and bustle of the colony.
The sheer enormity of the scene before me threw up a photographic challenge: I couldn’t decide if I wanted to shoot long and isolate a single penguin out of the colony, or shoot wide and include as much of the landscape as I could.
Making a decision, I headed for the base of the mountain and began my ascent. I knew that I wanted to capture a unique perspective of Salisbury Plain — one that would be different from those I had seen in the past.
Every step upwards was a struggle, and yet I knew I was edging closer and closer to the shot that I was now desperate to capture. As I climbed over the ridge, I stumbled across another rookery of baby King Penguins, framed by stunning snow-capped mountains across the water. I instantly knew that this was THE shot. Every photographer dreams of a moment like that!
Explain your go-to gear and why you rate it so highly:
The best camera is the one that’s in my bag... and I never leave home without one!
This could range from my trusty G7X Mark II to my full kit, which is:
What's your favourite part of your job as a Canon Collective Ambassador?
Working with the Canon Collective community is an incredible experience — being able to share my knowledge with photographers from a wide range of backgrounds, and being able to travel with them to remarkable destinations is beyond words.
If you weren't a Canon Collective Ambassador what would you be doing?
Before I was selected to be one of the original three Canon Collective ambassadors in 2013, I was a Field Account manager servicing our retail stores. Educating people about products that I’m passionate about is really fulfilling.
If I weren’t a Collective Ambassador, I would love to be a pilot, or perhaps a teacher. I also have a passion for skydiving and scuba diving so who knows...
One thing for sure is that I’m very passionate about helping people achieve their goals.
What's the first thing a new photographer needs to learn?
Learn to see the light — study it everywhere you go. Study the way it shapes your subject and creates form — once you can see the light you can capture it.
Who inspires you?
My mum, she was the kindest and most selfless person that I know
She told me every day that I can be and do whatever I put my mind to, and now I want to show that to my kids. Anything is possible if you work hard and follow your dreams.
Where is your favourite location to shoot and why?
I love beaches! Any beach.
You can create one more image before you die – what is it of?
As a photographer I’ve created family portraits that will be treasured for years to come. If I could create just one more image before I die it would be a self-portrait with my children and my husband — something for them to remember me by.