- International Women's Day: Meet Jackie Ranken
To celebrate International Women's Day 2022 we spoke to trailblazing Canon Master, photographer and artist Jackie Ranken. A long time lover of fine-art monochromatic photography, AIPP and NIPP Grand Master, Jackie Ranken combines her practice with teaching, exhibiting and instructing nationally and internationally.
“If a door opens, walk through it. Learn and keep the love for yourself and others.”Canon Master, Jackie Ranken
My first job as a photographer was when I was 16 in 1977. I was a race finish photographer of Greyhounds. These were colour photographs of the winning greyhound and others running past the post. I learnt how to photograph very fast moving subjects. I called myself a photographer but it wasn’t until 1996 that I realized the potential for me to use the photographic medium as a form of self-expression.
This was when I really became a photographer.
I started to explore alternative darkroom techniques and ways of seeing the landscape. This point of view happened to be upside down while my father performing a loop in his antique bi-plane.
The biggest learning curve came in 2004 with the move to digital photography. Photography is now anything I want it to be.
I learnt my craft through thirty five years of continual practice. Working within the photographic industry as a sports photographer, wedding photographer, commercial photographer and photojournalist. For the twenty years I have been in a position to share the accumulated knowledge I have through running Creative Landscape and Travel Photography Workshops in New Zealand and Internationally with my photographic husband Mike Langford.
Since 2001 I have won many prestigious photography awards 2001 Australian Professional Photographers of the Year, which have culminated in making me a Grand Master of both the Australian and the New Zealand Institutes of Professional Photography.
I chose to use the photographic print award system as a way to express who I am as a photographer and artist. The awards system encourages new ideas and ways of seeing. In recent years I have been experimenting with mixed media and using an encaustic wax with my photography prints. It makes the works more three dimensional and tactile.
Mike Langford has been a big influence because we live and photograph together. We are constantly motivating each other to learn new skills and finish projects. I give myself the freedom to explore all sorts of photography techniques and styles . Preferring not to be slotted into any genres in particular.
Early on when I was 21-22 and working in a commercial Studio in Sydney. I was not given the opportunity to work as a commercial photographer even though I showed lots of enthusiasm to be one. Mostly all the photographers that I came across were men.
I was working in the E6 lab exposing composite images onto transparency film for advertising and brochures. I had access to the studios and was able to use them for my own projects, but the doors to being a fashion or commercial photographer in that company were closed. I lost interest and moved back to Goulburn where I completed an Associate Diploma in Creative Arts and gradually started my own business. Being a bit of a ‘jack of all trades’ at the start then moving into landscape and art photography by 2019.
These days there are a huge number of women in the industry and they are leading lights. However more women have moved into the wedding portrait rather than the Commercial/advertising arena.
There are times in life when challenges or opportunities arise. I suggest to anyone to make the most of each one. If a door opens, walk through it. Learn and keep the love for yourself and others.
The inspirational women that I come across in my life are the women photographers who come with us on our Creative Photography Workshops. I admire their passion and determination to improve their photography and express themselves creatively. Everyone is unique with their own voice. I am a bit of a loner really and when I am not travelling and teaching others. I spend a lot of time in my own company working on artworks or personal projects. My inspiration comes from within and develops through the process of ‘doing’ and ’making’.
I have moved from Canon EOS 5DMKIV to the mirrorless Canon EOS R. I love being able to see the exposure and picture style of what I am photographing through the lens. This is of importance when I am making multiple exposures. I can see the multiple images come together (in-camera).
See more of Jackie’s work here
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