Blue Rapture catches up with international award winning Andrew Cooney, a professional photographer from New South Wales, Australia.
Andrew Cooney is not strictly just a surf photographer, he also shoots weddings, portraits, sports and commercial things too but we love his work when he does turn his lens to the ocean.
His photos are beautiful and full of colour – he loves getting up early to get that sunrise shot, capturing all the amazing colours in the sky.
Andrew Cooney certainly has a natural talent for photography, but his passion is what sets him above the rest! Andrew inspires others and lives by the motto:
Life is like a camera, focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if it doesn’t work out just take another shot.
I was Born in Berowra, NSW, but moved onto Farmland in a small Suburb called Laguna, not far from the Hunter Valley when I was 6 months old, where I then spent my next 18 years.
There are various Photographers who have inspired me to try new things, but the Inspiration for Photography itself is Nature. Waking up in the Morning and dragging myself out of Bed, drive to the Beach not knowing what the light is going to be like, what the Waves are doing. Its always a mystery as to what Image I will capture next.
My Dad has always loved Photography. He had a DSLR before I found my interest. I began using his Camera at about 13, taking photos of just about anything. We had a lot of property to roam, so I think thats how I became drawn to Landscape Photography mostly.
Today I love being at the beach, whether it be in or out of the Surf. I was never a real Beachy person. I loved being there, but I was an hour from it, so it wasn’t very easily accessible. When I moved out of Home, I was there most days and still am to this day. As far as Business goes, its been a long and slow process. I found my passion young, so it gave me a lot of time to work out what was good and what wasn’t. I spent year 11 and 12, in most of my classes editing photos and on forums and youtube. The Teachers didn’t like it much, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do, so why would I spend time on something that was not going to help? I built up a large following on Facebook over the years, and have made some money through Print sales, and commercial work, but nothing that I could become rich from. I am now a full time Photographer, and am still not rich, but with everything that has gone on in my 5 years of shooting, I have many plans for the future that will hopefully allow me to travel the world doing what I love.
Versatility, because I can. A lot of successful photographers make money as a Wedding Photographer, or a Landscape Photographer, or a Commercial Photographer. I have the luxury of being at the start of my Career, where I can try anything I want, and not be recognised as anyone in particular.
This is a tough question, because I can’t really think of any “projects” I have taken on. If you asked this question in 2 years, given the ideas i have, I could probably give you a list. Right now, I think the only real project I have done is my HSC Short Film. I shot a Time Lapse film called “A Country Landscape”. It took close to 8 months, and was daunting, but I was really happy with it and my Teachers were very impressed.
As in Gear and Workflow? I use a Nikon D800 with a 16mm Fisheye lens inside a SPL Waterhousing for my Surf Images. I also have a Nikon 70-200mm for shooting the action from Shore. I shoot my landscapes with either a 16-35mm or a 24-70mm. I use Lightroom and Photoshop with Nik Software to process my images.
Favourite Surfer: I am not a Surf fanatic, I don’t seek out to watch any of the live comps or get any autographs. I do love the Sport though. I would have to say Kelly Slater. Not just because he is the best in the world, but because he deserves to be. The things I have seen him do is absolutely crazy, and I would love to take photos of him one day.
Favourite Surf Spot: Most of the Central Coast Beaches have their days. When I first started, I was non stop at Forrester’s Beach for its Shorey, I then moved to North Wamberal which had a super clean wave for a while. I am now loving Terrigal which has been pumping lately. For Wave Photos in the Surf, I would say Forries and Terrigal. Shooting from land, nothing beats a 4-6 foot earl morning at Avoca.
Life idol: I do not have one. I have people I look up to, but not one particular person makes me want to be them. I love the way i shoot, the people I know, and the things I know, which is why I don’t really strive to be like anybody else.
Favourite thing to do to relax: Depends on my mood. Some days its sitting on Youtube looking for new things, other days its being in the Water for 5-6 hours. I would say the one thing I always look forward to is sleeping after a long day, thats the best! Until the alarm goes off.
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