Sheree Cotter- Photography Is My Creative Outlet
It wasn’t until she was 16 that she fully pursued the idea, a thanks she owes to her brother. “He was a real inspiration and helped me a lot in my early days. He is still my biggest fan,” says Sheree.
A former partner of Sheree’s pushed her to study photography and begin shooting beyond her current spectrum. “Without that encouragement, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to start photography or even go to college,” says Sheree. “We were able to work alongside each other and that helped my skills and confidence grow”.
Photography quickly opened a whole new world for Sheree. She started Captains Eye Photography which has led to many exciting things. “They give me a creative outlet,” says Sheree.
While some may not enjoy it, Sheree says that spending a few hours editing after she has taken photos is therapeutic. No matter how stressful the shoot might be, Sheree gets enjoyment out of it.
But with enjoyment comes doubts, and, like most creatives, Sheree has had her share along the way. “I’m constantly questioning if the client is sure they want me to take photos,” she says.
The most rewarding aspect of photography for Sheree is working with a variety of people. “Meeting people and capturing their stories is a humbling experience, especially when they are people I admire. I’ve been lucky within my photography career and I’m thankful for every opportunity I have received”.
When it comes to having her work recognised, Sheree is amazed. She has had several clients use her photos for promotional material, something that she says is awesome to witness. “I’ve seen one of my photos on the big screen at the Golden Guitars. I’ve seen photos on iTunes and albums covers and a few on banners. Every single time it’s a really cool moment for me”.
While most photographers have a clear style, Sheree does not put herself in a specific category. “I’m still experimenting and practising styles to see what fits,” she says. Though she does have a favourite- landscapes. “Sometimes I see a landscape and it overwhelms me. I’m over the moon when I can capture the scene perfectly”. Sheree also enjoys taking photos of live music, especially when it’s a friend performing. “That makes me super proud”.
Photo Copyright: Sheree Cotter
Having taken many photos, it is hard for Sheree to pick a favourite, but if she did, they would be a series of photographs she’s captured from around the country. “I’ve been lucky to have travelled the last few years and have seen some beautiful sites. I just need to remember to actually take the photo instead of being overwhelmed by what’s in front of me,” she says. The Northern Territory sunset is hard to beat in her opinion.
Sheree says that all her photoshoots are memorable for their own reason, even when they are bad. “I try to find a good lesson in every bad situation. I’m always learning so it keeps you humble to have bad photoshoots as well as the ones that go smoothly,” she says.
There a lot of photographers out there who don’t like the use of Instagram filters. For Sheree, she enjoys using them on her own work. “The filters helped me a lot when I first started using the app. If you are editing your own photos that you took, I say go for gold. It’s all about you own style”.
But she has a very different approach when it comes to her clients using them on photos she has taken. “I prefer people don’t edit images I have provided for them. I usually take hours sorting through photoshoots and editing images before I hand them over,” she says. If the client wants something specific, she is happy to discuss options and work with them.
Photo Copyright: Sheree Cotter
So you want to be a photographer?
If you’re just starting out or thinking photography might be for you, Sheree offers up these tips. “Take your lens cap off before attempting to look professional. Never replace your love for photography with trying to be the best. Always zip up your camera bag when you pack your gear away”.
Sheree further adds that as a photographer you just have to be yourself and not take notice of what other photographers are doing. “And remember that it is never too late to start."
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