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Craig Mason started East Coast Photography in 1997 and set about creating the districts most respected Professional Photography studio on the Mid North Coast. Craig joined the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers in 2003 and in 2006 received his Associate ship. We chat with Craig about his career in Photography

Full name Craig Mason.

Age Fortyish – ok, ok … it’s 46, but who’s counting …

Star sign Cancer – yes, I’m soft and mushy on the inside.

Location Forster – 42 years of living here and loving every minute.

Years taking photographs Twenty-eight.

I started with a fully manual Pentax camera and a single fixed lens. I was the first pro in the area to purchase a digital camera and haven’t looked back since.

I spend my week days… split between wedding album plans in the gallery and out on location photographing and working on commercial assignments .

I spend my weekends … Usually Saturdays means wedding day – typically around 40 weddings per year. The last few years has seen a change from just shooting in the Manning and Great Lakes to now being contracted to photograph in area such as the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and Sydney. Without a doubt, being awarded third in the world for Wedding Photography in 2008 certainly got my name out there. Sundays – usually out on the bike or a day full of fun with Sam, Savannah and Amber. This usually involves time at the beach, on the tennis court or out exploring new locations (sometimes all in one day!) Working 6 days a week, you‘ve got to cram a lot into that day off!

Something people may not know about me. I’m a keen motorcyclist and there is nothing I like to do more than get out of town and go for a good, long ride.

Something people may not know about my photography. I love photography – I love new adventures, meeting new and interesting people and exploring locations. It’s amazing how you will find new locations just by a chance meeting with someone.

Anyone out there who has an interesting location or idea, feel free to contact me. I am passionate about the weddings I photograph. I go all out to ensure I get the best from each and every wedding I photograph.

How living in this area has inspired my work Being a local of 42 years, I have seen the area develop and grow. I love the coast. To look at my landscapes is to view hundreds of images from all around our beautiful district. Forster-Tuncurry will always be home. Why would I move? My family and many, many friends live here. The natural beauty we have around us is almost endless and the Great Lakes is a truly unique location, with our pristine waterways of Wallis, Myall and Smiths Lakes, to the Pacific Ocean that laps our shoreline. There is so much here that I haven’t photographed as yet.

Why any person should try photography To capture an image is to capture a moment in time – a memory for them to keep. With some basic understanding, anyone can take a good photograph.

Photos will last forever because … they capture a moment in time. That split second of the exposure captures many things, from a smile to a tear, a cold wind to a sun drenched beach, that unforgettable look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride on their wedding day.

The last decade has seen digital photography grow to a point where now just about everyone has a digital camera with them. Most weddings I photograph these days, just about every second person is photographing something or someone with their digital camera or phone camera. They are taking memories, capturing moments in time that they can share and remember for years to come.

My five other favourite things to do Apart from photography and motorcycle riding, I regularly play tennis, but also have been known to swing a golf club and squash racket. I also love swimming and surfing, and I love to cook.

Where you will find me in five years Definitely still here in Forster, with camera in hand.

Thank you Craig.

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