Jenny Forrest, Coast and Country Photography

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From a childhood hobby to a thriving career as a professional photographer, we chat with Jenny Forrest about what makes her click! 

Where did your love affair with the lens begin?

My interest in photography developed at a very young age, but it was in my school years at Gloucester High when I realised that I truly had a love of photography. I studied art for my HSC, and photography was my favourite class.

At weekends I would photograph old farmhouses, bridges, animals, my family and friends on our little 25 acre hobby farm; in fact, anything that offered an opportunity to test and enhance my photographic skills. So many opportunities presented in the farmlands and villages throughout the Gloucester, Krambach and Firefly areas, that I was never short of a subject.

When my family moved nearer to the coast at Rainbow Flat and then Hallidays Point, my eyes were opened to seemingly endless backdrops to indulge my passion, for now there were rainforests and incredibly beautiful beaches to turn my lens to.

As my business developed, I found that I had a natural leaning towards photographing candid moments, as well as posed shots. I absolutely adore getting real emotions that leap out of the image. The little smiles, surprise, the obvious love that can be seen when you press the shutter at just the right moment.

I love the idea that a photograph has the ability to make time stand still, and that when you have an image that embodies something or someone special, that you can forever re-visit that moment in time.

One driving force behind starting Coast & Country Photography in 2017 was to offer people in this region a very affordable option to get a high quality permanent reminder of family, friends, pets, or whatever else may be special to them.

You specialise in capturing the bond between mother and child; how and why do you relate to this magical moment?

Parenthood is magical. Well, most of the time! As a mum myself, I love portraying the bond between mums and their bubs or older children (even grown-up children!) There is nothing like it. I adore capturing the gentle touch of a tiny hand on a mum’s arm, a warm cuddle, a little hand in yours, a mother’s lips against the side of a baby’s cheek. Like most mums, I am a softie when it comes to those moments.

Working with young children can be challenging; how do you manage to get the perfect pic?

I try to make sessions as quick as possible, fun and flexible! Saying silly things, going where the kiddies want and working with them is the key. I love to capture posed shots, as well as the moments in between poses. I’ve found that these moments are often the best images and capture the essence of a family and tell a story more than a posed image ever could.

What services does Coast & Country Photography offer?

There’s not much that I can’t accommodate, but I’m probably best known for family portraits, lifestyle type shoots and suchlike. Also, newborn photography including Fresh 48 (first 48 hours in the hospital environment), which is becoming very popular. 

I also offer a very affordable wedding package. If you want someone to spend the whole day following every little detail, then that’s not me, but if your budget doesn’t run to the thousands of dollars, but you want the precious memories professionally created, then I’m your photographer.

Nowadays almost everyone has access to a camera. What are the advantages in using a professional photographer over DIY?

A professional photographer knows how to read light conditions and utilise the various settings on the camera to create beautiful images, be it in a studio setting or using natural light. 

I’m a natural light photographer, and my signature style is the creation of beautiful images that have a dream-like quality to the background that can only be achieved using very costly and complex professional state of the art lenses and cameras. Clients come to me after seeing the magical images that I have created for their friends or that they have seen on either my Facebook page, Instagram or my website, that cannot be created using a standard camera with a kit lens or a mobile phone.

I also edit all my final images using the latest professional photo editing software. I have two high quality Canon cameras with state of the art lenses that specifically create the style of photos that I am known for. 

DIY is fine a lot of the time but if it is a special thing, then using a professional is the best decision you can make. After all, we are accountable to you for your satisfaction and for giving you what you have paid for.

And finally, if you look back through your photos, you will notice that when you take your own images there is always someone missing – the person behind the lens.

What inspires you to take photos?

My inspiration comes from the fact that time goes by so very fast. Since my son arrived, I found that you blink and he’s turning one, two, three then four and soon five! Photos for me are a means of being able to cherish those little moments in life that might otherwise disappear forever.

What have been some of the highlights of your career?

Highlights come with every session. It could be the look of joy on a child’s face being photographed with their siblings, relatives and friends or animals. The satisfaction of getting that just perfect shot of a mum to be. Seeing the obvious closeness between a couple who have made the decision to capture their love in a photograph.

The magic of pregnancy provides many highlights, with mothers-to-be forming a large section of my client base. You may have guessed that being a small part in providing a tangible memory of this special time is extremely rewarding.

But I guess that, for me, the most important highlights come with receiving a message of appreciation and even amazement that my clients respond with, when they receive their finished product and realise that they have a special moment caught for all time to look back on.

How can we find out more information?

My website is: www.candcphotography.com.au and I can also be found on Facebook and Instagram!

Thanks Jenny.

Interview: Bronwyn Davis.

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