Local photographer Sharon Cooper started her career in IT but having always loved life through a lens, she ditched megabytes for mega pixels. She was first drawn towards photography after her second daughter was born deaf and she discovered that she could use photos to help her communicate. Sharon created lots of visual aids which resulted in her daughter being able to express her thoughts more easily and be better understood.
Sharon is now a professional photographer (an award winning one), a job which takes her all over the country, but we’re fortunate that she has still managed to find time to sign up for a series of workshops at Hitchin Lavender where she’s happy to impart her photographic expertise to other camera enthusiasts.
If you’re a budding photographer or share Sharon’s passion for photography and are keen to learn how to take the perfect snap, then please read our chat with her to see if this workshop might be for you.
When did you discover you had a talent for photography?
I began sharing my work on Flickr in 2006 and achieved some amazing success and ‘fame’ on there. That boosted my confidence so I embarked on a self-portrait project among others and held some exhibitions. I’ve always felt creative and loved photography though.
What was your first camera?
I had a Canon 350D and loved it to bits because it was the first time I’d moved on from a basic point and shoot so it helped me to have more control over the images I was creating.
People take thousands of photos these days but probably only treasure a few. What makes the perfect photo?
Ooooh good question, I think it’s emotion – reminding us of that fleeting moment. Great composition and good light also play their part. The sentiment I hear over and over again from people who have loved the photos I have taken of them, is the way I captured them in a natural, fun way that they have actually enjoyed!
Any top tips for taking a great photo?
When you see a good photo… look for a better one. Be led by the light and shoot with mindfulness, intention and curiosity. Find what you love or what makes you happy and shoot that.
What can people expect to take away from one of your workshops here?
Are they suitable for beginners?
Yes! I mostly teach people who have some technical ability already and are looking to hone their skills, but I offer ONE student or beginner place each week. Please just get in touch and talk to me!
Your work takes you to all kinds of places but what brings you back to Hitchin Lavender?
I feel so lucky to live in Hitchin and to have been shooting at the farm since its early days. I enjoy seeing the field change over the season as there’s always a different light, different flowers or different colour to capture. There are great facilities, a fantastic backdrop and a marvellous team. Did I mention the excellent cake!?
Are you able to share a few of your favourite photos of Hitchin Lavender with us?
Yes of course!
All of the photos featured on this blog post were taken by Sharon Cooper.