Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meet This Week's Judge: Sharyn Thompson

This week's judge is the talented Sharyn of Sharyn Thompson Photography. Enjoy her inspirational photos and thoughtful reflections on her photographic journey!

1. Tell us about yourself...
I'm an Australian mother of four and a wife of one, living on the sunny Gold Coast. Our eldest child is 10 and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a terminal muscle-wasting disease. He is in a wheelchair most of the time now. But we refuse to let the thought of the future bring us down. We live for today, and do as much as we can as a family. We have travelled extensively, having lived in Japan and Singapore and UK, and believe that travel is the best education our children can get. I have been a banker, a business analyst for Harlequin Mills & Boon (the romance publishers) and a preschool teacher. But I'm now a SAHM. My youngest will be heading off to "big school" in January, and I am already trying to work out what I'll do with my spare time. I'm not fit like I used to be, and that needs to change. I love cooking (hence my previous comment) and writing and, of course, taking photographs. My favourite coffee is a skim vanilla latte, and I'm a Sauvignon Blanc drinker when it comes to wine. Chocolate is my favourite food, and I'm currently addicted to Madam Secretary, Revenge, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and Resurrection. The best place I've ever visited (and I've visited 22 countries) was Scotland - such amazingly beautiful countryside and history. The kids still talk about it to this day.  

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?
My dad used to be a photographer, old school with his own darkroom. So there's always been that passion within my family. I got my first camera when I was just 5. It was a Kodak Instamatic. I loved that camera and took it everywhere with me. When I was 15, my mum gave me her Fujica SLR and I spent many an hour learning how to use it. Over the years, I've progressed to Digital and then DSLR, but it wasn't until I joined a 365 project group that my passion really took off. Suddenly, I was exposed to amazingly talented photographers, inspiring me to learn and be as good as I could possibly be. And so began my love of workshops and breakouts and countless hours spent on the internet researching. My 365 pushed me to learn, and learn some more, and recognise that I will never be done learning as photography is an ever evolving world. I've learnt so much in a short period of time (less than 2 years), and I love sharing what I've learnt with others. These days, my passion is fueled still by my 365 group, but mostly by my family. I believe you can never have too many photographic memories. Ever.  

3. What's in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?
Canon 6D, Tamron 70-200 2.8, and Sigma Art 35 1.4. They pretty much share equal time on my camera - 70-200 for portraits and outdoor shots, and 35mm for walkabout and indoors. I also have a Canon 17-40 and Sigma 105mm macro, but they are only used for specialised shots. I have a speedlite 430EX ii, but I've never used it! Shocking, I know! What can I say - I adore natural light or ambient light. I always carry a spare battery and charger, lenspen, and extra SD cards. 

4. What's your dream project or shoot?
I'd love to do a concept shoot, with an old world feel. It would involve extravagent sets and beautiful styling in a stunning location. Combine that with boudoir and that would be awesome!! I'd totally love to shoot a boudoir session, but I really don't have the confidence to do so.

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?
Time. I have four kids, so shooting for me is hard when I always have kids in tow, I can't just walk around and use the time to take photos of things that I'd like, because they're always hurrying me along. My husband always tells me, "life isn't one big photo shoot", but I truly believe it is! LOL! Oh, and money - I need lots and lots and lots of money to have everything I want to shoot the photos I want. Because isn't the camera gear the most important thing? If you have a nice camera, you'll take nice photos? Or something like that. ;-)

6. If you had $500 to spend on photography...
How should you spend it? On a Lensbaby. I crave the creativity and beauty that comes with one of those lenses. How do you wish you could spend it? On a 200 2.0, if only they were that cheap. Wishful thinking, right? How would you really spend it? Probably on a Lensbaby for myself for christmas. What? You mean mums don't actually have to buy their own christmas presents?  

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

That making a business out of photography is hard when there are so many photographers out there depreciating our value. I charge what I know I'm worth, not what the misinformed public think they should pay. I never knew that I would be so frustrated at how some photographers devalue themselves and everyone else by making their prices so low. On a positive note, no one ever told me how amazing my photography community could be - I found that out by myself and am thankful every day for having all those incredible people in my life. I'm truly lucky to be exposed to so much beauty and support and love.


  1. I love you, Sharyn! I am so honored and lucky to know you!

  2. Love this! You are an amazing person, mother & photographer! So glad to have "met" you in our 365 group & getting to know you! Always inspired by your work!

    1. Thank you Liz. Being part of our 365 group is the best thing I've ever done, photography-wise and friendship wise. I have some incredible people I can now call my friends, you included. xxxx


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