Craig Parry Underwater Photography Whale Emergence Great Image

The secret to a great image

Leading up to his appearance at FOTOLIVE 2018, Craig Parry sat down with the team and discussed what he believes is the secret to a great image. Read on to hear his insights to capturing stunning images and how to survive in a very competitive industry….

The secret to a great image: “It’s not just a great moment” – Craig Parry

A native of Byron Bay on the coastline of Northern NSW, it was his parents’ gift of a disposable waterproof camera at five years old that set Craig Parry on the path to becoming one of our finest underwater photographers. Entirely self-taught, Parry worked at his craft before making a life-changing decision and becoming a full-time professional photographer in 2004 – a defining moment in his life.

Today his fine art photography is primarily focussed upon marine and landscape imagery, and as a Sony Global Ambassador his work regularly sees him travelling to all corners of the globe in pursuit of new adventures and unique encounters, with his work found in the likes of National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Travel Channel. We sat down for a quick chat with Parry ahead of his session at FOTO LIVE.

1) What do you think makes for a great image?

Having the ability to connect your audience to a moment is very important, but I think the secret to a great image is also evoking emotion and action from that image, for example a landscape image that gives the viewer goosebumps or takes their breath away and encourages them to explore and get them into the wilderness, or an underwater image that creates wonder and inspires them to protect and conserve the ocean inhabitants / landscape. These are very important factors that help create a masterpiece.

2) What’s one piece of advice you’d pass on to an aspiring photographer?

I’ve always believed that persistance and passion are strong formulas for success. Never let anyone’s negative opinion become your belief. In my career I have only believed that I can grow in my craft and be successful and nothing could stop me from achieving this.

3) What’s your most memorable image?

My image ‘Emergence’ is my favourite for a number of reasons, the main one being I believe this image helped me become a professional wildlife photographer! I captured it while whale spy hopping in 2014 off the island of Vava’u, Tonga.

On the day I ended up swimming with this particular whale for over two hours and each time it passed by it gave me a beautiful image, of which this was one. At one stage the whale even followed me back to the boat and patiently waited for me to change my lens!

4) What can we expect from your talk at Foto live?

I will share a bit about my story about my career path, and how I became an underwater photographer. I also hope to share some of the techniques and ‘trade secrets’ I use, including my tips for both shooting and editing underwater images, and for shooting aerial photography, which is an area I really enjoy.

I’ll also cover techniques for both drone and helicopter shots, and finally share some advice about the steps you can put in place for a professional career in photography.

Craig Parry was one of eight amazing speakers at the one day photography event, FOTO LIVE in 2018. Find out more here.