Jennifer Fast - If the passion is there, you will find a way to acquire knowledge, no matter what it takes. Let that passion lead you! (Canadian Travel Photographer and Writer, Jenn Explores)

Jennifer Fast

Jennifer Fast is a published travel, landscape, and lifestyle photographer from the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. She is passionate about inspiring others to expand their horizons and explore as much of our beautiful world as possible. 

She loves the adventure that comes with finding unique photography locations, often hiking or traveling many miles to explore the more remote territory. She is dedicated to experiencing as much natural beauty as possible and hopes that her unique imagery can help to instill a heart for exploration in others.

1. Tell us about your background and journey? How and when did you realize your passion for photography? 

I have always had an interest in photography, as far back as I can remember. My first camera as a 6-year-old girl was a cheap Concord 110 film camera that was a blazing neon orange color and was retailed by McDonald's! 

I then began acquiring Polaroid and point & shoot cameras throughout my childhood. My family didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so I’d find these treasures at garage sales or the local Value Village. 

When I was 12, my family moved us from Winnipeg to an extremely small town in Saskatchewan with a population of just 1000 people. Most youths my age were completely bored out of their minds here, and I finally decided to take all of my own pent-up energy and boredom and channel it into developing my passions. 

Personal home computers had just become common, and I was lucky enough to receive an old clunker handed down to me from a family member. Over the next few years, I taught myself photo editing to complement my love for photography. 

I also taught myself basic HTML & CSS (website design) and graphic design, using free online resources I came across. I fell in love with creating in the digital space and the rest was history. 

After grade 9, I enrolled myself in a high school homeschooling program that focused on developing creative passions in its students. This gave me time to continue to practice my digital crafts and learn the world of digital marketing. 

When I was 17, I took a job at a photo studio in Calgary, editing passport photos, digitally rebuilding old family photos, and processing customers’ own film photographs. Here, I eventually saved up enough money and purchased my first DSLR, the Canon 20D. 

Once I had a “professional” camera, I started shooting portraits for friends and family, which eventually brought on referral clients. I was also photographing concerts and music events, gigs that I was given through connections I had made along the way. 

Nature and travel photography followed later down the road, once opportunities to spend time in these beautiful places started popping up. 

2. What are some tips you would like to share with amateur photographers? 

My advice to anyone looking to learn photography (or anything, for that matter) is to be resourceful. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and claw your way up. 

There are plenty of free resources available online to learn pretty much anything you could want! We are living in the age of technology and information – never be afraid to leverage that for your own personal knowledge. 

You can learn almost anything for free on YouTube or the internet today. Research, research, research, and dive in! 

Also, just shoot. Start with any camera you can get your hands on that allows you to adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO - most do! The best camera is the one you have access to, and you can take truly amazing photos with simple cell phones or point-and-shoot cameras. 

Don't let the lack of expensive gear deter you. Learn the basics using the gear you do have, push that gear to its limits, then upgrade if and when you need to. 

If the passion is there, you will find a way to acquire knowledge, no matter what it takes. Let that passion lead you! 

Jennifer Fast

3. What are the important skills one should have to be a successful photographer? 

Learning to be present in the moment is extremely important so that you're able to notice special moments as they unfold. 

Learning to look at the world in a different way, pushing the boundaries of your creativity. 

Learning to read light is important - the way it falls on a subject, the way it lights up a landscape, the way it changes the "feel" of a photo from warm to cool. 

Learning to respond to changing natural light quickly, as conditions outdoors are very fleeting. Learn what and when "golden hour" is and experiment with how your photos turn out before, during, and after this special shooting window. 

As mentioned above, learning basic ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings are ideal, as well as learning the "rule of thirds". And of course, learning post-processing skills (Photoshop, Lightroom). 

Jennifer Fast

4. What are various opportunities available for aspiring photographers? 

I'd recommend to start shooting for various people or small businesses you already know - for instance, offer to photograph products for your sister's craft business if you want to shoot product photography or offer to take some outdoor family photos for your friends. 

This is a great way to get your foot in the door and gain some experience under your belt without the pressure of having to deliver the perfect photos for a paid client. 

People you already know will be happy to support you as you hone your craft, and will also just be thankful to get some photos done for free! It's amazing to see how you can utilize your own connections to build a portfolio and land referral clients. 
Jennifer Fast
5. Which is your favorite book and why? 

One of the absolute favorites that I re-read often when I need a bit of inspiration is "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert - incredibly inspiring for any type of creative! 

Instagram Handle - @jennexplores

Jennifer Fast

Jennifer Fast is a published travel, landscape, and lifestyle photographer from the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. She is passionate about inspiring others to expand their horizons and explore as much of our beautiful world as possible. 

She loves the adventure that comes with finding unique photography locations, often hiking or traveling many miles to explore the more remote territory. She is dedicated to experiencing as much natural beauty as possible and hopes that her unique imagery can help to instill a heart for exploration in others.

Jennifer Fast (Jenn Explores)

Travel, Landscape and Lifestyle Photographer
https://www.jennexplores.com/

Interviewed By - Anushka Gagwari

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