- Warrick Eady: How the Collective Revived this Soldier’s Passion for Photography
Warrick Eady was always a keen photographer but it wasn’t until he came home to Australia after serving in Afghanistan with the army, it became a real influence on his life—thanks to the Canon Collective. The Canon Collective is a national photography community that has been running for over five years. The purpose of the Collective is to educate, support, and inspire photographers of all skill levels, so they can get off auto and get the most out of their camera. Here, Warrick shares his story with us.
How difficult was it coming back to Australia after serving in the military?
I was in the army for nine years and went to Afghanistan three times. It wasn’t so much being over there that I had the issue with, it was more coming home. The loss of purpose and the sense of importance of doing something like that, that’s what I struggled with most—it was a big adjustment, learning how to do things my own way. I just didn’t appreciate how massive the change would be.
Canon 6D, EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens f/1.8, 1/3200, ISO-200
How did photography enter your life at this time?
I always loved playing around with cameras but nothing too in-depth and then I found myself wanting to learn more. I started looking for courses online and that’s how I found the Canon Collective—since then I haven’t looked back. I went to some events and enjoyed it so much I started going as often as possible.
Canon 6D, EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens f/1.4, 1/3200, ISO-200
What do you love about the Collective?
It’s the strong sense of community, that feeling of belonging and having a common passion. I love the enthusiasm the Collective Ambassadors bring to it and just learning something new is the biggest thing for me.
Canon 6D, EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens f/3.5, 1/4000, ISO-100
What do you love photographing the most? Judging by your Instagram account, you love the ocean!
Yes, definitely the ocean! I’ve been doing that for two years now, and it’s hands down the thing I love to shoot. I still shoot the occasional wedding and landscape but there’s something about the ocean. For me it’s about mindfulness. I think I love photographing the ocean because it’s just so physical, you have to be out there, and you can’t just be sitting on the beach waiting for the sky to do something amazing. You’re out in the water, swimming one handed. The physicality of it is one thing I really like about it and also when you’re out there in the surf, with surfers around, you’re 100 percent focused on what’s in front of you. You’re not thinking about work or anything else, it’s just what you’re doing. It’s like the layer of the water is where all the stress and issues you have are gone and it’s just you, the camera and the water.
Canon 6D, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM f/4.5, 1/4000, ISO-100
How has the Collective made an impact on your life?
It’s definitely helped me get my life back on track. After I came home I went through a couple of years of feeling lost and depressed. Stress is something I don’t deal with very well but being in the ocean is something that helps me manage it. If I don’t go out and shoot for a few weeks, I become stressed again.
Canon 6D, EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens f/3.2, 1/2000, ISO-200
Which cameras are you using right now?
In 2013 I bought my first Canon EOS 6D that’s when I wanted to start shooting more. Last year I got two EOS 6D Mark II’s, and next year I plan to upgrade to something bigger. I’m going to Tonga with Professional Photographer, Darren Jew so I’ll upgrade to something more powerful then.
Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm f/4L USM II Lens at 100mm f/14, 1/3200, ISO-100
Would you recommend the Canon’s Collective to other aspiring photographers?
Yes—absolutely, especially for people starting out and trying to get a feel for photography. I haven’t studied photography at all but the Collective is where my inspiration came from. It’s ultimately where my photography education has come from and has also been what’s helped me find my feet and my style as a photographer. It’s been really cool to meet so many other people through the community too—the level of energy, passion and fun brought to each event by the Canon Collective Ambassadors makes the Collective something really unique. I’ve been able to meet incredible photographers such as Darren Jew, Krystle Wright and—all people I look up to and people who continue to inspire me.
Check out a Canon Collective Workshop here.