It was a connection with the landscape that first sparked Danielle Watson’s interest in photography. As a teenager, admiring the works of Ken Duncan and Peter Dombrovskis compelled Watson to see the world and travel. But it would be another 15 years before she would pick up a camera and learn about photography. She’s now three years into her photography journey.
At one point an award-winning tennis coach and sport scientist, Watson is now using her artistic flair to forge a new career. While taking a break from coaching, she discovered her passion to pursue a career in photography. The first step was to embark on formal study at RMIT University. Watson says that graduating from RMIT in 2018 helped broaden her horizons. “I was given immense support and opportunities to grow, not only as a photographer but as an individual,” she says. “The breadth of projects that I have been a part of have given me opportunities post studies to succeed as well as shape my future in the photographic industry”.
During her studies, Watson took it upon herself to learn from photographers she most admired, including Ken Duncan, Kieran Stone, Jason Futrill, Peter Coulson, Luke Tscharke, Ading Attamini, Adam Williams, Keren Dobia, and Daniel Tran, to name a few. “I wanted to learn from leaders in the photography community to help establish what my style of photography was,” she says. “It’s not about copying a style, but learning from them helped me explore multiple genres to help me in my own development. And it certainly played a part in helping me succeed in my studies.”
Formal study has proven instrumental in Watson’s career to date. “Studying at RMIT helped prepare me for the photography industry with lecturers constantly challenging me to push myself outside my comfort zone and explore multiple genres of photography,” she says. Watson says completion of her studies has made her a confident photographer, with passion, lifelong mentors, friends, and connections in the photographic industry.
Recent accolades include coming 8th in Australian Photography’s Photo of the Year competition, a Silver in the 2018 Epson Pano Awards, and RMIT’s Most Outstanding Photographic Folio. She’s also a finalist in the RMIT Vocational Education Award for Academic Excellence.
Currently, Watson works as Ken Duncan’s assistant. Passionate about photography and keen to learn more about the photographic industry, and what is takes to be a successful landscape photographer, Watson says her main goal is continue to build a portfolio of landscape photography and hold a solo exhibition within the next two years, along with continuing to explore and shoot places very few people have seen.