Recovering from hand surgery, Jennifere Thompson made the decision to retire from her job with Victoria Police in 2011. Gifted with a DSLR from her husband, during her rehabilitation, an interest in photography began to take shape. But finding a course in rural NSW was another obstacle to overcome. In 2013, she made the decision to drive the 800 kilometres round trip, up and down the Hume Highway, to attend formal education classes at Chisholm TAFE, in Dandenong, and CATC Design School, Melbourne. Over 69,000 kilometres were driven, but in 2014 Thompson graduated with a Diploma of Digital Imaging, specialising in wild animal portraiture at 58 years old.
Since graduating, Thompson has travelled Australia, and the world, photographing animals, stating that she never dreamed she be in such a position. In 2015, Thompson was named both AIPP Victoria Emerging Photographer of the Year and AIPP Australian Emerging Photographer of the Year. She was also awarded the Minister of Education and Training Art Prize. In 2016, she was a finalist in the AIPP Contemporary Art Prize.
Her international and domestic animal portraits have been part of her project, ICU Too. “I want my audience to look up close into the face of the animal,” she says, “so that they might imprint it to memory, make an emotional connection, a parallel between themselves and the sentient animal – and think about and care for their vulnerability and habitat loss.”