Local Photographer: Eden Bennett

Coffs Coast Focus Magazine caught up with Eden Bennett, a local photographer, who has been commissioned to capture a series of iconic landscape shots to be hung at The Shoreline.

May 2023 – Focus Coffs Coast Feature

Hi Eden. When did you first start dabbling in photography?
My family was given a digital camera for Christmas from my Grandfather when I was around twelve years old. I remember it was a Panasonic Lumix point and shoot, and I was amazed
at how they managed to pack a camera into something so small, (which by today’s standards is probably gigantic and cumbersome). I started taking photos of everything, from my pets to portraits of friends and landscapes and my interest grew from there.

I elected to study photography in highschool, which teaches basic technical skills and composition, but am mainly self-taught through practice. I have benefitted from the many online forums in which you can glean information and skills from other photographers, and develop mentor-like
relationships with people from all over the world who excel in different styles and subjects.

While I now use a Pentax DSLR for my photography work, to this day I still choose a Panasonic Lumix as my pocket travel camera.

You are photographing a series of landscape pieces for The Shoreline, how did that opportunity come about?
For the past seven years I have volunteered as team photographer for the Coffs Harbour Comets RLFC (@coffsharbourcometsrlfc) and within this community have had the privilege of developing both professional working relationships and personal friendships among the team, committee, and affiliates. I have photographed milestone birthdays, weddings, family photos, annual team photos, functions and events for the Comets, and the players and families within. The Shoreline Project
opportunity grew organically from this relationship, and when I was asked if this might be something I was interested in, I was very excited.

I firmly believe contributing to the local community in some way with the skills you can provide is important, and in turn we are rewarded with exposure of our trade, or connections that can lead to business opportunities.

Can you tell us a bit about the works and your inspiration for them?
I was walked through the Shoreline several months ago, and documented the style of finishes, colour palette, aspect and location of where the works would be hung to ensure the images in the portfolio I presented and the subject matter would be suitable.

Coffs Harbour offers a spoil of picturesque locations from the hinterland to the shoreline. With my artwork to be hung nearby the ‘Hinterland’ wing, I took inspiration from this to combine the iconic structures and coastlines of Coffs Harbour, with a backdrop of mountain ranges. The colour palette for the area in which my art work will be hung features pale pinks, light timber and gold so I felt like sunset was the perfect time to capture what I wanted.

When we can stop and watch a sunset, when we can enjoy the vibrant colours in the sky, feel the temperature drop on a hot day and have a moment to ourselves, we can be flooded with a feeling of quietness and peace. That’s the sort of feeling I’d like to portray with these images.

What sort of feeling are you aiming to portray through your photos?
When we can stop and watch a sunset, when we can enjoy the vibrant colours in the sky, feel the temperature drop on a hot day and have a moment to ourselves, we can be flooded with a feeling of quietness and peace. That’s the sort of feeling I’d like to portray with these images.

What has the process been like when working to a brief and photographing images knowing where they will be displayed?
The process has been a rewarding challenge. There are always moments of self-doubt when I look over a portfolio and wonder if this is going to connect with my audience or client, or whether I’ve managed to successfully apply their requirements or specifications to my own style and composition preferences.

I’ve enjoyed stretching myself creatively to fit a project brief. The process to plan and execute a particular series of images, even down to the time of day and weather forecasts has been highly

It’s great to see local artists being commissioned for a job like this, how did it feel to be asked to take this project on? What have you enjoyed most about it?
It’s truly fantastic to see large developments such as The Shoreline hold a place for local artists within their project. It creates a sense of connection within the community while providing employment opportunities and much needed exposure for local artists.

In turn, I will be contracting a local business to complete the printing and framing of the works. Small businesses and artists were hit hard during the past few years, and when I was asked to take this on, I was thrilled at the opportunity, and keen to keep the entirety of the project local.

When are you expecting the photographs will be up on display?
The works should be hanging by the end of June.

What have you learnt or taken away from this project and what’s next for you and your photography work?
The project provided me with the opportunity to update my portfolio, and I enjoyed the challenge of providing works to match a ‘local’ theme, and existing interior scheme.

The football season is just about to kick off, and I’ll be volunteering as the primary photographer for the Coffs Harbour Comets. I hope to use my skills to promote local football, help build interest for local community sports, and earn player retention in the following years. High-quality online
content helps keep our followers and supporters engaged from near and afar.

As far as my personal work goes, for now I am enjoying taking photos at leisure. Native flora and fauna, landscapes, and pets are my preferred subjects, and I have prints available for browsing and sale on Instagram @edenbennettphoto.

Thanks Eden.