In conversation with Canon Master Daniel Linnet

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Published:  December 3, 2015
Tara Watson

desktop spoke with newly appointment Canon Master and commercial portraiture photographer Daniel Linnet on his new position, his background and advice on making a career out of photography from his accumulated experience and success.

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Digital imaging experts Canon has rolled out their Canon Masters for 2016. The acclaimed photographers will work to contribute to the photographic landscape in Australia, inspiring emerging and professional image-makers in their chosen field.

The lucky four appointed as Canon Australia’s elite professional photographers are: newborn and family portraiture photographer Kelly Brown, sports photographer Phil Hillyard, wedding photographer Ryan Schembri and commercial portraiture photographer Daniel Linnet.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Daniel, Kelly, Phil and Ryan as Canon Masters and we can’t wait to see the impact that their skills, passion and energy will have on our programs to inspire creativity in others,” said Director of Consumer Imaging at Canon Australia Jason McLean. “Collectively the Canon Masters have such broad appeal due to the wonderful mix of genres they represent and their shared mastery of the art of visual storytelling.”

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Linnet  is a Sydney-based, award-winning photographer known for his creative flair often apparent in his commercial images; manipulating light with postartistry techniques to achieve unique illustrative imagery. Daniel’s photographs have been used for some of the world’s largest brands, including MasterCard, Pfizer, Castrol, Country Energy, and St George Bank and his editorial work has been featured in magazine’s Men’s Health and Australian Top Gear.

Linnet originally started out in the business field rather then in the arts. “I kind of fell into it [photography] by accident as my background was in the corporate field. I was working in real estate and grew up with the notion that I had to go into the corporate sector. I’m from a Ukrainian family so you either have to be a doctor or an accountant so that was kind of where I was always pushed and I never considered other options,” said Linnet.

Daniel Linnet, Canon Master, Linnet Foto 2

“Just as I entered the corporate world I found an Olympus camera in the gutter in Bondi. It was almost like a sign.”

Linnet had a creative background in painting and illustration but was drawn to the immediacy of photography. He originally started experimenting only as a hobby and went on to do photography for the property firm he working with- but only part time. “It wasn’t until the CEO called me into his office and he basically gave me an ultimatum, he said: ‘Do you want to take photos or do you want to be in property?’ I said ‘I will give the photos a go,’ and to their credit they stayed on as my biggest client for about 18 months just while I got established,” remarked Linnet.

Linnet has gone on to an impressive career in commercial photography, founding Linnet Foto. As a longtime user of Canon cameras, Linnet said he uses a variety of Canon models in his everyday life, often dependent on his specific image focus.

“I use the Canon 1D X at present, as well as experimenting with the newer one, the 5DS, which is the 50 mega pixel camera. For my everyday work I use the 1DX which is 17 mega pixels, simply because I love the robust build and just the way it feels in the hand, it’s beautifully balanced and really nice to use,” said Linnet.

Daniel Linnet, Canon Master, Linnet Foto 3

Linnet has extensive experience in fashion, lifestyle, automotive, portraiture and fine art photography and his work can be found published throughout the world. He said it’s important to always be ready for any visual inspiration that comes along.

Linnet said that a photographer should ensure they carry the following on any shoot: ”I always like to carry some lighting with me, with certainly the camera and always a back up camera because anything can happen, it’s still electronic equipment. Also some light shading tools like reflectors or diffusers and then off course memory cards and a selection of lenses,” noted Linnet.

Asked whether it’s important for emerging photographers to develop their own style to stand out, Linnet replied “I think it’s something that can’t be forced. It took me seven years of shooting to realise that I had developed my own style. It wasn’t until someone said to me: ‘Hey, I saw your shot and it didn’t have your name on it but I knew straight away that it was a Daniel Linnet”. I said, ‘Really?’ It was one those things I tried to force myself, thinking ‘I need to develop a style, I need to develop a style’. But the style kind of developed while I wasn’t looking.”

Daniel Linnet, Canon Master, Linnet Foto 4

Linnet is known for his creative approach to interpreting a client brief and said that photography should be an emotive response to the environment around, which requires those to think about the subject, the light and the story. He offered his tips on starting out in photography and being successful.

“A few pieces of advice that I would give to succeed in the industry is to make photography your life; worry less about the money and more about the image; learn to understand light and see light; and always be ready. As we go about our life images are constantly presenting themselves so you just need to be aware of your environment,” said Linnet.

Linnet notes that photography should be approached as not merely just a means to make money, encouraging people to look at photography as an art form rather than a profiting business.

Daniel Linnet, Canon Master, Linnet Foto 5

“My philosophy is that you shouldn’t try so hard. First and foremost you need to be passionate about the photography and you need to create images that you’re proud of. A lot of people these days go out and buy a camera and think that they can start making money from photography. But then it becomes more about the money rather than creating beautiful images,” said Linnet.

Linnet said he was grateful to be selected as Canon’s most talented and innovative image masters and was excited to see what the future may hold.

“It’s very exciting because obviously being a Canon Master is going to allow me to work on a heap of new creative opportunities and personal projects. It will get my work out to a much great audience, which is really important within the art that I create. It will inspire people to create better images,” said Linnet.

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All images courtesy of Daniel Linnet

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