Hello Storyteller is proud to have an incredibly talented group of Mentors that work hard to be strong leaders in our community. Not only are they skilled instructors, but they are supporters and cheerleaders to those around them. We want to regularly show our gratitude for all they do for HS, the members, and the community as a whole. Each quarter, we will be sharing our appreciation to one outstanding mentor for their hard work and dedication to Hello Storyteller with the Mentor of the Quarter award. This quarter, we would like to highlight, Abi Coop. Abi is a brilliant teacher, and a valued voice in our Hello Artist Prep Group. She is always available with ideas, and generous with her support and enthusiasm for her students and fellow mentors. Thank you for all you do, Abi!
I live in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales in the UK, with my husband and our two daughters. For nearly 10 years I wrote crosswords for, and proof-read puzzle magazines. During lockdown this work became increasingly stressful due to the increased demand in that sector. I turned to my hobby of photography as a way to cope and take my mind away from everything else. My knowledge and skills rapidly grew as I experimented with different ways to capture the same things every day whilst we weren’t allowed to travel far.
Last year I became a Hello Storyteller Mentor and a Lensbaby Ambassador, and was able to leave my other job. Now I work solely as a photographer, creating beautiful art and overlays to sell, and as a mentor. In my photography I don’t tie myself to any genre, I’ll experiment with them all, but in whatever I shoot my style shines through. My images are pretty and ethereal, with light, blur and colour used to tell stories.
The shooting itself! I love to get things as good as I can in-camera; the exposure, the white balance, the composition, the colour theory etc… and enjoy using all kinds creative techniques and lenses to make a unique image in-camera. My favourite techniques are freelensing and double exposures, and my favourite creative lenses are my macro lens and collection of Lensbabys.
I have a number of creative tools that I love to use to help me add some extra magic to my images. My favourites are my Lensbaby OMNI wands, especially the colour crystals.
I’m inspired by the beautiful world around us. I am drawn to pretty colours, textures and light. I also love to capture my children out enjoying nature or at home doing the activities we love. There are so many talented photographers I’ve come to know through Hello Storyteller and other photography communities, and I’m constantly amazed, inspired and encouraged by all the gorgeous images I see being posted every day.
I’m assuming my camera body is a given here, so I’ll say my 50mm lens. It’s so versatile, I use it for nature, landscapes, kid photography, freelensing, all the things. Plus it’s so small and light – I always take it out in my camera bag no matter what other gear I’m also bringing.