Creating meaning and purpose through photography
For Jason Perry, moving to Australia from the United States wasn’t just for a change of scenery, but rather it was to find his purpose after 27 years in the US Marines.
Towards the end of his career as he was getting ready to retire and explore a life outside of what he had always done, he fell upon his old camera and discovered a new passion.
“I was at a loss with what I wanted to do with my life beyond the military, but I knew I didn’t want to go back to doing anything close to what I was doing there,” Mr Perry said.
“I had an old camera and I dusted it off one day and that was the start of it. I fell in love with landscape photography and then one day I saw someone had taken a night image and I was super eager to learn how to do that and take pictures of the stars.”
Moving with his partner and their dog to Australia in November 2019 after he discovered Photography Studies College (PSC) and drawn to its curriculum, Mr Perry hasn’t looked back.
The move has proven to be successful for his flourishing career as he has already been shortlisted by Australian Photography magazine for “Nature Photographer of the Year”, something he said “feels great” as he had been eager to get his work out.
Mr Perry is in his final semester at PSC, and he already has plans for what he wants to do, which will aid in helping support war veterans like himself.
“I have had a clear idea of what I want to do since before I got [to Australia]. My plan is to run workshops for veterans,” he said.
“In the workshops I want to teach veterans, specifically in non-profit, and take them out to teach my style and type of photography and night photography.”
“Nature and creating art for me has been a healing process after leaving the military and I want to share that and give other people some purpose and meaning in life.”
Passionate about healing being found through photography, Mr Perry has already volunteered with not-for-profit organisation Soldier On, taking out eight veterans to Kilcunda beach for a night of photography.
The event was in the works last year but was rescheduled six times due to the pandemic.
“It was really good to finally get it done and do it with people,” Mr Perry said.
Mr Perry’s work speaks to the concept of healing being found in nature, and his work Dark Tonic is an example of his passion for night photography and nature coming together.
“If you have ever felt a quiver or shake in your body due to the sudden excitement of witnessing something so infinite and grand that things run out of human control, then you have experienced the sublime,” he said.
“Looking out into these incredibly vast scenes and photographing them, I feel a sense of controlled fear that fuels my soul and heals me from within.” •