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Radelaidians Doing Cool Shit #6 -Jack Brookes, Freelance Photographer


Radelaidians Doing Cool Shit #6 -Jack Brookes, Freelance Photographer

Laura Brain

Jack Brookes is Radelaide’s own freelance travel and lifestyle photographer. He’s just returned from a camping trip on the Yorke Peninsula snapping the beauty in our very own backyard for the South Australian Tourism website. We had a chat to this down to earth dude about his passion for creating awesome shots. 

  Innes National Park

Innes National Park

When did you get into photography and why?

I’ve always been into cameras and stuff, I grew up skating so I started off filming that, filmed a few jackass videos, and then from that I started filming more and more and making YouTube videos. I had a camera break and I picked like a new DSLR that could do video and photos, so it didn’t start at a particular time, I just slowly started picking it up more and more.

How did you get into taking photos for the South Australia Tourism website?

South Australia approached us - us being Lachy Riley and I, and they’d seen that we’d been going on a few different local camping trips and shooting a heap of photos and they sort of just wanted us to work on a project for them and pretty much just do what we do but at a place that they want us to do it at. They wanted to highlight the Yorke Penninsula so we went down there and spent four days camping and hanging out.

What was your most memorable experience or place during your time with them?

There’s a spot that the locals don’t really want you to know about. It’s this nuts rock pool over the far west end of Innes National Park and we’d seen it on Instagram. We thought it was sick and we had to try and find it. We hiked across this beach, over the rocks, and it wasn’t there so we were like 'we must have the wrong tide', but we kept going and stood up on this rock and there was this blue, deep rock pool and so that was easily the highlight! But the whole thing is just sick.

  Shell Beach Rock pool - the "secret" spot

Shell Beach Rock pool - the "secret" spot

What's is your ideal SA summer weekender?

Innes National Park is pretty good just because it's so close, but even if you have a day trip Second Valley and Deep Creek Conservation park are both awesome.

What is your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken and why?

Hard to say but my favourite would probably be on top of Roy’s Peake in New Zealand. We got up at 3am and hiked up this mountain that was 8kms of steep hiking in the dark. We finally got to the top just on sunrise and I’ve taken this photo of my mate walking out to the edge and it’s this nuts shot over lake Wanaka, on top of all the mountains. It’s probably a favourite because it sums up the whole New Zealand trip which was just a month driving around in a van.

  Roy's Peak, New Zealand

Roy's Peak, New Zealand

What’s the most difficult subject to photograph would you say?

The outdoor lifestyle stuff is the thing that I’m into the most, so anything outside of that I find challenging. Portrait stuff is pretty difficult to do really well, there’s a lot of people that nail it. Anything in studio is difficult, and setting up shots, I prefer things just to come naturally and be able to document them, rather than have to set something up.

Who influences or motivates you in your photography career?

It’s not necessarily photographers that motivate me, its more people that are out doing what they do and striving to be really good at it and working super hard to get there. Photography wise, probably Chris Burkard is an absolute guru, he goes all over the world. Also a Western Australian guy named Jarrod Seng is awesome and travels all over the place working with people, landscapes and just nails it.

What tips do you have for anyone that wants to take a professional looking photo?

I think the biggest one is getting out and going somewhere, you’re not going to be able to take a good photo from your couch. So just going somewhere and finding something that you enjoy taking photos of and work from there. Your phone is perfectly good enough to get good photos, its just about mucking around and testing until something works.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started taking photos?

Probably that no one wants to pay you for it (laughs). I don’t know, probably the admin side of running a photography business, there’s so much more to it than actually going out and taking photos. Now that I’ve finished uni and I’m trying to build that I notice it more and more, sort of emailing and invoicing and teaching yourself how to do it all.

What projects have you got lined up next?

I’ve got some stuff coming up with penny skateboards which will be cool and we’re going to be doing some more stuff with South Australian tourism so that will be a bit of fun. Just sort of seeing what else comes up.

  Along the Great Ocean Road

Along the Great Ocean Road

You can check out Jack's photos on his Instagram at @jackjbrookes or purchase them from 

All images via Jack Brookes Photography