Jamie and Nick from Apertunity

Knowing Your Neighbours is a short interview series with some of the Centre for Stories’ lovely neighbours. Join us as we deep dive into their passions and explore their life lessons.

Photographers, Jamie and Nick, share an office located at the Centre for Stories. They started their photography and videography business Apertunity after realising they worked together on many projects already, and so, they may as well make something out of it. They’re work has allowed them to travel to some really interesting places and see some beautiful sights. In this interview, Jamie and Nick talk about their lives, their business, and the amazing places they have travelled.

Read more about Jamie and Nick below. 

Two friendly people smiling at the camera.

Jamie: My name is Jamie, I was born in the UK and moved over when I was about five. I’ve been living in Australia ever since, and obviously love the whole outdoors element of Australia. I guess that’s sort of driven us into the position we are in now, where we try to capture that for a living and try and get out amongst the elements as much as possible.

Nick: I’m Nick Cooper. I’m a photographer, part of Apertunity with Jamie here. I started shooting photos when I was about twelve years old. I got my first film camera from my dad. Instantly fell in love with it so I basically shot all through high school. Did anything that I could to get out and experience the world and just capture it in the way I wanted to. It was a great passion of mine. During my year twelve exam which were TEE at the time, I had really bad anxiety and stress during that, so made me drop the passion for it for a long time which was a bit of a shame. I stopped doing that for about four years. After that, I worked in the mines in the north-west of Australia and then I had the money to afford a camera. I bought a camera and got back in the industry and that’s when I went back to study, and I met Jamie. We basically went from there, and that’s where I am today. I’m a professional photographer and videographer now and I’m supported by Nikon which is a big achievement for myself. That’s me basically, in a nutshell.

How did you two end up working together in the photography business?

Jamie: We met at Uni, at the University of Notre Dame and we were in a lot of sort of different projects together. We both had our separate things going and we ended up working a lot for the Uni and getting each other in on projects. We were out one night shooting some stuff and we figured we do this all the time anyway; we may as well make something out of it. So yeah, went ahead. It’s definitely been a good ride and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

Nick: As Jamie was saying, we worked on a lot of projects together and then we decided to join forces and basically approach it together and it’s been a pleasure to work with him ever since and we’ve kicked some really big goals together and we’ve got a lot of plans for the future, as well, so I’m glad we did that.

When did you move to Northbridge and why?

Jamie: We first started working in Northbridge about four and a half years ago. We originally had a space in Mosman Park, but it was very quiet down that way and it felt very dead. We work really strange hours, so it’s nice to feel like somethings still going on. We would step out of the office and it’d be completely quiet, and nothing was happening–it’s almost like, “Oh, should we be shutting down ourselves and going home for the day or whatnot?” But when you’re in Northbridge it’s really vibrant, you’ve still got people walking around, something’s happening. You can sort of have a break in your day, step out and all the amenities are close. We do a lot of shooting around the city and that sort of stuff, so it’s a lot more central for us to make it out.

Nick:  I love the place, it’s a great place to work. Just the culture and to have such a hot-pot of culture in Perth and being able to sample so many cuisines, and there’s so many good places to eat, there’s so much good food around here. Not just that, it’s the night life as well, just the general vibe of the place is really cool. I think it’s come a long way since back in the day it used to be obviously noted as quite a dangerous place but I wouldn’t say that now. I’d say it’s really safe and a great place to work and to experience Perth culture as well. We’ve moved in here recently with the Centre for Stories and we love the community element here and we’ve felt so welcomed ever since we came which is nothing like we’ve experienced before. We’ve met some really wonderful people and I’m sure these relationships will develop from here and we can’t wait to get more involved with everything they do over there as well. They’ve obviously invited us to a few nights now and we’d love to go to our first one soon and we just love the culture and the place and wider Northbridge as well, so we consider ourselves really fortunate to be here.

Do you get to travel to places that you normally wouldn’t because of your work? What has been a highlight for you?

Jamie: Oh yeah, definitely. Look, anyone will tell you in an industry where travel is an option, don’t get into it for that reason. I mean, you get a lot of jobs locally and whatnot as well, but we’ve been lucky enough to travel for work. So, Nick’s been over to Iceland, we’ve been to New Zealand and we’re going to New Zealand again at the end of this month. We’ve been around the States and places in Europe, and obviously we’ve done shoots in Bali, that sort of stuff. It’s definitely given us opportunities both within Australia and internationally. Going to places that may not have been as high on the list or more a pipe dream, something to work towards. It’s always great when a client needs you somewhere. We’re always happy to travel for work so we do quite a bit of tourism stuff, which helps that side of things and whether or not it’s an automotive campaign, fashion campaign, or anything like that, there is travel associated with that.

Definitely, Oregon [was a highlight] for me. So, we did some stuff for a camper van company over there and we spent a couple of weeks just around Oregon and we went through Yosemite and all that sort of stuff. I guess I love being in and around nature and all that sort of stuff and getting the chance to do that for a job. Trying to make it down the 220 waterfalls that they’ve got around Oregon and just waking up in the middle of nowhere just feeling amongst it all, but then you drive twenty minutes and there’s a Taco Bell and a petrol station. So, it’s a lot different to here, it’s really hard to run out of petrol or get stranded, but aside from that you get lost in nature and that would definitely be my highlight. Speak to me in a couple of weeks and I’ll probably say New Zealand.

Nick: Many highlights over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing locations. New Zealand, I’ve travelled all throughout Australia to some really remote epic spots, I’ve been to the US, South-East Asia, but my favourite spot would be Iceland. It’s an amazing spot where basically I had two weeks there in a camper van and just explored around the place. It’s some amazing scenery and I think that was just before the Instagram ‘boom’ sort of kicked off there. It was in 2016 and just after that it exploded with popularity and you can see why, it’s an amazing spot and I was really fortunate to go there just before it got too busy.

 Do you have any funny stories?

Jamie: Look, I mean yeah. There’s lots of different ones so it’s hard to draw on to now. The nature of our work, no one takes themselves too seriously. You’re in a big group of people who haven’t met for the most part, sometimes you’re on repeat shoots with an extra photographer who you might not have worked with or might have worked with before or a director or something like that. For the most part, everyone is sort of got to get to know each other very quickly so that’s the way you get the best job done, really. Lot’s of different stories around there, we’ve had interesting things where we’ve lost drones in stupid ways, bits of equipment falling off the back of boats all that stuff. I mean obviously it’s not all losing stuff. You meet a lot of good people, and in that creative industry everyone’s sort of very bubbly and open to collaboration. Like I said, at the end of the day it makes the most difference, you might be working on a big job, but there’s very few egos involved. So, you can have a lot of good fun.

 Nick: Funny stories? Yeah there’s a lot of great things, I can’t pinpoint any particular ones but we have a great time when we work, and obviously we like to bring a bit of positive energy to the jobs we do go on where possible. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and I think that’s the beauty of working for yourself, you can be like that and still come across in a professional way but still have fun. But yeah, that’s the great thing about the job we do, we can inject a bit of energy into it and have a bit of fun which is bonus when you’re working as well.

Copyright © 2019 Jamie and Nick, Apertunity.

This story and corresponding images have been licensed to the Centre for Stories by the Storyteller. For reproduction and distribution of this story/image please contact the Centre for Stories.

This interview was collected by year-10 student Matilda Broomhall from The Kingsley Montessori School, as part of her work experience placement. 

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