On the Couch with Jason Edwards

Jason-Edwards-prepping-to-shootWho is Jason Edwards?
I’m a wildlife and natural history photographer with National Geographic for the past 21-years (ongoing). I was a zookeeper for 12-years specialising in carnivores and primates and completed my tertiary studies in Animal Sciences and Applied Science. As the face of National Geographic Channel’s Pure Photography, I utilise television and photography mediums to educate and inspire people about conservation issues, the environment, and indigenous cultures. I’m passionate about the Arts and I love Theatre. My favourite pastime is surfing with my son Will; the ocean is my great love but spending time with him in the waves is a gift.

Who inspires you and why?
My son Will is my greatest inspiration, and the most incredible person I’ve ever met. For me, Will is the embodiment of what Humanity should be; compassionate, interested, and interesting, generous, a fantastic listener, open-minded, determined, funny, enlightened, willing, and able. The list goes on. To see everything afresh through his eyes and to have him by my side is beyond my capacity for words. Taking him to the Serengeti was one of the most joyous times in my life. To have him there, in a location that means so much to me, was life changing.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I hope that the imagery I create and the stories and information I share make the world a better place.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My soul-place is the Serengeti in Tanzania. It sings to me in every way that makes me feel whole. I travelled and worked there for the first time as a very young man, early in my career. It changed who I was as a person and as a photographer. It wasn’t only the wildlife and species diversity, but the vast wilderness and wind dancing through the dry grass like ripples across the surface of the sea. My heart and soul belong to the Serengeti; to the freedom and being at one with myself that I experience there.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I live in the inner city and it’s always inevitable that we will walk to a nearby restaurant and bar for music, wine, and food. There are so many to choose from but Johnny’s Green Room for a drink and to soak up the city skyline is a favourite, followed by pasta at Tiamo’s and then a movie at the Nova.

What are you currently reading?
I always read several books simultaneously: Foundation series by Asimov; Beachcombing by Ceridwen Fraser; and Vamonos! in Mexico by Bernard Plossu. Various magazines on architecture and the natural world (obviously National Geographic is one of those)

What are you currently listening to?
My favourite possession is a 128Gb Ipod from 2005. I train in the gym with it every day and it travels the world with me on every assignment. It’s the longest, most travelled, and hardiest Ipod Apple ever made. Someone should tell them! It features music from many, many genres, and periods. From classical through to the latest hits I listen to what matches my mood and that constantly changes. However, I’ve never been into heavy metal it hurts my ears too much (and I’m a scuba diver and hearing tests are important). Or likely I am I just soft.

Happiness is?
Time with my family and surfing. A book with wine and world music lying on my red-velvet Conran sofa.

What does the future hold for you?
Miles and frames. Assignments and shooting stills are obviously a major part of my schedule, and I plan to produce more books. I’ll be doing more public speaking and hosting, and simultaneously start presenting again for my tv series sharing the wonders of the natural and cultural world. I’m also planning to build a creative space on the coast in regional Victoria. My next assignment is the Sub-Antarctic Islands between New Zealand and Antarctica and I leave in 1.5 weeks. Home for January and the beach, then I’m shooting World Heritage archaeological sites in 12x countries around the globe in February – March.

Jason is the author and photographer of Icebergs to Iguanas – Photographic Journeys Around the World, available to purchase from Jason’s website. For more information, visit: www.jasonedwards.co for details. Checkout a behind the scenes video of the book here!

Image: Jason Edwards (supplied)