Inspiration from Canon Explorer of Light Parish Kohanim

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Bonus Archive: SL 071

Let's start with the end first. When I asked Parish Kohanim what advice he would give to a photographer who aspires to make a real impact, his advice was succinct.

"Listen to your own voice... Don't listen to people. They will give you a hundred different opinions that don't speak your voice... Your intuition is the most powerful voice that you could listen to."

That might seem like easy advice to dispense from a photographer with a resume like Parish has.

Parish has been a commercial photographer for more than 30 years, working on campaigns for many Fortune 500 companies whose names you might recognize. His work has appeared in ads in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Forbes, Time and many others. 

He has been a Canon Explorer of Light since 1994 when Canon launched the program worldwide. Parish was even summoned to Cupertino, CA, by Apple to help create their Aperture software.

But there were other voices — a famous fashion designer who told him to give up photography because he had no future in it. And his first college instructors who never liked anything he created. 

That kind of feedback could give even the most confident photographers second thoughts.

You know how the story ends. He proved them all wrong, but how did he get there?

Now let's take the journey.

 
 

In This Interview Parish Shares

  • How his background hiking with his parents shaped his photographic vision;

  • How he coped with early rejection in art school;

  • What he loves most about the creative process;

  • The lighting technique he learned from his cat;

  • Where he finds inspiration;

  • What he learned from impressionistic paintings;

  • How photography is similar to cooking;

  • How he found his Cirque du Soleil photo project; and

  • Why he chooses to be a Canon Explorer of light.