Turning a passion into a career is often touted as the ideal lifestyle - spending your days absorbed in an activity that is truly engaging and rewarding, is for many though, hard to achieve.
Daniel Courtney is one of the lucky ones, or depending on how you look at it, the kind of person who has had the tenacity and indeed the talent to turn his hobby into a successful business.
It was in 2012 when he was living in Darwin, overlooking the harbour and all the daily delights that sunsets bring, that Daniel first began to photograph the landscapes before him. Captured by nature, he regularly took photos of his surrounds and soon began selling them at local markets.
His love for photography continued to grow and It was after receiving such positive feedback, support and accolades this self taught artist had triggered a new dream - to one day open his own gallery, providing limited edition, high quality photographs of the exceptional scenes he explores.
When he and his wife Amanda returned to Newcastle earlier this year they worked hard for months building a reputation and a catalogue of stunning artworks from the local area to continue to build the stepping stones to make his dream a reality.
“One of my favourite places to photograph is Darwin. But without doubt, Newcastle has so many rich and beautiful spots to capture,” he begins.
His work showcases some of the most spectacular places in Australia, depicting a visual feast of colour, texture, and natural wonders, some recognisable - others drilling into more abstract detail, but all exceptionally beautiful.
“I go out and shoot perhaps ten or so times a month but usually only end up selecting one or two of those for images. I produce a limited number of photographs, so customers know that what they are buying isn’t mass produced - it’s an investment after all and so it’s important that it is special.”
His work has earned him plenty of recognition too; he’s won awards, exhibited in various galleries and had his work featured across magazines and websites.
So, it’s little surprise that his dream gallery opened its doors inside Westfield Kotara on November 1, with wife Amanda at the coal face, Daniel’s work is turning the heads of homeowners and businesses in the region looking for something amazing to transform their space.
Prints are available in a variety of sizes, framed and unframed and include some stunning landscapes not just from Australia but Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Daniel and Amanda are thriving on the new role as gallery owners and curators and look forward to seeing more of his work don the walls of spaces throughout the Hunter and beyond.