Photographer of the Month: Jennifer Dooley

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

I am so very happy to share the work of Jennifer Dooley, our August Photographer of the Month. She's a global traveler with an excellent photographic eye. We've featured her work on an unforgettable trip to Machu Picchu, as well as her beautiful photography book for moms. Her photos, as you will see, are incredible glimpses of humanity, nature, color - and make you want to travel there yourself, to get that peace, joy, human-ness. We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Jennifer about photography, favorite places to photograph, changing the world, and more. Here's what she had to say...



WE: How did you get interested in photography?

JD: I can say I discovered it during my travels. I was completing my Master’s and got an opportunity to move to the United Kingdom (Scotland) for a brief stint. I picked up a point-and-shoot and there was no turning back. Since living in Europe, I got the travel bug and have since devoted every ounce of my free time (and wallet!!) to travelling within Europe, South East Asia, Australia, South America, Canada and the United States with my camera.

I came up with the concept of “All of Us Together” for my photography effort, during a trip to Australia where they had a Melbourne photo exhibition. In the city centre, there was a giant photography exhibition with a picture of one person in every country around the world. The concept of connectedness really touched me and I said to myself that when the time was right, I was going to invest in a good camera and tell the story of my travel experiences.

Jennifer Dooley travel photos

I am in love with the concept of being able to share the people, places, and histories I encounter during my journeys, which are truly never ending. I am now spending my time living in Canada and Australia with travel back and forth and loving every moment of such an unconventional way of life. 



WE: How long have you been a photographer?

JD: If you were to ask me when I started to properly invest and learn about photography, it is just very recent. Last winter, I purchased a Nikon D3000 Digital SLR and a few lenses to go with it. I’ve been learning the camera and I set up my own website as well as social media pages. 

I am still an amateur and I’ve taken no courses but have had some wonderful mentors in my life. I owe a particular thanks to an amazing photographer, mentor and friend of mine Doug Springer, who has been a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Jordan Bower is another friend and inspiration to me, you can check out his travel photo activism work at Jordan was the first person to get me to really think about and define my vision and goals for photography all the while reminding me it’s about the journey, listening to your heart and not about the destination.

The rest has been getting out there and taking a risk. I’ve had ups and downs but I try and celebrate the ups and during the downs, have a good laugh, get up, dust myself off ... and forge on!



WE: What is your favourite place to photograph? Or subject?

JD: I keep finding new and exciting things to photograph, so it’s always changing. I love to get pictures of people who are living in pure joy. Some of my favourite pictures have been of local people and the sheer bliss they are experiencing: like the children in the Gili Islands (Indonesia) who accompanied me to check out the mosque one day: they were just full of positive energy.

Jennifer Dooley travel photos

Jennifer Dooley travel photos

Jennifer Dooley travel photos


I also tend to photograph spiritual experiences – a Pachama ceremony for safe travels to Machu Picchu during the Inca trail hike in Peru, fire dancers in Sanur Indonesia, or the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere just outside of Wollongong, Australia. 

Jennifer Dooley travel photos

Jennifer Dooley travel photos

Jennifer Dooley travel photos

Natural beauty is an interest ... those perfect moments in time where you get a butterfly resting on a flower or seagulls flying off the beach.

Jennifer Dooley travel photos

Jennifer Dooley travel photos




I also like to twist things to make metaphors for our daily lives. This one I like to call “road blocks in life”.

Jennifer Dooley travel photos




WE: How can photographers help change/impact the world, while they are travelling?

JD: The media often presents us with simplified stereotypes of other countries. A photographer can show the world that while everything has an element of truth to it, life is not nearly as simple as the stereotypes. We are all similar in so many ways – regardless of race, sex, gender, class, religion. We all laugh, we all love, and we all yearn for safety and friends. We all experience beauty in the environment we connect with whether it’s the snow falling on the ground or the waves crashing against the rocks. Although places and people are different on the surface, look deep within them and they are all actually similar.

One of my favourite past-times these days has been event photography for social causes. I recently did some work for the Ssubi foundation (, an organization dedicated to building educational infrastructure for underprivileged children in Uganda. From small fundraising events in Canada, we had a huge opportunity to make an impact on the lives of those all over the world. It has been some of the most rewarding work I’ve done to date.

Jennifer Dooley travel photos




WE: Are there rules in other countries people need to be aware of about who or what you can or cannot shoot?

JD: In the long-run it’s worth considering release forms if you want to distribute portrait photography commercially. This can be tough if you are travelling to foreign countries where the citizens don’t speak the language. Also it’s polite to ask before taking someone’s picture as you never know what the countries cultural practices are.



WE: Any tips you want to share?

JD: If you have a passion you would like to pursue, go for it! Be true to your self. I often read this quote from the well-known Dr. Seuss to keep me going: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter  and those who matter don't mind.” 



WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

JD: Check out my work at: and shoot me an email anytime. I’m open to talking photography, learning what I can from others, and getting involved in any way possible: jennifer[at]



WE: Thanks so very much, Jennifer! We are extremely impressed with your work.


All photos courtesy and copyright Jennifer Dooley