An informal chat with conservationist Catherine Cunningham (Eikosphere)

Q: When did you begin shooting?

A: My father gave me his Canon AE-1 film camera for an Around the World study abroad program I participated in during my junior year at the University of Notre Dame in the 1990’s. How could one not fall in love with photography when one has the opportunity to experience and share such unique, colorful, culturally rich landscapes, people, moments in time? Over the years, my camera became my window into understanding better our natural world, my entrance into conversation with so many interesting people and communities, and my vehicle for exploring everything and anything that piqued my curiosity.


ESP-FH101-90 – Rugged peak in the French Alps

I am grateful for the art of photography and film to express my inner creative voice and capture meaningful moments on this life journey to share with others.


Q: What is your favorite subject to shoot?

A: I am compelled to teach through photography, so I am always looking for the image or collection that is going to educate us about a particular social, economic, or environmental challenge we face or new innovative pathway. I am fascinated by innovation and technology that’s next now. I am drawn to creative design, smart architecture, and urban concepts that are regenerative.


ESP-FH100-16 – An urban park in Panama City, Panama

I love to shoot dramatic, dynamic mountain landscapes…those where the light and energy that precede or succeed a storm just sets the film on fire. Perhaps these are my favorite also because I love those betwixt-between moments in life when we are passing through periods of great transition. I love to capture “Norman Rockwell”-like window boxes that reveal the character of a community & make a statement about the respective cultural landscape.


ESP-FH102-85 – A little girl in a pink cap plays in a snowdrift

I love to photograph individuals (people, animals, and plants) to somehow convey the unique miracle and beauty of each living being. This is the essence of Nature’s Reflection, my photography company, to reflect back the beauty of the natural world through photography.


Q: Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?

A: I have been a Canon-sponsored photographer (and would welcome the opportunity to be again); so shoot with and prefer canon cameras and their professional lens series. My favorite canon cameras are still the EOS cameras that produce full frame, high resolution raw images.   And as you know, I also have a Sony HDV Z series camera for shooting video.


Q: What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

A: I believe the culture and cause footage I’ve shot around the world is probably what is special and unique about the collection of my footage. I love the mountain photography and one of the latest shoots I did capturing the Iguazu Falls on the Brazil side and the Argentina side. I happened to be there peak waterfall, flood season…and as it turns out it was an exceptionally wet and lush year.


ESP-FH104-43 – Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina, from the Argentine side

Q: What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

A: Seek and Find what you love to shoot. Find your creative voice. Master your craft. Express yourself creatively in your art…. And slowly learn the business. Like any investment portfolio; have multiple streams of revenue opportunity open…then let them flow; and hope some will flood.


Q: What’s the best or worst thing that happened to you on a shoot?

A: I’ve so many experiences out in the field. This question is the theme for a book I could write one day.


ESP-FH100-03 – Families playing in a public swimming pool in Seoul, South Korea


Q: What is the one thing you wished you’d been able to capture?

A: I have always been drawn to Angor Wat in Cambodia; culturally that is probably my next trip. I absolutely must see the Himalayan mountains sometime soon in my lifetime.


About Eikosphere:


Catherine Cunningham

Catherine Cunningham, PhD.  Catherine has produced film, photography, interactive media supporting impact ventures & sustainability programs for companies, INGO’s, and governments through her boutique PR firm, Eikosphere. Prior to starting the Eikosphere.LLC, Catherine founded Nature’s Reflection Photography. Since 2004 she has traveled widely and photographed professionally throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.  Her 3D Short Feature; “Code of the Heart” won the Intl. Film Festival Best of Fest in 2011 & contributed to the President of Mexico’s successful Green Growth Fund. In 2009,

Eikosphere also premiered the Eye of the Future film at the UN Climate Change Conference (IMAX theater, Copenhagen, COP 15).  Capturing clean energy technologies and designs from different world regions, Eye of the Future has subsequently been translated into 4 languages and has screened internationally. The film was released on DVD for worldwide distribution through Cinema Libre in October 2011. Catherine has interviewed over 150 global thought leaders, shot stills and video in over 1.5 years around the world with 50+ local production partners and leading sustainability organizations, including World Wisdom, Future Horizons for the Biodiversity Consortium and Singapore Innovation, and Rework the World for the Taellberg Forum, the Danish Government’s Global Green Growth Forum, Norways’s World Environment Day, Poland’s Intl. Climate Change conference.

For the past 7 years she has participated in global impact leadership forums, produced stills and video content in over 55 countries with a focus on culture, lifestyle, nature. Her PhD is from ETHZ, Switzerland in ecosystem science.

Review Eikosphere footage here.