We had the good fortune of connecting with COOPER WESTERMAN and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi COOPER, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risks is the best thing I have ever done in my personal and professional life. I took my biggest career risk in March of 2021. I quit my job in rural Iowa and decided to start a photography business here in Southern California. It was absolutely terrifying. However, after the initial stress and fear wore off there was sense of excitement for the journey that was ahead of me. I knew what was on the line and there was no turning back. It was that sense of “do or die” that motivated and excited me every day to succeed.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My portrait photography business is early on, but it is something that I believe in thoroughly. I started Cooper Graham Photography in March of this year after one of the most difficult times for a lot of people, including my wife, daughter and I. We were living in the Midwest during the pandemic and I had been trying to get my photography business up and running while working in a production factory. After taking several financial hits and struggling to make it through the year we decided to make a change. I quit my job and packed a 26 foot moving truck, we set course to the West Coast. We were scared of what was going to happen, but we found a sense of calm in all the possibilities we were opening ourselves up to. When we got here I dove directly into work. Starting with family and solo portrait photography, I eventually expanded to doing band and concert photography as well as themed sessions where I get to dive into a world of creativity and fantasy. I get to really explore new techniques and styles all while working with some amazing people. People started to believe in me and support what I was doing. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, especially my wife. She is the strongest person I know and has encouraged me through some of my most difficult times.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a huge Disney fan, so it is a no brainer that I would be taking them to Disneyland.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Morgan. From the time that I got out of the Marine Corps I was a little lost in the world and she was always there to push me towards becoming the best version of myself that I can be. Morgan was the one that encouraged me to quit my job and take this leap. Even if I struggle to have confidence in myself, she is always there to keep me moving forward with reassurance of my strengths. She has provided me with every opportunity to grow and keep growing as a photographer, husband and father and I am eternally grateful to have her in my life.