Why One Expert Photographer Values Empathy

Listen. Pause. Think.

Not necessarily the words of advice you’d expect from a father of two boys who balances his careers as a professional photographer and as an Interactive Director at Origin. But Rory Tucker is far from ordinary.

Rory opened up about his lifelong love of photography, belief in active listening and appreciation for playing outside.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Rory and I am a father to two wonderful boys living in the mountains on the west coast of Canada. I live a life mixed with creativity, outdoor adventure, and digital geekery. My background is in Fine Arts and I work in a Creative Agency in Whistler, BC. I love to play and be outside, whether it’s running, skiing with my boys, riding my bike on the endless local trails or camping, exposure to nature seems to top me up. Every chance I get I am constantly taking photos and sharing some of them on Instagram.

When did you become interested in photography? How do you balance work as a professional photographer with your work at Origin?

Early on. I bought my first SLR when I was 14. I was so proud of my Ricoh KR-10 Super. Over the years at Origin I have less and less time to shoot as much commercially as I did before yet I have a few key clients I still work for and I get to be choosy on what assignments I take on. Four years ago I started a daily photo practice taking at least one shot a day. Most of these photos are shot with my phone and it’s a rewarding activity that keeps me looking for and thinking about light, composition and capturing the beauty around me no matter what my schedule.


What’s your favorite thing to photograph? At what time of day do you enjoying taking photos?

My favourite subject matter is my boys. I love capturing life with them. I am a morning person and enjoy early morning light.

Tell us about your Instagram account. 

I love Instagram. When it first came out I saw it as just another app with filters. I basically ignored it for about 2 years but as it started getting more attention I opened it up again and started to dabble. After a while I started to see the value in the community and the positive and enthusiastic engagement there. This is Instagram’s real strength and why I think it’s a great place to showcase your photos as well as participate in the community.

What career advice can you give to someone in their 20s? What have been some of your secrets to success?

Listen. No matter how much schooling and experience you have, you can still learn plenty by actively listening to others no matter their background, perspective, education, politics, or philosophies. Empathy goes a long way in being successful. My key focus is User Experience, so an appreciation of other people’s contexts is key in my job but it’s an essential approach to life not just work.


Who inspires you?

People doing what they love. People who find reward in doing things that help others. My mom. My dad.

Tell us about your experience using

I jumped on early on as I am an early adopter type and a sucker for public betas. I saw value in using it as a hub for all my online ‘properties.’ Like Instagram, I am warming up to the social side and excited on the continue growth and addition of features. I can see the benefits for anyone whether it’s the only web presence you have or if it is the gateway to all that you do online.


Although Rory admits he’s only warming up to social media, he has quite a following already. Rory has over 28,000 Instagram followers and it’s not hard to see why. Rory shares beautiful nature photos and adorable pictures of his kids. Photo Pointers is a Facebook community Rory recently developed to share mobile photography tips, pointers, and how-tos.


Anna Lizaur is a Marketing Manager with She graduated from the University of Virginia.

4 responses to Why One Expert Photographer Values Empathy

  1. Lisa Richardson

    My friend and colleague – I have been sominspiredby your daily photo practice. It’s interesting to see the way a creative life has to flex and shift to accommodate parenthood – I admire the way you’ve seen the richness it adds, despite all the time it takes away. Thanks for sharing, Rory, and for the endlessly inspiring images.

  2. Rob Smith

    Hi Rory! Thanks for the presentation at the Squamish Public Library…It’s fun to be a clinician who works with listening, empathy and reflective action all day reading about the same qualities in a photography. Who knew that a clinician had skills generalizable to photography! You make the “stretch” seem natural now. In any event, I have questions from your presentation and wonder if there’s a back-channel way of asking them? Best wishes, and do return to the Squamish Public Library at some point!

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