Trading air-conditioning for Instagram

2 min read

In 2011, Wollongong-based Will Patino was a 24-year-old air conditioning technician with depression. He had everything he wanted in life, including a nice house and a good relationship, but felt like he was just going through the motions every day. He felt what he calls "an overbearing sense of doom and gloom".

But then three things happened. First Will and his partner Renee set off on a trip to Europe, then he picked up his first proper camera and finally, says Patino, "something led me to download Instagram".

It was the beginning of a mutual love affair that has seen Patino become one of Australia's top Instagrammers, with a legion of over 112,000 followers, and a much in demand photographer delivering workshops and being paid to visit destinations around the world. He also has selective sponsorship agreements and has had images snapped up by the likes of corporate giant Apple.

One of Patino's trademarks is his magical capturing of light in his work and another is the honest comments he makes about his life alongside his images.

"I'm grateful for the whole experience of depression," comments Patino, who says he is now 95% free of the illness thanks to his work: "it's made me more sympathetic to other people."

"I didn't understand the significance of light at first," he adds, "but light in photos tells the entire story and is the point to look at."

Recent travels have seen Patino visit Yellowknife in Canada, Korea, New Zealand and Christmas Island, his army of followers growing all the time; and to cap off his happy progression, Will and his now-wife Renee, have a six-month-old boy, Judah, whom Dad may have taken an occasional picture of.

Patino's experience shows that taking even the smallest steps out of your comfort zone can transform your life and help set you up for the future of your dreams. To see some of his extraordinary work follow @william_patino on Instagram

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This information is current as at 17/08/2015.