Damian McGillicuddy

The Original “Baby Whisperer”


Known worldwide as the “Big Dog”, Olympus’ Principal Photographer and Educator may not seem on the surface to be the stuff that newborn photographers are made of. However, digging deeper into his 30-year career tells a very different story. Back in the days of film when he was learning his craft, virtually every photographer shot babies – it was a core foundation of all photography businesses and was a crucial skill to master and maintain. And while you may assume that the art of the “sleeping newborn” is new, think again; Damian won his very first Master Photographer of the Year title with a portrait of a slumbering baby… and believe it or not, that baby is now approaching 21 years old! While newborn photographic art is far from new to him, though, that was 1994 – and Damian doesn’t rest on his laurels, having spent the last two decades forging a truly unique position in the industry.
In addition to holding seven individual Fellowships he has tallied five Master Photographer of the Year and seven Society Photographer of the Year accolades, was the first photographer ever presented with a Double Masters Award and is the only Grand Master Bar in the world. What makes him prouder than his own success, though, is the success he has helped others achieve. In just four years he has trained and mentored photographers to a staggering ten Photographer of the Year honours; in the newborn world alone he guided both Tracey Willis and Karen Wiltshire to Photographer of the Year titles. Indeed, after convincing her not to give up photography altogether, in two short years he led Tracey through Licentiateship to Associateship and all the way to the coveted Photographer of the Year title. Between his pedigree and his burning desire to propel both the individual and industry forward, can you afford not to take advantage of Damian’s training and experience?