About

Karen Willshaw, Australian landscape and underwater photographer specialising in photography from around the beautiful and remote coral atoll, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.  Through her photography, Karen is ‘bringing Cocos to the world‘ creating awareness of the Islands and showcasing their natural unspoilt beauty both above and below the waterline.

Karen Willshaw was born in Sydney, Australia. Her family moved to the Gold Coast when she was nine years old. Karen spent most of her adult life in southeast Queensland working as a receptionist secretary. In 1999 Karen met her husband who was living and working on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. After meeting Dieter, Karen and her young daughter, Kireina, packed their bags and headed to Cocos, embarking on the biggest sea change of their lives. Several months after arriving on Cocos Karen learnt to dive.  Four years later she gained her coxswain certification in order to assist her husband run the family dive business, Cocos Dive.

Inspired by the breathtaking beauty both above and below the waters of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Karen took up photography as a hobby using a simple point and shoot compact camera to capture the stunning marine creatures and pristine corals surrounding Cocos.  She soon discovered she also enjoyed landscapes and with the remarkable scenery of the islands went about showcasing the beauty to the world

Karen’s images, both above and below, have been commissioned by Australia Post for many yearly Cocos (Keeling) Islands stamp series, booklets, folders and postcards as well as being featured in several prominent travel magazines in Australia and overseas showcasing the beauty of the Islands.

Photography has not only increased Karen’s appreciation for Mother Nature and her ever changing moods but her awareness of the fragile eco-system as well not only above but also just beneath the surface of the ocean.  It has whetted her appetite to travel, capturing the local scenery and documenting the everyday lives of people, photographing that split second that was the present and only to become the past.

AIPP logo

In December 2011, Karen was accepted by the Australian Institute of Photography (AIPP) as a Full Accredited Member.

Karen is also a member of the Professional Photographers Association of Queensland.

Since purchasing her first Nikon D70s camera in 2006, Karen has been an active member of Nikonians, a wonderful community of professional and amateur photographers dedicated to sharing, learning and inspiring. In recognition of her dedication and willingness to impart her knowledge Karen was asked to join the Moderator team and now assists with duties on three forums including Underwater & Aquatic Life.