What are doing professionally?
After graduating from RIT in May of 1986, I started at North Shore Hospital in September of that year. Healthcare has changed dramatically since then and single hospitals are few and far between. Our department has grown and changed over the past 29 years. Presently, we provide photography and video productions working within the corporate office of the Health System. We are responsible for all the photography and video for the soon to be 22 hospitals and the over 60,000 employees. I now manage the three staff photographers including myself as well as the 20 or so contract freelance photographers that are needed to cover many photo assignments throughout the large geographic catchment area of the system.
A large percentage of the work we do is for Public Relations, Marketing and the Foundation. There is a small amount of medical and scientific work that comes up and we are capable of providing that service due to my training and my experience in the field.
I have been involved with the BioCommunications Association since 1983 and upon graduation, was very involved in the NY Chapter. For the past 10 years or so, I’ve held many positions on the national board of the BCA, presently as Director of Conferences. BCA has helped me greatly throughout my career and has built life-long friends and colleagues.
Early on in my career, I realized that I would be able to add on income by offering photography and video production services for social events. Many of my clients are staff who know me from the Health System and see me at various events there.
I started a production company called AC Video and Photography.
How has your education helped you after graduation, preparation for your first job, and in your career since?
My RIT education opened many doors for me and made my transition to my career very smooth. My first job in the summer of 1986 was at Brookdale Hospital, in Brooklyn, NY. I was hired sight unseen based on my RIT resume alone. When I went in for the “interview” I didn’t realize that is was not actually an interview, but an orientation. My work at RIT also aided me in acquiring the job at North Shore as the Director was also a graduate from RIT in Pro Photo, and had first hand knowledge in the Biomed program and the school in general. He had specific information of exactly my training and knew that I would be able to add a great dimension to the department with the Medical and Scientific photography training that I gained from RIT.
How you are using social media in your professional work?
The Health System is using social media more and more and still photos are a big part of that. They have a number of Facebook pages, as well as Pinterest and the internal and external website.
For AC Video and Photography, social media is key. I have a website, but most of my prospective clients view my work on Facebook at www.facebook.com/acvideophoto. It’s a great free resource and is very simple to use and very effective.
How has being a photographer helped you in other aspects of your life
Well, you could say photography is my life. Whenever, wherever I am, I’m searching and always looking for “that photo.” We work to be able to make images that effect people. Recently, my two worlds of photography collided when one of my brides had a brain bleed one month after her wedding. It was similar to a stroke. She was in the ICU at North Shore Hospital where I work. As a result of her brain injury, she lost her memory. The groom, out of desperation, took all the wedding and engagement photos and taped them up on all walls in her ICU room. As people walked in to care for her, they started commenting on the photos and talking about her wedding. The more this happened, the more memories came back to her. As she healed physically, the photos helped her regain her memory. Now she is 95% back to herself and feeling great. The story was on all the local news channels as well as our TV show, Focus on Health that is produced by our department. It’s a great feeling that the work you do can help someone, somehow, sometimes without you even realizing it.
Adam Cooper, RBP, FBCA is the Chief Medical Photographer with the North Shore-LIJ Health System. He started there in 1986. He is married to his lovely wife Elena for 29 years and has two sons, Joshua (26) and Evan (21). Elena and Adam love to travel on cruises. Adam now has a new great love of snorkeling and underwater photography. Elena understands the need for Adam to stop many times on their walks to photograph interesting subjects along the way!
Adam has been involved with the BioCommunications Association since he was a student at RIT in 1983. He has served as board member of the NY Chapter as well as Chair of the chapter. On the national level, Adam created a new national certification program in medical photography whereby modules of specific areas of expertise can be certified. The first area of certification is Total Body Photography for Dermatology. Presently, Adam serves as the Director of Conferences.
Adam attained his RBP, (Registered Biological Photographer) certification in 1991 and was elected a Fellow of the BioCommunications Association (FBCA) in 2006. He has won numerous awards in the national judged salon including Best of Show for “Unbreakable Bond” in 2009 (a big personal goal of his since 1983). As a student, in 1986, he won best student print and first prize for a color print.