Interview

Interview With a Photographer | Steffen Eisenacher

Where’s home?

For me home is Germany, but with having lived in Australia during my teenage years, I would call Australia my second home. 

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What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Definitely the arctic. I know, Arctic isn’t very specific, but I couldn’t quite decided between Iceland, Lofoten and Lappland. These place are so diverse and always look different during the different seasons. You can shoot the same place 4 times a year and it would always look different! 

How did you get started as a photographer?

That’s an interesting question. For me it all start with a passion for meteorology. I have always been interested in severe weather, such as thunderstorms since I have been a kid. At the age of 8 years I got my first very cheap digital camera and from there on my goal was to capture lightning. I remember when I finally scored my first bolt, I was smiling for days. To compensate the lack of severe weather in winter, my focus slowly shifted towards classic landscape photography! 

Want to know more about lightning photography? Check out our blog here

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I use a Canon 6D with the Canon 24-70mm f4, the Samyang 24mm 1.4 and the Samyang 14mm 2.8. 

For editing I use Lightroom, Photoshop and Starry Landscape Stacker. 

I don’t think there are any must haves. Up until 2 years ago I was shooting with a Canon 500D (you can get that used for less than $200) and a lot of the images you see on my feed and website are still shot with that camera. First improve on your photography, take the gear to the absolute limit and if there is absolutely no way around upgrading, then it’s time to do so! 

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Thinking about this now, I have always tried to keep my style, so I wouldn’t quite say I was influenced, but more inspired by the work of others. If I was to name some of them, it would be Micheal Shainblum (@shainblumphotography) , Jonas Piontek (@jonaspiontek) and Marc Adamus (@marcadamus).

Any top tips for Instagram?

2 things: 

  1. Stick to your style. I have seen many good photographers that started to adopt too much to the style that other instagrams are doing. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be inspired, but some people try to follow, what they think will make them most successful on this platform. Nothing wrong with being successful, but I can guarantee you that you won’t be happy, if you’re only doing what you do for the gram. 
  2. Interact, talk and collaborate. Don’t be afraid to reach out to big features pages, such as @canon_photos, if you have quality content on your feed! I, for example got my first ever feature on @canon_photos by sending them a DM. 

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I am always trying to tell a story with my images. The most important part in doing so, is to find a composition. If you want to know more on how you can achieve that, check out my tutorial on composition! (Here

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

Uffff.. that’s a good one. Sometimes I do get phases where my motivation is down and I don’t feel like doing much. That’s when it is more important than ever to get inspired. Usually I search through Google, Instagram etc. to find images that I would have loved to capture myself. My competitive self will then want to take a better shot than I had just seen. That’s kind of what keeps me going explained easy 

Are you a bathroom singer?

Haha not really, but I do have my moments where I just start singing. Also, I’m really bad with lyrics, so I often just make them up. 

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

As already stated above, it is most important to stick to what you most love. If you have always taken colourful images, don’t start to edit your images with whiteout sky, just because a lot of people are doing well with it. You’re giving up your individuality just in oder to get more likes. In the long run, people will always look up to people that are different, people that are individual, people that differ from the mainstream content everyone creates. 

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

I don’t really have any specific goals, I’m a person that believes that everything happens for a reason. I’m open for everything, and I’ll let my self surprise as to what my future holds. 

Any Questions for Steffen? Ask away ↓

Interview With A Photographer | Randy Haron

Where’s home?

Home is in the beautiful Central Valley of California- Fresno, CA.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

My favorite place thus far has to be London, England. The people, sights, and food are amazing!

How did you get started as a photographer?

I actually got started as a photographer in London! I was on a business trip and went for a photo walk with some local photographers. The walk opened my eyes to all of the amazing scenery I was overlooking before, and opened my mind to the creativity I was missing out on. I used to travel to various place and hardly notice the beauty that was right in front of me. From then on, I was hooked. I went home, bought a camera, and haven’t stopped taking photos since!

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

Right now, I am using a Canon 5D Mark IV. I edit with Lightroom.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

I am influenced daily by the creativity, passion, and uniqueness of my fellow photographers on Instagram. I am often scrolling through my feed looking for "inspiration". I love learning from my peers in the Instagram community.

Any top tips for Instagram?

My biggest tip has to be to communicate and collaborate. You miss every opportunity you don't take. Never feel afraid to reach-out to Instagrammers when you're in their neck of the woods- some of the best shots I've gotten have been with locals who were kind enough to take me out and show me their favorite places in their cities. Also, when people show you appreciation be grateful- I try to always comment back and reply back to anyone who takes the time to comment on my photos. If I inspired you enough to take time out of your day to like/comment on my page, I can definitely take the time to show some appreciation back.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Throughout my photographic journey, I am trying to challenge my audience to look for those little moments of beauty that often go overlooked in our day-to-day lives.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

I am motivated by those beautiful moments that I am lucky to be able to capture for my audience. I am also motivated by the joy and wonder that I bring to people’s lives through my photography.

Are you a bathroom singer?

I am NOT a bathroom singer— but I am a car singer, and a bathroom dancer ;)

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

My biggest piece of advice is this. Time is the most valuable thing you will ever have because you can never get it back. If you are lucky enough to have the time and passion for photography, do it! 

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

My near-future goals for photography are to complete my website, and continue to inspire my audience to look for those amazing moments in their own lives that would be perfectly captured in a photo.

Interview With a Photographer | Connor MacNeil

Where’s home?

I’m currently based between London, England and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

This is always a very difficult question to answer. I like so many places for lots of different reasons. Recently I’ve been returning to Japan and always loving it. I’ve travelled from the south of Honshu up to the wintery north of Hokkaido, but still a lot more to see. I love the landscapes, the cityscapes, the culture, the people, almost everything about it!

I was also in Bhutan recently and it was spectacular. The people are the friendliest I’ve encountered, and the temples and fortresses are incredibly majestic.

How did you get started as a photographer?

I didn’t travel much in my younger life, so at the start of my 30s, I decided I wanted to see the world. Instead of trying to coordinate groups of friends, I thought it would be easier to travel solo. Feeling that I might have times where I’d be bored on my own, I bought a cheap DSLR and gave photography a go to document my travels, just for my own amusement. I ended up enjoying the picture-taking and photography changing from being a side-project to the main purpose of my travels. After a few years of doing it as a hobby, I managed to turn travel photography into a job.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use? Any must haves?

I started off by shooting Canon. My first camera was a 500D, just to get me started. I then upgraded to a 5DII to reap the benefits of full frame. When I started to get more into landscapes and astrophotography, I changed to Nikon. I’m currently shooting with a couple of D810s. These are reasonably heavy, but most gear comes from decent glass and even if I went mirrorless, I’d want to use the same lenses, so I’m happy with my equipment choices now. It’s taken a few years to finally settle down with kit that I like and can stand the beatings I give it.

Here is my gear list:

  • Cameras: D810, another D810, backup D7000
  • Lenses: Nikkor 14-24mm, Nikkor 28-300, Nikkor 50mm 1.4, Nikkor 85mm 1.8, Irix 15mm Blackstone (for astro), Sigma 150-500mm.
  • Tripod: Currently a “Brian” from 3 Legged Thing, but it’s gotten quite broken over the years, so I’m shopping around to find a tripod sponsor.
  • Filters: Fotodiox Wonderpana circular 10-stop ND and polariser, Formatt Hitech / Lucroit 10-Stop ND.
  • Bag: F-Stop Tilopa. I’ve had this for many, many years, so It’s very battered, but still holding up. I’m hoping that F-Stop Gear will read this interview and offer me a new one ;)
  • Memory Cards: SanDisk. I’ve used these since I started photography 7 years ago and had great reliability.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

I’ve never really been into super famous photographers, perhaps because I’ve never really studied photography as a art subject or gone to many photography galleries. When I started, my two biggest influences were Dave Morrow and Greg Annandale. They are two good friends of mine and really got me into photography. I’ve admired the landscape photographer David Thompson for a while now. Again, we’re friends and he’s a fantastic guy, but he also has a real passion for the art and a beautiful editing style.

When I started to branch out and do a bit more editorial style for clients, my friend Dan Rubin really helped in guiding me about how to shoot for these, as it’s such a different mindset compared to landscape. For nature, I’ll stay on one spot for 3 hours and take 20 photos of the same scene. For editorial, I end up trying to capture all the angles and aspects and think about what a client wants, not just what I think looks good.

Any top tips for Instagram?

I think social media can be a slippery slope for a lot of bona fide photographers. They end up spending more time worrying about likes and how to ‘game the system’ instead of improving their composition or editing styles. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get likes online, but as long as you get them for posting work that you are happy with and have given your best to.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

As the photography started as a off-shoot of travelling, all I really want to do is how people the world and inspire them to travel. If they’re unable to travel for whatever reasons. then I like to show them some amazing places they might not otherwise get to see. If my images make even just one person realise how beautiful the planet can be, then I’ve done my job.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

It started as a hobby and developed into a passion. Maybe one day this passion will move onto something else, but right now, it’s still with photography. I have a plethora of countries and regions still to discover for myself, and even if I do all those, I have a back-catalogue of thousands of images to edit and release.

Are you a bathroom singer?

I’m more of a car singer. And by singer, I mean I shout a rough approximation of the lyrics as loud as I can.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Don’t try and force yourself. Don’t try and fit into a particular style that’s trending on social media at the moment. Shoot what you enjoy and edit in a way that excites you. All this will change over time as you hone your artistic arsenal, but you’ll end up with results that you love, and people can see that in your work.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

At the minute, getting some work is my only goal, as it’s been a slow start to the year. Thankfully it’s coincided with the same time as I have a broken finger, so it could have been worse! Location-wise, Africa and South America are high on my list.

Interview with a Photographer | James Suter

Where’s home? 

Cape Town, South Africa

 What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to? 

Niassa Reserve in northern Mozambique is close to my heart. It is like nowhere I have been before but with that said - there are many places that are high on my list - like Kruger National Park where I lived for 5 years.

How did you get started as a photographer? 

I was a game ranger / field guide working on a private concession for Singita in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. I wanted to document the incredibly wildlife I was seeing on a daily basis. The encounters, the interactions, all the moments that I was sharing with my guests. So I got a camera and did a short online course and just began documenting my journey as a guide.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

Mainly use Canon products, I also make use of a sony A7S 11.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot? 

I am a fan of many of the National Geographic photographers like Ami Vitale. I also am inspired by the work of Brent Stirton and David Chancellor. Steve McCurry and Paul Nicklen are incredible photographers whose work has had an impact on me. 

Any top tips for Instagram? 

If I am completely honest although I am a Photographer - I have never seen myself as this first and foremost. I am first a Guide and someone that has a passion for wildlife and conservation - this is what drives me and the photography comes in as a way to share this, to document what I experience and to educate people around the world about the plight of wildlife in Africa and to get people excited about our incredible natural world. I feel like this passion of mine has come through on my social platforms and I have been fortunate to travel to some amazing destinations which helps in terms of creating content. So my ‘top tips’ would be to share and post photographs that mirror your passion and that have meaning to you because this will come through and people will be drawn to it. Also engage - I feel this is important too - to engage with others and connect with the Instagram community especially in your field - so for me this would be wildlife, conservation, nature related accounts. Another tip would be of course sharing only your best photographs - don’t post for the sake of posting if that makes sense.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs? 

I am trying to share my passion for wildlife and conservation, hoping that through these photographs I will inspire others to get involved in the conversation, to help where they can. I also want to educate people around the world on important issues that relate to endangered species and conservation. I run a company, @blackbeanproductions that through film - documents conservation stories around the continent.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing? 

My love for Africa, the people, the wildlife and wilderness areas. The people I meet on the ground also motivate me - those that are working with communities in Africa, are part of communities and those that are doing amazing work protecting wild places and wild animals.

Are you a bathroom singer? 

Not so much a singer and these days limit the length of my showers due to the water crisis in Cape Town - so not really time to get creative.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers? 

Take photographs of those things in life that are important to you - your passion will shine through your photographs. Whether its something small or something big - photograph what you love rather than what you think people expect or want to see

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work? 

To continue  sharing untold stories from Africa and photographing the journey as I go… I would also like to do a long roadtrip with my family and new son Tom - and really immerse myself in this for a few months maybe a year - who knows!:)

Interview With a Photographer | Noah Ragone

Where’s home?

Home for me is Honolulu, Hawaii. I made the move from the mainland 3 years ago and haven’t regretted a day since.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

My favorite place I’ve ever traveled is the American southwest. This is why I’ve made I’ve made 3 trips already and about to make a fourth to Havasupai Falls this summer. There’s nothing beats the wide open road, the clear desert night Skys, and all the countless parks and places to explore. 

How did you get started as a photographer?

Photography for me started with hiking. Once I moved and got into hiking I loved taking photos on my iPhone and I really wanted better memories. I taught myself everything I know about photography and it’s been a hobby ever since.  

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What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I use a Sony a7rii so I don’t know if this question is applicable.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

My biggest influence has been Quin Schrock @everchanginghorizion. It’s his simplistic style to capture a moment how you would see it with the naked eye that really sets him apart to me and has inspired me to do the same.

Any top tips for Instagram?

The best advice I have for instagram is find your own style and don’t run with the trends. I would also say find the right balance from being able to post. Whether stories or photos, but never forget to enjoy the moment your in and don’t get too lost in your phone. There’s much more to see if we all just looked up more.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I would say the biggest thing I am trying to say with my photos and Instagram is there is a beautiful world out there and it doesn’t take much to get out and see it. I truly believe it’s important to not live vicariously through someone else’s adventures but go take your own adventure and make your own memories. 

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

My motivation to continue to adventure and travel is built on the belief that our generation does things differently. We no longer believe the 9-5 job is the only way to go because thats what our parents taught us. Or that we need to get settled down in a regular routine everyday for the rest of our lives. We now sleep out of vans, meet complete strangers through Instagram because we have similar interests, and most importantly were getting out there in our youth rather than waiting until retirement age because that's when were supposed to have all our free time says our parents. In short my motivation has ultimately come because I want to enjoy life now not later. 

Are you a bathroom singer?

No, I am not a bathroom singer never have been.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

My advice for a new photographer looking to make it a hobby or a living is to believe in yourself. I currently am not doing it full time but I do believe that one day I will if I keep on the path that I am going. Just find your niche and run with it. Lastly DON’T over edit! That was my biggest mistake when I was learning, but simplistic styles are the best.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

My goals for the future are to launch my own website  and to turn a hobby into an income. I really do enjoy the islands in which I live and I’d love to share that with visitors from around the world. 

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Interview With a Photographer | Uli Cremerius

1.     Where’s home?

Born and raised in Bonn, Germany.

2. What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Lofoten Islands.

3. How did you get started as a photographer?

Started with my best friend Marcel (@evolumina) when we were 16 years old. Tried some long exposure shots of New Year rockets, before I focused on Landscape photography.

4. What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I’m working with a Canon 5D Mark III and mostly with the 16-35mm, 24-70 and the 100-400mm. I like to shoot with zoom lenses, because the fixed focal length isn´t very flexible for shooting landscapes.

5. What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Chris Burkard and especially Andreas Kieling, an outdoor videographer from Germany who travels the world and gets in touch with the nature.

6. What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

That it’s worth to travel and explore different places on earth. It’s a greater value than partying every weekend and spending money for useless things. Every land has its own magic and you meet so many different people by traveling. 

7. What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

My dreams. My family. My friends.

8. Are you a bathroom singer?

Sometimes, when I forget to start Spotify before showering.

9. Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Just do what you want to do. Don’t listen to people dismissing what you do.

10. What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

Visiting Patagonia and Scotland, finishing my university degree.

Interview With A Photographer | Brinkley Davies

1.      Where’s home?

Port Lincoln, South Australia, a wonderful place surrounded by sea, wildlife and good waves J

2.      What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Ooh, that’s a difficult one, I have a few favourites, Big Island, Hawaii, is a favourite of mine, along with New Caledonia.

3.      How did you get started as a photographer?

I just started capturing my life, whether it was surfing, freediving, taking photos of my dog, and then also all the beautiful wildlife and landscapes I am surrounded with, it became a very fun past time, and now it is a part of my day to day life.

4.      What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I use a wide variety of equipment, and it always depends on what I am doing as to what I will use. In all my action sports, and freediving, I use GoPro Hero6, I also use GoPro Karma drone for aerials, as the 6 easily plugs into the gimble on the drone. For wildlife photography, I have used in the past a variety of Canon DSLR cameras, and also Nikon, and for all round travelling, vlogging, and ease of use, I love the Olympus OMD 10 M2 Mirrorless.

I love Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and am starting to learn the ropes on Premiere Pro, so that I can edit higher quality vidoes for my channels.

5.      What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

I have learnt a lot from being around photographers, seeing how different people use certain light and settings to capture a moment. The thing I love about taking photos is that everyone has a different vision with the image they want as the outcome. Some of my favourite photographers are Paul Nicklen from national geographic, and Shannon Wild.

6.      Any top tips for Instagram?

Be authentic! Tell stories, inspire, and educate others. Instagram has always been a platform I have used to share my world, my passions, what I am working on, creating, and what I am thinking about. In an online world that is saturated, being authentic is so important, sharing real world issues, and moments, results in creating a positive, inspirational platform for people to look at.

7.      What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Capturing times that sometimes words cannot describe, I love spontaneous experiences, which is why I always take my camera with me, you never know what you going to see. I aim to share a message through all my work, photography, videos, and social media, that is living a more environmentally conscious existence. By that I mean appreciating the amazing planet we live on, sharing educational material that influences people to protect wildlife and the planet, by making them fall in love with it, if they aren’t already.

8.      What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

The way that I feel when I know I am working towards things I am passionate about, working alongside people who are inspirational to me, people who I learn from, and are living their passions. I have been getting so much positive feedback in the past few years, from people young and old, who have praised me for my efforts so far, and it means a lot, some days, being passionate is hard, and when you have a support base, it always brings you up and makes you realise how far you have come.

9.      Are you a bathroom singer?

Absolutely! Bathrooms have a good eco, and sometimes it makes me sounds like I actually have an okay voice. Haha. I often belt out some of my favourite songs while I am in the shower, luckily our neighbours aren’t close.

10.   Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Start now, get yourself a camera, and go exploring. Once you start capturing things, you develop an eye for certain times, moments, expressions, lighting and I am still learning every day, and most likely will be forever.  Aside from all of that, its so much fun, and if you are having fun, that is all that matters.

11.   What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

I have a lot of goals, that’s is a very difficult question. I guess my goals at this stage are growing Balu Blue Foundation, and creating projects that are a voice for conservation, of wildlife, and the ocean. We currently are working on funding more fencing for Two Songs Sanctuary, where our little girl Bunji, is now. We are excited to expand this, and to gain more support for this project which we are so passionate about.

We have a lot going on behind the scenes and I am so excited to share these down the track.

Continuing to use my platform as an educational and positive way of portraying a sustainable message, to people of all ages, to love wildlife, keep our oceans clean, and get out and explore. Speak up for the things you are passionate about, there so much beauty in this world, and to not see it would be a tragedy.

In 2018, I look forward to a lot of free-diving, surfing, and spending days and months with wildlife, underwater and on land. Its looking like a good year ahead.

My New Zealand Experience | Giulia Gartner

My name is Giulia, I am a travel and lifestyle photographer based in the Dolomites in northern Italy. For the last six months I have been living on the road of New Zealand and now I want to share my experience and some photos of the trip. 

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Not everyone feels comfortable traveling alone and I knew that it would take a lot of courage, but after 19 years of living in the same village, I was ready to leave and go on an adventure, all by myself.

The decision of going to New Zealand is linked to my passion for photography. When I started out with posting my photos on Instagram, I connected with people from all over the world and learned about places I didn’t even know existed! I met a few people talking about that after their graduation, they went on a “work and travel” holiday to New Zealand. Travelling after graduating sounded like a good plan and going to explore and see incredible beautiful landscapes sounded even better.

My idea was to buy a van and live in it while capturing every beautiful corner of New Zealand. I booked a one-way ticket and the next thing I know was buying a 20-year-old van in Auckland. 

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The first week in the van was hard, I was scared and felt very insecure. What if I find no friends or what if, for whatever reason, my dreams fail? 

With the weeks passing, my anxiety started to settle. Photography and Instagram helped me to connected with many kiwi photographers, a lot of awesome people supported me and let me stay at their house, offered me food and a shower.

The best thing about the van life was that I was free, I could travel at my own pace and play by my own rules. Living in such a tiny space leaves only room for the necessary and it really made me realise that you don’t need a lot to be happy.

When you are traveling alone you have to be comfortable with change and you have to face  challenges. 

Your companion is yourself, so it's to you who has to shut those negative voices in your head and take decisions for yourself.

Many people think that traveling alone is super scary and unsafe, but with the right mindset and intuition you’ll be far away from any potential danger. New Zealand is generally a very safe place to travel. It’s not riddled with disease and doesn’t have any animals that can kill you. 

If I had to pick a favourite photo, it has to be the one I took the first morning when I walked into the Hooker Valley and New Zealand's highest mountain, Mount Cook, appeared right in front of me.

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The things that I was most worried about first, ended up being one of the greatest benefits and lessons of this adventure: when you have a dream or a vision, you just have to go for it. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it, no matter how silly or ridiculous your dream might appear to others, following your passion is the only thing that will bring you happiness.

For everyone who wants to travel and follow their dreams, there is never going to be a right time to leave your responsibilities at home and go on an adventure. I think all you can do is to find the courage and to just go. The memories of the adventures and experiences will last a lifetime. 

Thank you, New Zealand for being so good to me!

A big Thank You to my friends at @Canon_Photos for letting me share my story!

Find my work on Instagram @giuligartner or on my website www.giuligartner.com 

Interview With a Photographer: Suta Rahady

Where’s home?

I was born and live in Bali.

What is the favorite place you’ve travelled to?

So far, mostly I travel around Indonesia and I really love exploring East Java and some spots in Bali. East Java was amazing, there are many cool mountains, huge and beautiful waterfalls and less people know about these places. I went here with my friend @andybachtiar_ and definitely will go back to East Java.

How did you get started as a photographer?

Well, I started my photography in my last year of University, and I've loved hiking since senior high school and have continued at university but before I was more interested in enjoying the view and possibly taking photos with my phone camera. However, after I graduated I decided to buy my very first camera and practiced my photography skills from online tutorials, also from my friends like @jordhammond and @michaelmatti who I asked questions about shot and setting etc.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I use Canon EOS 6D at the moment, Canon Lens 50mm and 20mm, DJI Mavic Pro. For editing I use lightroom and sometimes I use Photoshop. I really love lightroom to edit my photos and most of my photos are edited in lightroom.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Since I really love nature/landscape and lifestyle, I followed people who capture a nature theme. There are so many people that influenced me that I can’t mention all of them here, but here are few such as @michaelmatti @danielernst @helloemilie.

Any top tips for Instagram?

First, post quality photo and try to post consistently on your instagram account. If you can do this, then you can grow your instagram account fast. Don’t ever try to buy likes and followers, if you’re a photographer why do you need such fake things? People will follow you if you share a great content.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I want to show in my photos how beautiful the landscape is out in Bali. Since I live there, I want to show the many beautiful beaches, landscapes, hotels and the beauty of our nature, culture etc. But I'm more focusing on nature now and most of the time I like to put a person on my frame to bring the photo alive. Sometimes it makes the photo more interesting and gives more emotion as well.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

I just love being out with nature, the feeling when you wake up at like 4am to see sunrise and when you arrive, no one is there! It just feels amazing! It's not just about the photos though but also the time you spend with your friends. I want to explore more of Indonesia and of course other countries as well. When you know what your passion is, it’s hard to describe it. I guess “when you know, you know”.

Are you a bathroom singer?

Of course! Haha I love to sing in the bathroom, but I don’t know if people want to hear my beautiful voice xD

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Do what you love, practice more and always listen to any tips and critics that come your way, it will end up making you even better. No one was awesome when they first started their photography skills! Just remember to keep practicing.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

Well, since I’m still studying my masters degree, I want to finish that first. Hopefully that will be this year. Then I'm planning on visiting more islands within Indonesia, as well as exploring South East Asia. Additionally, I want to improve photography skills, not just focusing on nature but also other things in photography with the ultimate aim to live as a full time photographer and traveler.

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Interview With a Photographer | Callum Jackson

Where’s home?

My home town is Adelaide, South Australia. I have lived there for 20 out of my 22 years.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

There are so many incredible countries and cultures around the world, each with their own unique landscapes and people, which makes it hard to choose an absolute favourite as there are so many factors to consider! But I would have to say Vienna, Austria has stood out to me the most on my travels outside of Australia so far, the city is full of incredible architecture as well as friendly people and amazing food!

How did you get started as a photographer?

I have always had an interest in photography, which began at a young age with a cheap disposable camera taking photos of random things around my house and garden, and has stuck with me throughout my lifetime with my phone camera and eventually the DSLR I bought a few years ago. I think for me, I sometimes found it difficult to communicate all of my thoughts and feelings verbally, so photography has been a means of communication that has allowed me to express the exact feelings, and emotions that I want to convey in ways that words just couldn’t.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I currently shoot with a Nikon D750. In terms of lenses I currently use a Tamron 15-30mm f2.8, Sigma 35mm f1.4, a Nikon 50mm f1.8, and a Tamron 70-200mm f2.8. For editing I mainly just use Lightroom as I find it does everything I need it to, and it’s easy to navigate through. I don’t think there are any must haves as no matter what gear you use, it is always possible to achieve good images if you know what you are doing, however better equipment will allow you to increase the quality of your images to a more professional standard if that is what you are aiming for.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Chris Burkard has been a strong influence with his amazing adventure and landscape photography, and Zach Allia has been an inspiration with his portrait work. But there are so many great photographers to be inspired by out there, especially on Instagram!

Any top tips for Instagram?

As I mainly shoot with the intention of using my images for Instagram, apart from some client work, I try to shoot vertical as often as possible as vertical images take up the most real estate on Instagram. I find they are much easier for people to look at than horizontal images, which often leads to a better engagement. Many Instagrammers try to stick to a tone theme for their account to increase engagement, however I don’t think that is always necessary and I find that by doing that, you can sometimes limit the potential of an image by only using certain tones to fit your feed when the image may look much better another way. So with my feed, I don’t have a specific tone theme, but rather try to make each image look the best it can, whether that is in a colour theme similar to other images on my feed or not.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Through my photography, I try to create a feeling of wonder and awe for my followers in each of the images I upload, and try to show each place I visit in a unique and creative way to make others want to visit those locations.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

I always love to challenge myself with photography, and knowing that every time I go out to shoot, I will get something different, even if I go to the same place on a different day is something I find fascinating. The uncertainty of what I will find when I go somewhere is what excites me and drives me to keep doing what I’m doing. It is also great to hear from other people that they are enjoying my work and that I have inspired them to get out more and see more of this amazing planet we live on.

Are you a bathroom singer?

I do sometimes enjoy a good song or two in the bathroom, however the location is irrelevant for me. When I feel the need to sing, it will happen no matter where I am around the house or car!

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

My advice for those just starting out is to continue to do what you love with photography, but don’t force yourself to. If you find after a while you are not enjoying shooting certain things, don’t keep doing it just for the sake of an Instagram post or because you think others will like it. At the end of the day you need to enjoy what you do, and if you work hard and persevere in what you love, you will eventually find some level of success with it.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

I would like to continue to develop my skills in photography in the future by shooting regularly and experimenting with different ideas and concepts. I hope to continue having photography take me to more incredible destinations around the world as there is so much out there to be seen and explored!

Interview With a Photographer | The Outbound Life

Where’s home?

The windy city - Chicago - home of the the best pizza ever, the Cubs, and the brutal kinds of winters that make you constantly question why you live in the Midwest.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Probably British Columbia. You feel like you’re visiting Narnia, and everyone has good manners.

How did you get started as a photographer?

It was perhaps a bit reverse for Kody and I. We started by getting into filmmaking with dslr cameras, after a while, we realized that the same principles could be applied to photography and we’ve been hooked ever since.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

Our camera equipment totally varies from project to project. For larger budget documentary work, we might use a RED camera, or a variety of Canon cameras ranging from their C line cinema cameras down to perhaps our current favorite, the 1dx Mark ii. For lower budget run and gun projects, we stick mostly with a canon 5d mark iii and a sony a7s ii. We edit video in Premiere pro, and photos in lightroom. My must have for photography is a good sturdy tripod, for video I always keep a glide cam by my side.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Mainly photographers who I see pushing the bounds of modern day exploration. Guys like Jimmy Chin, Renan Ozturk, and Chris Burkard. Chris taught me the concept of suffering for your craft. As I’ve gotten to know him better in recent years, I’ve learned that being the best artist really comes down to being the best human being possible - things like knowing your values and having them shine through everything you create, or simply being someone who is pleasant to work with.

Any top tips for Instagram?

Understand your niche and stick to it. Don’t post a scenic picture one day, a selfie with your grandma the next, and a shot of your starbucks vanilla bean frappacino the next. Keep it simple. People want to follow someone who is an expert or inspires them in one narrow field.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Everything Kody and I create is done with the goal to bring hope to others. I hope that our imagery in combination with captions encourage others to reach a little further in life.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

I believe we all can have an incredible impact in this world. There’s a quote that’s really stuck with me lately. “If you bring forth what’s within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don’t bring forth what’s within you, what you don’t bring forth will destroy you”. It’s easy to hold back the creative genius inside of you, the path of least resistance typically wins. By leaning into my fears, and in turn giving birth to the things I imagine, I hope it can in some way inspire others to do the same.

Are you a bathroom singer?

Oh gosh, Lord knows I am. Shower singer, car singer, you name it.. Sometimes I just need a little Les Miserables encore to brighten my day (and potentially ruin the days of those trying to concentrate around me).

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Go out and make as many mistakes as you can. Follow your curiosities and learn from them. Everyone who is regarded in their industry today was once an amateur. Enjoy the ride!

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

To continue spreading our message to impact as many people as possible. There’s a video series we’re going to announce soon. All I can say is I’ve never been more excited about anything in my life. Stay tuned, it’s going to be crazy :)

Please let us know what you think of this awesome interview! Just leave a comment below.

Interview With A Photographer | Jordan Robins

Where’s home?

Jervis Bay, a small coastal town located on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

The Great Barrier Reef, with its tropical climate, numerous coral atoll islands, crystal clear water and rich biodiversity of marine life, it is the perfect place for underwater photography. Days here are spent immersed in the warm waters surrounded by Sea Turtles, Manta Rays, Reef Sharks and tropical fish species, it is basically a real-life aquarium.

How did you get started as a photographer?

I have always had an appreciation for photography especially underwater photography. During my teen years I worked at the local dive store as a scuba dive guide. On each dive, I would take my GoPro with me capturing images of the beautiful underwater world that lies beneath the ocean’s surface.

On the dive boats, I would always admire the underwater photographers with their crazy, oversized underwater camera set ups which made me dream of one day being an underwater photographer.

It wasn’t until my 21st birthday when my parents were kind enough to gift me with my first DSLR camera. At the time, I was studying a marine science degree at the University of Wollongong and with little to no idea on how to use the camera I took up and introduction to photography subject. This subject taught me the basics of photography and is when the love and passion for photography really begun.

After months of tireless working and saving, I had saved up enough money to purchase an underwater housing for my camera.

I have now been shooting in the water for the last three years which finds me where I am today specialising in underwater and ocean wildlife photography.

My favourite style of image to capture is the “over under” which is a style of underwater photography where you can see above and below the water, captured in a single exposure. My favourite time to shoot “over unders” is on sunrise or sunset, capturing atmospheric skies paired with the marine life lurking beneath the water’s surface.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use? Any must haves?

I currently shoot with a Canon 5d MK 3. Lenses in my kit include 16-35mm f/4, 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye, 50mm 1.4.

For my underwater photography, I have my camera enclosed in an AquaTech water housing, with an 8” dome port.

For underwater photography, the 8-15mm f/4 fisheye is a must have lens. It is the perfect lens to shoot ultra-wide seascapes and shooting “over under” images, an image where you can see above and below the water. For shooting “over unders” an 8” dome port is a must have in your kit.

Having strobes or an underwater flash is highly recommended to help bring back colour especially if you are photographing deep below the water’s surface. Strobes or an underwater flash is also a must have if you are shooting “over unders” in low light, such as on sunrise or sunset.

I often take a white balance card with me when I am shooting in the water and take reference shots to get the correct white balance when editing.

My editing is absolutely minimal, I try my best on focusing to capture everything in camera as I would rather spend my time in the ocean, not in front of a computer screen.

The software I use is Adobe Camera Raw, which is basically the same as Adobe Lightroom.
Full List of Equipment:
- Canon 5d MK 3
- Canon 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye
- Canon 16-35mm f/4
- Canon 50mm f/1.4
- AquaTech 5D3 Elite Underwater Housing
- AquaTech 8” Dome Port
- AquaTech PX-30 Port Extension
- Canon Speedlite 580EX II
- AquaTech Speedlite 580EX II Flash Housing
- 2x Inon Z240 Strobes

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Ocean wildlife photographers Paul Nicklen, David Doubilet and Brian Skerry have had the greatest influence on my photography. They have been at the top of the game for such a long time and document the incredible raw beauty of the marine environment like no one else and are all such great advocates for ocean conservation.

Any top tips for Instagram?

In this day and age Instagram is a great tool for getting your photography out into the world to be seen and is also a great tool for meeting and interacting with likeminded photographers. Collaborations with photographers who shoot a similar style to you is always a great idea and can help develop your photography further.

Post content that you are passionate about that expresses you’re creativity as an individual. It is also important that we don’t get too caught up in thinking that having a big following and getting thousands of likes means someone is a good photographer. Some of the most successful photographers I know aren’t even on Instagram. It is always a good idea to put the phone down for a moment and enjoy the true beauty of the world through our own eyes, not through the screen of your phone.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

With my underwater photography, the key message I am trying to communicate is for individuals to become more aware of the marine environment and to make more environmentally conscious decisions that will help to reduce their impact on the marine environment.

The ocean provides me with so much enjoyment and I want to make sure that we can protect it so that it is there for future generations to enjoy as much as I do. With my underwater photography, I also want to share my experiences I have in the ocean with people who may not live near the ocean or have never had the chance to explore the beauty of the underwater world.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

For me the ocean is a place where I am relaxed and at peace, free from the stressors of day to day life. When I am out shooting in the water I am truly present in the moment. Each time I step foot in the ocean there is always a great sense of excitement as you never know what marine creatures you might stumble across. This sense of excitement is what keeps me motivated as I want to be there in the water with my camera ready to capture that special split-second moment when it occurs.

Are you a bathroom singer?

Not much of a bathroom singer I am more of dance around the house in my undies kind of guy.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

My best advice is to go for it and pick up a camera and shoot at every possible opportunity you get, as you never know when that special split moment might occur and you want to be there with your camera in hand, ready to capture it.

Photograph something that you are passionate about and develop a style of photography that reflects your creativity as an individual. Don’t be afraid to experiment or try something different as there are no rights or wrongs with photography so you can get as creative as you like.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

My main goals for the future is to keep evolving the way I shoot in the water and to try to create unique images of the marine world as I see it through the lens of my camera. I intend to do a lot more travelling to some less travelled to locations to try and capture something different.

The main goal I am working towards is to be able to one day call myself a full time underwater photographer.

Interview With a Photographer | Richard Bacon

Where’s home?

Bend, Oregon.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

I haven't done much extensive traveling since the Pacific Northwest still feels relatively new to me and feels like a place you can explore for a lifetime. I was able to spend some time up in the Olympic Peninsula this year, and it was an incredible place. I'd love to explore some lesser seen locations across the U.S. this next year.

How did you get started as a photographer?

Growing up, my whole world was skateboarding, and that translated into making skateboard videos. When everything started switching to HD, I picked up a DSLR and realized I enjoyed shooting photos more than filming. Once moving to Oregon, I was blown away by the beauty around me and my wife and I spent most free time exploring our new backyard. Seeing so many incredible places made me want to document it, and over the last several years I started taking it a bit more seriously. 

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I currently use a Canon 5D Mark III, and my lenses are a 16-35mm f2.8 wide angle, a 70-200mm f4 zoom lens, a 50mm f1.4, and a 8-15mm f4 fisheye. I pretty much only use Lightroom for editing images. As for a must have, since I enjoy shooting astrophotography, having the 16-35 that goes down to f2.8 is critical. It's a great all around lens and the one I am using most often. Also, having a Peak Design camera clip on your backpack is a great way to always have quick access to your camera while hiking.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

I have a lot of favorites, and their styles are quite different. Benjamin Everett's images are some of the most intriguing scenes I've ever seen. His eye for compositions and how he captures layers in his work is beautiful. Donald Boyd is someone I respect a lot for his work and using his platform for good. He's an awesome voice for conservation and captures incredibly powerful images of wildlife. I've been a big fan of Scott Kranz's work for a long time, and Anthony Acosta is one of my favorite skateboard photographers. Since there's so many talented photographers these days, I have the most respect for people who are using their talents and following to bring light to worthy causes.

Any top tips for Instagram?

I have a love/hate with Instagram because while it can be a great way to be inspired and share your work, it can contribute to you becoming numb by seeing such a high volume of strong photography day in and day out. It can definitely open doors to photo work and exposure, but I think it's good to be aware of the fact this it still is a free app that might not even be popular in the next few years. In the past I've focused too much on the numbers, in terms of likes or followers, as some measure of success, which is silly. Like anything, I think balance is key. You should put effort into it because it's a platform to share your work to the world, but consider it as one of the pieces in your overall brand. I do think it's a great place to meet other people and photographers. When my wife and I moved to Bend, some of the first people we met were through Instagram and they are still some of our best friends to this day. It is, at the end of the day, "social" media!

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I often ask myself this and saying that I'm sharing the beauty of the world with others seems cheesy. Since exploring the mountains and outdoors is a somewhat new experience for me, I still feel some compulsion to just be documenting the new places I'm exploring. I also think just getting out and trying to find creative compositions and learning new ways to shoot is a positive way to grow. It can feel like a selfish endeavor sometimes, but hopefully when people see my photos, they'll want to transport themselves to that place or be inspired to get outside. 

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

The fact that there's so much of the world to see and I've only scratched the surface of one small pocket in the Pacific Northwest is a big motivator. I also would love to get into different areas of photography. There's so many different subjects and approaches to taking photos and I don't want to limit myself to being just a landscape photographer. I would love to shoot more winter and outdoor sports, and just document awesome people doing rad stuff. Central Oregon is host to some very talented athletes, so coming beside some of them to document their passion is something I'd love to grow in.

Are you a bathroom singer?

I would say more of a hummer than a singer in the shower. When I'm in the car though, I'll let loose. It's nice to have that background vocals to cover up what your voice really sounds like.

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Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Do it for the right reasons. It's weird for me to give advice since I don't really consider myself a professional photographer since it's not my full time job, but as a part time freelancer, it's definitely a tough grind. I see a lot of people that all of a sudden get a big social media following or have some initial success and immediately want to quit their job and try to become a full time photographer. Not that I'm against chasing your dreams, but it's good to realize all that goes into shooting for a living. I would say focus on improving your craft is the number one priority starting out. I'm always looking back on old work and cringing at how I edited an image or how it was shot. I still have a lot to learn, but also recognizing improvements and being able to take pride in your work is important. Find people who are better than you and learn from them. Also, maybe you just want to occasionally snap some photos here and there without the goal of becoming a "photographer," and that's totally fine as well. Whatever amount of effort you want to put into photography is up to you.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

As I previously mentioned, I would like to branch out to some new areas of photography and grow in my craft. I'm hoping to shoot a lot of backcountry skiing and snowboarding this winter, which I've only done a little of. My knowledge of photography is self-taught, so I often feel I'm lacking in certain technical aspects. Learning to shoot in a studio and with flashes is something I have very little experience, so that's on the list for sure. Overall, photography for me has been a huge motivator for me to be outdoors, so I look forward to the new places it will take me. I also want to be mindful of the moment at hand and not always be snapping photos, which I'm sure many of you can relate to. 

Interview With a Photographer | Wahyu Mahendra

Where’s home?

I grew up in Denpasar, the capital city in Bali. I just need to drive my scooter for like 10 minutes to watch sunrise at the beach.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

In Indonesia? Definitely Flores! I did a solo trip to Komodo National Park, it was amazing. It changes my life and wanna travel more and more.

How did you get started as a photographer?

When I was in Senior High School in 2010, I signed up facebook, and I found so many local landscape photographers. I was curious how they made beautiful photos with camera. They inspired me to buy my very first camera, canon eos 550D.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I shoot with a canon 5D mark iii and DJI Panthom 4. I have three lenses, sigma 24 mm f/1.4, canon 85 mm f/1.8 & 75-300 mm. I started editing in photoshop when I was in High school then learned lightroom one year ago. So, basically I edit in photoshop & lightroom.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

@helloemilie. I love minimalis photograph and colorful. She has different style from other photographers on Instagram. I love stalking other photographer’s feed, I will screenshot if I find something different like angle or new places. Mostly self taught.

Any top tips for Instagram?

Keep posting and learning from other people. The good thing about Instagram, we can meet cool people and learn more. So, don’t be afraid to be friend with other big photographer.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Story & Feeling. Not all people can travel like me. I want people just be inspired by my photographs. I want people have a same feeling like me when I post a picture, be happy even just see my picture.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

Support from my followers and family. We just live once, and I don’t want to waste my life.

Are you a bathroom singer?

Yessss. The cheapest way to make yourself happy.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Keep doing everything you want, make your work different. It’s good to following and copy paste
any styles of photographer, but make your own style is more important.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

NZ, Japan, Europe and a beautiful girlfriend who can be a perfect model for my photo & video xo.

Interview With a Photographer | Pie Aerts

Where’s home?

In Amsterdam. Although I was born in a little Dutch border town right between Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. One of the flattest corners of our planet with the highest peak counting 322 meters. So that probably explains the urge to seek higher ground in the mountains years later. 

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Hands down India. The sensory overload, the color clash, the cacophony of sounds. The soul of that place really is one of a kind. It's so timeless. For some reason every square inch feels so connected to its most distant past. Whether its the sari's the people still wear, the ancient cuisine they still adore, the many beautiful dialects that still exist or the gods they pray to at roadside shrines or in impressive temples. And then there's the people. Their friendly, intense, strange but - after all - welcoming spirit is unique. 

Sigh. 

Time to go back.

How did you get started as a photographer?

Being a kid there was nothing I loved more than drawing. While others played video games or rode their bikes, I could lock myself in for hours with pencil and paper. It definitely taught me to use my imagination and create stories within the four edges of a canvas. 

However, after receiving one of my father's analog camera's when I was a 16-year old, I instantly dropped the pencil and it was photography that became a more fitting medium for me. I guess it was the convenience and the use of light that struck me most. The rest is history, I never dropped that camera anymore. 

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

You're not the first person posing that question haha. You know, nowadays it's fairly easy to shoot 'technically perfect' images. Cameras became so good they're almost foolproof and the possibilities in post-production are endless. 

However, it's much more difficult to elicit an emotional response from your viewers, by injecting a certain amount of visual energy, emotion and uniqueness into an image. And I belief that's the power of picking up a camera each day - saying YES to creativity. 

But let's unzip my backpack. I'm a Canon photographer and always will be. For that reason I'm currently shooting with a Canon EOS 5d mark III. I always carry lots of glass. Pain in the back but worth it. For wide angle I work with a 16-35mm f/2.8 USM II. Than I deal with 2 main primes, Canon 35mm f/1.4 and Canon 85mm f/1.2. Last but not least, I always carry my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8. Working with animals I can't refuse bringing the 100-400mm f/4.5. My most recent purchase however, has been a Fujifilm x100f, a perfect camera for street photography and less than 1/10th of the weight of my entire Canon set. Perfect addition to the family. When it comes to software I'm a Lightroom only customer and will try to keep it like that. 

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

Ever since I was a young boy I've always been fascinated by the work of Steve McCurry and Sebastiao Salgado. No day went by without losing myself in one of their books. Their spirit for storytelling and strong sense of human dignity made me live and travel around China for a few years at the age of 21. That time is really where storytelling became a significant part of my life. Some other photographers that really shaped my sense of storytelling, all in their own unique way, are Annie Leibovitz, Joel Meyerowitz and of course the legendary Frans Lanting. 

Any top tips for Instagram?

It's an amazing platform that gave me an audience to showcase my work to the world and I'm very thankful for the people I met through the great community it created, but my advise would be "don't bother too much about it". I sometimes feel like growing on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly. 

And try to do things differently. In a world full of visual overload I think it's crucial to stand out. No one else sees the world they way you do it, use that. But never forget that the camera is only a small part of the experience. It's great for capturing, preserving and sharing memories, but always remind yourself to enjoy the present moment, not solely through your screen, although the fast rise of social media tries to make you believe it's all about likes & followers. 

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

When someone asks me why I take photos, I could come up with many answers like the value of beautiful memories, the play with light, or the desire to create frames that the viewer can be drawn into. All true, but to be honest, there’s only 1 real reason for me and that's connection. Real connection. With humans, with animals, with landscapes. So wether it's connecting with the viewer through a certain sense of adventure in my outdoor work or a pure sense of connection through the people or the animals I get to meet. But what really strikes me most, is working with strangers. There’s something very strange and touching about that, something I can’t get enough of. Especially in a world that's so guarded and fearful, nothing is more beautiful than individuals that are willing to show their soul. To show you the simple, imperfect but mysterious nature of being human. 

As a result I started a second account, that's showing a totally different style of photography than you're used to see from me. A body of work created long before Instagram existed. Stories about real people gathered in 10+ years of travel. You'll find it at @because.people.matter.

Expect more of this line of work in the future because many times in photography it’s not the grand scale or epic nature that grabs me the most, but rather the small details that would normally go overlooked. 

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

First of all, when I'm photographing, I'm all in, I feel alive. The energy that's released when picking up a camera is so intoxicating and irreplaceable. One of the coolest things about that feeling is that it puts you in a mental state of searching for beauty. A constant quest for pretty things. Perhaps it’s that pursuit of visual elegance that triggers me most.

Secondly, the fact that I'm a true believer that the biggest threat to this planet is the belief that someone else will save it. So being a photographer, I nowadays feel the urge more than ever, to be the voice of our planet. 

Every piece of rock was already on this earth long before I was born and will be here long after I'm gone. That feeling puts things in perspective. And even though my voice is only a little voice, seeing that more and more people appreciate what I'm doing, keeps the engine running. And as a matter of fact, in the end, it's not about the impact a single contribution but about the sum of all those mini-changes taken together and I couldn't be more happy to play a role in protecting our environment for future generations. Because in order to protect something and care about something, you first gotta love it. And to be able to love something, your first have to see it, feel it, experience it and I hope that my viewfinder will allow more and more people to do so. 

Are you a bathroom singer?

Nope. If there's one thing you don't wanna hear me doing, it's singing. 

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Keep dreaming. It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. But don't dream when not having a final target in mind. Work on that too. And don't rush. Nothing worth building is worth building in a hurry. Nothing of value is formed in a minute. And If there’s one thing I’ve learned along the way it’s to never believe them when they say it can’t be done. Fight for it. When you can dream it, you can do it. I know it sounds cliche but it's so true. 

And on a more technical note. There's one thing that really helped me grow and I hope that sharing it will help others too. Ditch the zoom lens and learn to love the constraints of dealing with a fixed focal length. Moving your feet instead of a zoom ring will instantly make you a better photographer. It instantly increases the weight of your bag, but deal with it, its worth the pain. Stop zooming, start seeing.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

In the end, all I want is to create work that makes you feel, that makes you imagine, makes you wander. To make you feel alive and connected with the world you live in.

My goal for 2018 is getting closer to my true self and trust my inner compass to guide me. However I don't want to make too many plans. You ever heard of that Steve Jobs quote saying: "You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards"? I think thats important to realise. Somehow trust the dots to connect in the future because that will give you the confidence to follow your heart. And succeeding in doing so, I belief is the most beautiful thing that can happen to someone. 

What that means for me, is a willingness to make a move towards more conservational photography efforts, shoot more wildlife, connect with real people and play a role in protecting the planet we live on by expanding my community. 

You know, life is short. Thinking you will live to an old age is nothing more than an assumption. Don’t expect retirement, living till tomorrow is a true blessing already. So better do today, what you would do tomorrow when it would be your last. Hasta la vista. 

Interview With a Photographer | Niklas Söderlund

Where's Home?

Home is Reykjavík, Iceland. I grew up in Sweden and I'm also half German.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

It's a tough call. Iceland has been a favourite since I first went here last year, it's raw and wild and I love that! My other favourite is California, I've always been a big fan of music and movies and the culture around it, so the USA kinda feels nostalgic for me in some weird way.

How did you get started as a photographer?

Last year, (2016) I really got into hiking and camping. Two friends of mine had Instagram accounts where they only posted outdoors photos, I made one for myself and that quickly escalated into me buying a camera. I taught myself everything I could find about photography and changed my entire lifestyle to be able to travel and shoot as much as possible.

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What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I shoot with a Canon EOS 5D mark IV. My lenses: 16-35mm f/2.8 II, 24-70mm f/2.8 II, 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II. For the drone shots I'm using the DJI Mavic Pro. All editing is made in Lightroom and Photoshop. For me it's the perfect set up, covers all my needs!

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

From start Alex Strohl, Jason Charles Hill and Benjamin Hardman if we look on the Instagram part. They all have this clean style and amazing color profiles. Beside from that I've learned a lot by watching movies and the way story telling works in cinema.

Any top tips for Instagram?

Keep a theme and be consistent!

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Showing how grand our planet is, that we need to care for it and how small we are compared to the forces of nature.

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What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

Creating and adventures are my two biggest passions, and that's basically what photography is for me. It's a natural motivation.

Are you a bathroom singer?

I am a bathroom singer, I'm also a table drummer and an air guitarist. Don't play good music near me, you've been warned.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Don't think too much about what others are doing, go do your own thing. Be inspired by the things you love, not the things that are trending. And hard work pays off, always!

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

My two biggest goals right now are setting up a print shop and New Zealand. And of course, just shooting as much as possible and exploring more of Iceland!

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Interview With a Photographer: Chris Burkard

Where’s home?

PIsmo Beach, CA

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Iceland! No doubt.  It's such a magical place and no matter how many times I go there I keep getting drawn back. I’m about to go back for my 29th trip and am just as excited as I was on my first trip. The key is to go where people aren't, which is pretty easy. You just venture to the locations that aren't on the tourist trail. It’s an amazingly diverse country but I cringe when people just stay in Reykjavik and only explore a couple hours from the main city. The country has so much to offer if you just get out there and explore!

As for the the place that i really dream about, it's going back to Kamchatka, Russia and the aleutian islands in Alaska.

How did you get started as a photographer?

I started shooting photos when I was 19 years old after experimenting with drawing and art in high school. I realized that it enabled me to do art in a mobile state, to explore and adventure, and show people the beauty in the world around me. At that point I realized that I enjoyed photography but the idea of turning it into career was overwhelming. I knew I had to give it 100% if I wanted to make it into something so without any formal training I quit my job (at a magazine store) and started shooting anything for anyone. I would go and shoot surfers at the local beach and try to sell them pictures on dvd’s... I shot weddings and senior pictures and interiors store photos. That obviously wasn't my end goal but I had to start somewhere. I wanted to learn more about action sports and landscapes photography which is what I was excited about but didn't know where to turn so I started applying for internships. I finally got an opportunity to intern with Michael Fatali, a large format landscape photographer, and I got an internship at Transworld Surf magazine which was an incredibly valuable experience. Through trial and error, I taught myself and began to develop a style. Hard work, persistence, and having passion for what I do has taken me a long way. For the first part of my career I slept in my car a lot, so nothing happens quickly. I would say it was about 4 years until I really started making an income. During my transworld internship I commuted 5 + hours every week and lived in my car. I really look back fondly at those more challenging times because it makes you appreciate having to work for what you have and giving something of yourself for your career.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I shoot with the Sony mirrorless systems. I have shot with Canon, Nikon and Sony in the past 11 years and have settled on what I believe to be the best system available for lightweight travel and astrophotography. I typically use the Sony A7rii for about 70% of my work. The Sony A7sii is what I shoot for my night and astro images. This camera was built for sensitivity at High ISO. The A7rii is my go to for commercial work, the R stands for Resolution and provides unparalleled reproduction for large prints and clients needs. When I want to strip down and go super light I use the Sony a6500 as well as when shooting in the water. This camera is perfect for sports photography, hiking, climbing and anytime you need to be weight conscious.

My full list of gear is here:


What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

I interned with landscape photographer Michael Fatali which really influenced how a look at my own work. But these guys never picked up my camera and showed me how to shoot. They just led by example. The goal was that nobody ever told me, “ you have to do it this way”. I was able to experiment and able to just learn in an openly creative state, which I think is really important for an emerging creative. I was also an intern with Surfing Mag and it help me learn more about the editorial side of photography.  

Any top tips for Instagram?

I would say to learn to use the most powerful tool you have, your voice. The more honest and open you can be, and the more you can learn to tell stories the better.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

It all comes back to this “mission statement” concept. If everything you do comes back to serve a greater purpose then it’s so much easier to have a goal in mind. I hope to push people to seek out the unknown and allow a bit more uncertainty in their lives. This is how you grow the most and ultimately develop a closer relationship with nature.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

In the beginning it was all about collecting a paycheck and getting stamps in my passport, but at a certain point that doesn't really amount to much. I realized that I wanted to share stories with my friends and family. A lot of people who never traveled and made a lot of sacrifices for me to do so. I guess they are what motivate me the most.

Are you a bathroom singer?

Of course. I can sing basically any beastie boys song from memory.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

The best thing that you can do as an aspiring photographer is to identify a style that represents you well, develop within that style, and keep shooting to perfect it. It’s super important to have your images be recognizable by editors and others who are looking at your work. With the large number of photographers that are out there now you must find ways to stand out. The best compliment I can ever receive is when people know my photography work instantly when they see it.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

I would say Patagonia is next on my list to places I want to explore. My goal is to always to keep inspiring others through my work and to share a new story and a new perspective.

Interview With a Photographer: Niklas Siemens

Where’s home?

Currently I call home a small town near Linz, Austria but originally I am from Berlin, Germany

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

There are a lot favourites (beside Austria) but I'm gonna highlight 3 of them: I really like the Julian Alps in Slovenia for its untouched nature. It is a hidden gem and there are not many tourist around. The Dolomites in Italy also never fails to impress, the most beautiful mountain ranges I have seen so far. Last but not least Cornwall in England also really caught my eye for its beautiful sunsets.

How did you get started as a photographer?

There have been two paths that led me into this world: The first one was through school in a subject called “media” where we produced short films amongst other things and so I got my hands on cameras for the first time. The other way was after I digitalised and edited pictures my parents took during their world travel back in 1993 I started to get my first DSLR to capture impressions from places I go on my own.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I recently switched to Sony Full Frames as I really like how well it handles both photo and video. I also use a DJI Phantom drone for all aerials and a GoPro for scenes that can’t be done so easy with the other 2 cameras mentioned, like mounting it on a car etc. Photo editing is done in Lightroom and Photoshop and for videos I use Final Cut Pro. A must have is the (now free) Nik Collection for Adobe, especially using their Colour Efex tool a lot.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

There are a lot but I guess Chris Burkhard is a good example but also people like Andrew Studer, Jason Charles Hill, Aaron Brimhall and Ravi Vora are a big inspiration.

Any top tips for Instagram?

Post continuously and engage with your audience while creating inspiring high quality content will push your account forward. Stand out from the crowd with defining your own style and try to show known places (or better discover new ones) into a new light with different perspectives. And do not forget to connect with people offline as well, I made a lot of new friends and even worked together with some of the guys I first just met online.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

Showing others what fun and epic adventures I went on and that they should start exploring on their own. I often place people with their backs into my pictures to give others a scale to orientate on how big or small a place is and that others can easily imagine standing there on their own.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

I like traveling, roaming the outdoors and exploring places with and without camera but it is pushing you forward when others like your work and give kind feedback.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers? 

The first few thousand clicks are the worst, it is a learning by doing process - you cannot become a pro over night. So just go out and practice shooting for improvement.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

After finishing school and doing my civilian service I am now doing photography and filmmaking full time and it is everything I could ever dreamed of. My goal is that I can still do this for a living in 10 years and visit some more beautiful places on this planet meanwhile.

To see more of Niklas' work, here is his Instagram link (http://instagr.am/sieklas) and YouTube link (http://youtube.com/c/NiklasSiemens).

Interview With a Photographer: Jordan Hammond

Where’s home?

Technically, home is Dover, on the sunny south east coast of England. For the most part, however, I'd have to say that home is wherever my toothbrush lays! 

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

This has to be the toughest question of them all. I couldn't honestly decide between Indonesia, China and Japan. Each of them have such unique and diverse cultures and landscapes, all of which have me yearning to return. 

How did you get started as a photographer?

I picked up my first camera just before I left the UK to teach English in China, in the autumn of 2015. I started taking photos on weekend trips around China, and decided after 6 months of shooting that I wanted to quit my job and pursue my passion for  photography in the hopes of making it a full time gig.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I use a Canon 6D with the 16-35mm f/4 (essential for landscapes!), 24-105mm f/4 and 70-200 f/4. Also, I typically have a polarised attached to my wide angle lens, which helps considerably when shooting reflections, contrast and saturation. As far as software goes, I stick to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

The person that first influenced me to pick up a camera and start photographing was Nikk La- his raw street photography was completely new to me and his work was so different to anything else I had seen. 

Any top tips for Instagram?

Engage with the community, only post work that you're proud of, and above all else, enjoy it! 

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I aim to tell a story about the places I have been through my photography, and inspire people to step out of their comfort zone and do something different. The world is a big place, and despite travel being a lot more affordable and doable nowadays, many people don't get to see a lot of it. 

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

My followers and the people that have supported me through my photography journey definitely motivate me to continue what I'm doing- I literally couldn't do it without them. Also the prospect of trying cheese from all around the world.

Are you a bathroom singer?

Does a chicken lay eggs?!

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

I'm asked this one often, which in my opinion boils down to two things. In my case, I began photography, and still do, by constantly seeking inspiration from others. When first starting, it can help dramatically if you keep tabs on your favourite photographer's work, and look to put your own twist on it. Before long you will have developed your own unique style. Then, practice, practice, practice! 

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

To be able to inspire people through my work is massive to deal to me, and something I hope to be able to continue doing in the future. Also, a huge goal of mine over the next year is to begin running photo workshops in Asia, particularly China! 

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If you have any questions for Jordan, or comments on the blog - leave your enrty below!

Interview With A Photographer: Michiel Pieters

Where’s home?

I grew up in a small town in Belgium. Not much to see or do, but it isn’t too bad.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

My favourite place I travelled to is undoubtedly New Zealand. I went there with a friend almost 3 years ago, and it was my first real road trip. This trip has literally changed everything for me.

How did you get started as a photographer?

I’ve always liked taking photos, ever since i was a kid. But during my trip to New Zealand, i started getting into landscape photography more and more. And that’s basically all i do now.

What camera equipment / software / tech do you use?  Any must haves?

I shoot with a Canon 5D mark IV and mostly use a 27-70mm f2.8 lens on this. I edit everything in Lightroom. 

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What photographers have influenced you, how you think and shoot?

People like Chris Burkhard and Alex Strohl are obvious inspirations. I also have a lot of friends in the German Roamers collective, and apart from friends, they’re also people i look up to and learned a lot from.

Any top tips for Instagram?

Don’t post all your best photos during/right after a trip. Try to spread them out over a longer period so your feed keeps looking good.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I just try to inspire people to go out there and explore. Really live and not just sit indoors every day.

What motivates you to continue doing what you’re doing?

The feeling of being surrounded by nature and being able to capture moments is something I enjoy a lot, and something I miss instantly when I’m not able to be out there.

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Are you a bathroom singer?

 Of course, who isn’t?

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

You want something, go get it. Period.

What are your goals for the future, regarding your work?

I’d like to be able to travel a lot more and make a name for myself. Hopefully get noticed by the right people ate the right time and we’ll see where it all leads to.