Interview

Interview With a Photographer: Michael Gray

1.     Where’s home?

Home, I was brought up in a very small town called Hertford in the UK! It will always be my home no matter where I am in the world. 

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

It has got to be the Philippines, this beautiful country surpassed my expectations in every way. The people, culture and food (of course!) made it a very special trip. Apo Island is one of the hidden secrets of the Philippines, it has the clearest water and turtles everywhere you look! I will be back!

3.     How did you get started as a photographer?

Videography has long been my passion - a hobby, leisure interest; something I loved doing outside of school. Needless to say, the classroom was not my favourite place. At 12 years, old, I worked as a paperboy, delivering newspapers in my neighbourhood each morning before school, to save up for my first camera. Next, I created short films with friends in the nearby quarry or woods and uploaded them to my YouTube account amassing a small following. Then, Instagram provided me with a powerful platform to share my content in a way that I hadn't before and my life took off from there!

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

The most important thing I have learnt whilst doing this career, is that the equipment shouldn’t be your limiting factor. The number one tip I can give anyone is to be consistent. The equipment I use now is the Canon 1DX 2 and the GH5. Both amazing cameras!

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

A big inspiration when I was starting my photography career was @Andyto and @scottborreo. These guys just captured the light and colour so well, it was dream like. Recently joining the @beautifuldestinations team has lead me to learn from the best. Thinking outside the box and pushing the boundaries on each piece of work I produce is very important. 

6.     Any top tips for Instagram?

Instagram has been my classroom in that I have learnt so many invaluable things and developed hugely. It has also been my playground, having made many friends and many amazing memories. Instagram has truly changed my life and it’s incredible to work alongside creators every day who have inspired me from the beginning, tips I can give would be to upload consistently and have a real sense of community on the platform. Take time to respond back to your followers and always be active.

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

I try and create immersive photos, bringing the photo into Lightroom and making the viewer feel like they are really there. If that’s on the edge of a building, I want the viewer to feel the scale and height of the building or if it’s a sunrise I want the colours to burst into life. I think this is really important to keep your audience interested. 

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

When I travel, I am always feeling inspired when discovering new places, my mind is always thinking of ways to capture what I see and this motivates me to continue to create. Also, showcasing my work to my followers and getting constructive criticism also pushes me to develop and to learn each time. 

9.     Are you a bathroom singer?

Am I a bathroom singer? No haha!

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

As previously mentioned the best advice I can give anyone is to practice, daily, weekly, just any moment you have to create, take it. Don’t go in for the fame or money, go into film making or photographer because you love it and it gets you out of bed each morning. There is nothing better than doing something you enjoy in life every day. 

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

I will continue to be a part of the amazing team @BD, and personally to continue to inspire others. 

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Interview With a Photographer: Luke Jackson-Clark

1.        Where’s home?

Hey, Luke here! I am based in London, United Kingdom and have lived here my whole life. There’s nowhere quite like home, but when you are travelling the world, a place with a comfy bed and a shower can be classed as home in my eyes.

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

Iceland without a doubt. I have been lucky enough to travel to some beautiful locations but I don’t think I fully understood anyone when they said Iceland is a creators dream until I went myself.

3.        How did you get started as a photographer?

I started 4 years ago as an enthusiastic amateur with no dream of getting to where I am today. I learnt from a very talented friend and would attempt to go and shoot at every opportunity. After 3 years of this and a long period of daily uploads on Instagram I decided to “quit the day job” as they say, didn’t go to university, which was the plan at the time, and now I’m here.

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

I use a Canon 5d Mark iii with 4 lenses. The 16-35mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 are my most used lenses when it comes to travelling. I use Lightroom and Photoshop. I only use Photoshop for removal of things that distract from the subject and for the tone curve.

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

Every creator I have met has influenced the way I think and shoot in some way. There’s always something I can learn from people. It’s hard to narrow down a list, but some really awesome photographers out there are @calsnape @chrisburkand and @kpunka

6.        Any top tips for Instagram?

Engagement is really important if you want to grow on Instagram. You can’t expect people to give you love if you don’t reply and give it back!

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

I like to think there’s some kind of story behind all of my pictures. I want people to come to my work and be able to know exactly what it means or come up with their own groovy story.

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

I came across this quote a few weeks back and since then I haven’t stopped grinding – “One day your life flashes before your eyes, make sure it’s worth watching”. MAKE IT HAPPEN :’)

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9.        Are you a bathroom singer?

Who isn’t? Everyone does it right? Just on different levels haha.

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

If you truly want it you’ll get it, it takes time (4 years for me). Also never let anyone tell you, you can’t live your dream, if you chose the right path your dream can offer you the most success.

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

Become known for my work around the world and to inspire people to live their dreams! Also I have an obsession with watches and watch photography, so at some point a well known watch brand collaboration would be massive (Rolex where are you, lol). Fashion, lifestyle and travel are all very important things to me so work involving all of these is my goal.

Interview With a Photographer: Sam David Smith

Where’s home?

Wellington, New Zealand.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

Fiordland, New Zealand. Despite spending time overseas in different countries, NZ remains my favourite country and Fiordland is hard to beat.

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How did you get started as a photographer?

My dad bought me a camera to take on my honeymoon! Being quite creative in nature meant I straight away started to try and learn how I could take the best photos. Growing up in the outdoors, it made sense that I was most passionate about taking photos of where I was already spending most of my time.

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

I've always shot Canon. I'm one of those guys that are still pretty hesitant about making the jump to mirror less technology. 

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

My favourite photographers are Richard Hodder (@inthedrink) - an NZ based surf photographer that has always shared a super unique perspective. Also up there is the one and only Alex Strohl (@alexstrohl) and Josh Neff (@joshrneff)and his squad of film cats. 

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Any top tips for Instagram?

My top tip for Insta would be to not compare yourself. It's really important to find inspiration through others work and not allow yourself to feel like you're not as good.. we are all on our own journeys and living our own lives.

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I'm in a lot of pretty amazing locations here in NZ but rather than just share a photo of a location, my goal has always been to portray the whole experience... And share the emotion I was sharing through every image. 

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

To be honest, I'd be doing what I'm doing whether I could capture it on a camera or not. But knowing that I can inspire others through sharing my experiences makes it all the more worthwhile.

Are you a bathroom singer?

Haha I am an everywhere singer. 

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Yea, never be that guy that thinks he knows everything.. learn as much as you can from everyone that you can. And always remember that the experience is much more important than any photo you could take. 

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

I have some pretty out there goals. But there's so much more of NZ I'd love to share with the world. 

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If you have any questions for Sam, leave them below!

Interview With a Photographer: Ian Harper

Where’s home?

Hey, I’m Ian and home for me is just south of London, in the UK.

What is the favourite place you’ve travelled to?

I’ve been very fortunate to be able to travel to a lot of places.  I actually always love coming home!  But my favourite place is probably Isla Grande, a small island off the coast of Brazil.

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How did you get started as a photographer?

I got started in photography whilst travelling around South America with my brother for 4 months.  I was just capturing my travels on my iPhone, but took the photography more seriously as the travels progressed.  It was on this trip where I met Henry too, who propelled my enthusiasm into photography to a new level!

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

I shoot on a Canon 5D Mark III, mostly with a 16-35mm f/2,8.  I then edit on Lightroom.  A cheeky must have is probably VSCO on the iPhone to really transform some iPhone shots you get when there isn’t the time to get the camera out.

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

I’ve been massively influenced by Henry Nathan above all other travel photographers across Instagram.  Working and travelling with him has been a great opportunity to really work on my photography and editing.  Specifically with how to compose and edit a shot for Instagram.

Any top tips for Instagram?

Use the filter X-Pro II and whack the saturation all the way up and hope for the best ;)

What are you trying to communicate through your photographs?

I am trying to communicate adventure and the beauty of the world! lol.

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

I love travelling and photographing the beauty of the world.  I am motivated to continue doing what I love for as long as I love doing it!

Are you a bathroom singer?

Yes, and a big time car singer.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring photographers?

Practice!  Just take loads of photos and don’t be put off if it takes 1,000 bad photos to get 1 good photo.  And do it if you enjoy it.

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

Continue to travel, learn and improve.  And master the art of using that sweet sweet  X-Pro II filter.

Both of these images are available for print and canvas purchases here. 

If you have any questions for Ian, leave a comment below!