- Hey Jack, thanks so much for agreeing to share some thoughts with us today. To start things off, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself? When did you get into photography? Do you have any formal training or are you self taught?
Hey guys, It’s my pleasure!
I’m a 24-year-old world traveller/ photographer/ instagram influencer from Britain. I got into taking photos from a very early age; I was an avid skateboarder during all my teenage years. Around 4 years ago I decided to quit a job that didn’t represent me, packed my bag, and boarded a one-way flight to Bangkok. Travelling indefinitely was never the plan and I always expected to eventually have to either get a job on the road, or just return home. Conveniently around the time I started my first trip my instagram pages started to blow up and I had a following large enough to leverage off. It’s because of this I’ve been lucky enough to travel continuously ever since.
Everything I’ve ever done has been self taught. I personally learn more by doing, however I still consider myself an amateur! Along the way I’ve had tips and help from photographer friends, and if I’m ever struggling with something I often refer to YouTube tutorials.
- Constantly traveling to other countries, you must experience multiple different cultures and lifestyles. What has been the most exciting destination for you?
Yeah for sure! Opening up to different ways of life is certainly one of the best parts of travel for me. This is an easy one though, India without a doubt! India has the most diverse, unique culture that I’ve ever seen. Wandering around the rural villages of Agra was one of my most fond travel experiences. I don’t know whether it was because they don’t often see white guys in their village, or maybe because my camera was mounted on the glidecam, but everyone was so excited to see me and acted up in hilarious ways for the camera. Singing, dancing, laughing, and even jumping on top of each other was a common reaction when hitting the record button. I was welcomed into their homes with open arms; everyone is so happy and colourful. Even with a language barrier, sitting down for a short time with these people remind me that money and material goods aren’t necessary for happiness. I felt very privileged to experience these priceless pleasures.
Another fascinating culture experience was in Varanasi. When I arrived at the holy river, I rowed out on a creaky boat to view the ancient ritual from a better angle. Priests continuously burned piles of human bodies down to ashes as others lay down by the banks of the river waiting to die. If the family members of the deceased were wealthy then the ashes would be rowed out and sprinkled into the river. If you die alone or come from a poor background then the priest would throw the remains unceremoniously into the Ganges.
As you can imagine the Ganges are incredibly dirty from the continuous ashes, and the city waste that runs into it. Yet people would swim, bath, wash their clothes, and even brush their teeth in the water!
- Where have you never been that you would love to go?
There are still so many places on my list. I’m really eager to travel around South America and Japan. Both are definitely on the agenda for next year.
- We noticed multiple different people in your photographs- are these friends that you travel with or strangers you capture in the moment?
Most people in my shots are either friends I’m travelling with or myself. Whilst I’m a solo traveller, Instagram is a great tool for finding like minded people to travel with and I frequently meet up with travellers from there. Recently I met up with a small group in the Himalayas and continued to travel with them for 4 months!
I also love to photograph local people, normally without them knowing. Catching them during their everyday life situations tells a greater story.
- How important is it to you to feature a human subject in your photos?
I guess it depends on the image, I feel most images need some form of subject. When using a human subject it injects life and gives more of a real feel to the overall image. You can also really see the scale of things when comparing the size of a person in front of an epic backdrop or swimming at a waterfall.
- Considering the mixture of landscape and portraits that you take, what equipment do you normally carry to accomplish both styles of photography?
I use a Canon 5D and normally carry three lenses with me. I use a 50mm 1.4 prime lens for most portraits, a 16 – 35mm 2.8 wide lens for landscapes and a 24 – 70mm 2.8 as an all round alternative.
- How do you feel about cropping an image?
I crop all my images for instagram. Even with the new borderless feature I’ll continue to crop wide shots as I feel when they’re squashed down into the square dimensions you can’t appreciate the detail in the image. From now on I’ll be posting portraits without cropping since the new feature allows portraits to fill up the screen.
- While traveling to other countries, how do you get around and communicate? Are you familiar with multiple languages?
If flying is an option I’ll normally take the flight, domestic flights are pretty cheap too. When flying isn’t available I take the local trains, buses, boats, taxi bikes, rickshaws etc.! I rent a motorbike almost everywhere I go and if I can drive myself that’s what I’ll do. I love the freedom of being able to stop and explore places when self driving along an unfamiliar route.
Believe me I’ve tried to learn other languages but I have the memory of a fish and find it so difficult! Luckily for me most people can speak at least a little bit of English. If not, I refer to sign language and try to act it out!
- Where do you look for inspiration? Who are your top influences on Instagram?
Most of my inspiration comes from instagram. It’s such a rad community of creatives and I love scrolling down my feed checking out the adventures of others.
There’s so many influencers to choose from the list would be endless!
The first five people that come to mind are:
- Thanks for your time! Before we let you go, what other social platforms are you active on besides Instagram? I’m sure our readers would love to know where else they can connect with you on the web.
Thank you for the opportunity!
Snapchat – doyoutravel