How many years have you worked as a photographer?
I have been a full time professional photographer for 7 years.
When did you know you wanted to do this as a career?
When I was 12 years old my parents bought me an SLR camera and my dad began to teach me to take photographs and understand the technical aspects of photography. Something awoke inside of me when I put my eye to the camera - it gave me a release of creativity that I hadn’t known before.
Who inspired you to become a photographer? Who are your industry heroes?
I was never aware of specific photographers when I was growing up but was always inspired by photographs of landscapes and seascapes. I’m at my happiest when I’m in remote locations and seeing photos of these places always captured my imagination. These days l love the work of photographers such as Joe Cornish and David Noton.
What’s your favourite type of photography?
Definitely landscape photography.
Briefly describe an average day for you as a photographer
Depends what I’m shooting. If it’s a landscape shoot then I’m up an hour before sunrise (depending how far the shoot is) and then in position for the sunrise at the chosen location. I’ll then spend a couple of hours photographing the morning light and then head back, edit the shots and grab some breakfast. The rest of the day will be spent walking/trekking to locations in search of great compositions for the evening light and sunset. Landscape shoots tend to involve many miles of trekking to search out great spots, but that’s part of the joy of my job as I love to walk and experience the location I’m photographing, rather than just capture it.
What’s the best thing about your job?
My favourite part about being a photographer is experiencing dramatic locations and extreme weather conditions. I love to trek through high winds and rain in the Hebrides and then wait for the weather to change, as I find that the best photographs are taken when the weather changes - there are a few moments when it looks dramatic. Capturing that is always very rewarding.
What’s the worst thing about your job (if any)?
Being away from my family.
How would you describe your working day in three words?
Rewarding - exhausting – unpredictable.
What’s your favourite career memory so far?
Photographing icebergs at sunrise in Iceland on a black volcanic beach.
What’s the one project/piece of work you’re most proud of and why?
A close-up photo of a Puffin with its eyes closed. This photo won an award in Northumberland and was on the front cover of 40,000 magazines.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?
Finding the best location for a shot that works with the weather and position of the sun - and making that shot look exciting enough for others to want to visit that location or buy the photo.
What’s your favourite Rohan garment/s and why?
The Elite II Jacket. Keeps me dry in all conditions and packs away in my camera bag.
The Downtown Jacket - great jacket for trekking - keeps me warm.
Winter bags - comfy and light.
Jeans - great for climbing over rocks.
Neck tube - one of my favourite items in winter!
What’s on your Rohan wish list?
The new season Downtown Jacket and the Bergen Jacket.
What would you like to see Rohan design and create in future?
Would love to see Rohan design a camera bag that’s completely waterproof and comfy for long treks. I’ve never been happy with any of my camera bags - and I have lots!
Which Rohan accessories are always on your packing list?
What do you love most about the travel and outdoor clothing industry?
I love the new technology that is designed which actually keeps me dryer and warmer. I’m always outdoors at the coldest times of the day and often walking through high wind and rain - when new garments are designed that make a difference it’s amazing!
Where’s the best place you’ve travelled and why?
Iceland - it has everything a landscape photographer could ever wish for.
If you could live anywhere in the world, other than the UK, where would it be and why?
Either Iceland or Greenland. I love extreme conditions and dramatic landscapes.
Which country is next on your travel bucket list and why?
Greenland - I’ve always wanted to visit and photograph this country because it looks like a more extreme version of Iceland. It’s harder to reach and so more expensive, so it’s remained elusive for me.
Which home comforts do you miss the most when you go travelling/on holiday?
I miss my pillow. Hotels and airbnb’s are never comfy enough for me.
What’s the best piece of travel advice you’ve received?
Don’t use your phone and data for a map when in a remote location as the GPS can let you down and leave you stranded. This is very true. Always download the map first.
What’s your favourite photograph of a place you’ve visited?
That’s an impossible question to answer as I change my mind so often. I love a photo I took of the Isle of Lewis as I had to walk through every kind of weather to get to the cliff top and look back over the landscape to photograph the beach and mountain range that was behind it. It was in January and so it was freezing cold, windy and very wet but I waited for the weather to change and there was a brief moment that rewarded me with a beautiful photo.