Expert: Finn Beales
Finn Beales is an award winning photographer from Wales. He works worldwide documenting the space around him in an observational, unobtrusive style. Finn creates images that resonate with viewers, neatly capturing spaces, situations and emotions. Finn won two categories of last years Mobile Photography Awards.
Finn’s clients include Red Bull, Courvoisier, BBC, Hay Festival, The Telegraph, The Guardian, O2, Tourism Ireland, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Hope & Glory PR, Consolidated PR, Merthyr Rock Festival, Sky Arts, Green Man Festival, Brecon Jazz Festival, Lillingston, The Oldie Magazine.
His images don’t over explain, but rather provoke a desire for knowledge, encouraging viewers to visit and discover for themselves.
BECOME A TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER:
There’s no clear cut, hard and fast method associated with becoming a travel photographer. However, there are a few things you can do, kit you can invest in and methods you can adopt to help improve your chances of winning a commission.
GIVE TO RECEIVE:
It has never been easier to get your work seen by commissioning editors and art buyers but in order to do so you need to establish yourself on the Internet. Be pro-active when it comes to social media. Interact with other photographers on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Share your knowledge and techniques. Publish work to Tumblr and submit your best shots to hubs like lensblr.com.
It’s possible for an image posted on the web today to be seen by more people than read a national newspaper. Provided your work is good enough commissions will follow. Give to receive.
TELL A STORY:
Storytelling is uniquely human and the original method of passing knowledge from one generation to the next. I also think it’s one of the most compelling methods for communicating information.
You know that memory trick? Those dudes that can recall pie to 4 million places? They associate a number sequence with a physical journey in their heads. This journey method of storytelling works well when it comes to travel photography.
A series of connected images will resonate more with your audience than one technically perfect photograph of say a beach. Try and put your audience in the picture… shoot the journey to the beach, or the preparation. Add a human element to your work.
LEARN TO LOVE CONSTRAINTS:
Constraints can aid creativity. Learn to embrace the fixed focal length on an iPhone and never touch the zoom. This way you’ll be forced to move around more, think harder about composition and ultimately frame better photographs.
It took me years to build a travel portfolio worth publishing and a consistent portfolio is essential in order to win work. It’s the word consistent that is key here. Unless you want work in other areas don’t be tempted to fill your portfolio with unrelated images i.e. pics of your kids – however good! – will simply dilute your brand.
Keep your style and subject matter consistent. Be ruthless when it comes to the edit. You will always be judged by your worst photograph.
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All Images Copyright Finn Beales