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Travel photographer shares secrets of the trade in exclusive interview

Featured today on our blog is photographer and client Paul Reiffer! Paul travels the world capturing people and landscapes, as well as working with commercial photography. Now, Paul has an exhibition on at the most exclusive art gallery in the world! Per Aquum gallery is on the Maldivian island of Huvafen Fushi, and is only accessible by speedboat or seaplane.

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Tell us your story - how did you get into photography?
Through a bit of a random route - I always used to take photos, and probably owned every “latest new camera” as they were released, when I was younger.

But then I got into corporate roles, and managed to travel round the world with them - randomly ending up modelling (yes!) in London and the US for a brief period of time. The problem is that a) I wasn’t actually a very good model, and b) I preferred to see what the photographer was doing, rather than worrying about my part of the shoot… maybe the two are linked. So, I asked 4 of the photographers I’d worked with around the world to “show me the ropes” over a period of time to refine my style of photography - and it just grew from there.

 

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Please tell us about your practice. What genres do you like to focus on, and why?
Originally, because of how I’d made my route through to commercial photography, I was focused purely on models and portfolio work. Very quickly, however, I realised that a huge part of my enjoyment of photography was also the element of travelling to different places to capture images. So, I gradually made the switch to landscape, cityscape and commercial work for hotel and travel clients which allows me to do what I really enjoy.

What inspires you?
I have a desire to do two things: firstly, to see new places and explore new angles - and a lot of non-photographer explorers and brand ambassadors for some of the outdoor brands have jobs that I’m often envious of! Secondly, to bring the views I’m lucky enough to see, “back home” for others to appreciate despite not being able to get there themselves. Whether that new place is unique because it’s not (entirely) officially allowed to be there, or whether it’s because a freak weather phenomenon has made the scene extra-special, it doesn’t matter - but I like exploring. Sometimes having a plan restricts you; just going for a wander can deliver a much more rewarding surprise.

What’s your next move? Have you got any new projects on the horizon?
We have a couple more “world firsts” on the horizon, but they’re pretty much under wraps at the moment. Working with hotel groups on projects is great fun, but it also means we have to be careful about what gets out there ahead of time. Personally, I’m going to be spending more time and effort focused this year on workshops - including the exciting new series I’ve teamed up with Phase One on, to run PODAS workshops with them around the world.  These are like a 6-star workshop, luxury hotels, heli-shoots, gourmet meals, etc… I’m really looking forward to those, rather than my usual setup when I go out shooting on my own!

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Paul Reiffer

paulreiffer.com | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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