Featured on the blog today is photographer Steve Davey, who will be leading a National Geographic Traveller workshop here at theprintspace. Davey is a top leading photographer in the world of travel photography.
The workshop will focus on developing skills to take advantage of split second photo opportunities when you’re out and about, techniques for approaching and interacting with people as well as a whole lot more!
Read on to find out more about photographer Steve Davey….
First of all, please introduce yourself!
I am a writer and photographer, based in London. I grew up near Bristol, but moved up to the capital to study photography and have used it as a base ever since.
How did you get into photography?
My father had an old black and white darkroom in the loft, and I got really into shooting and printing pictures. It always seemed like a good way to combine earning a living with an adventurous lifestyle.
What is it about travelling, and travel photography, that draws you in? Are there any other genres you like to work in?
I love the chaos, and the unpredictability of being on the road. I love the fact that I can see incredible things and meet amazing people and interact with them. I also love to open doors, and the specialist access that I can get through my chosen career – taking part in processions, and having a much more hands on approach than if I was travelling without a camera. In terms of other genres, I do shoot more commercial work when I am in London, but travel photography is the most varied genre in the world. Basically in my career I have touched on just about every style and genre of photography, often on consecutive days, and with little or no predictability. Travel and location photography is basically every other style of photography, but in an unfamiliar location, with a passport in my pocket and with the sun on my back!
What inspires you?
I get inspired most by seeing other paces and cultures, more than by other photographers. I love nature, wildlife, culture and history programmes and articles in magazines. When I hear about a place that interests me, I get a tingling and a yearning, and I know that I really want to start planning to get somewhere and see what is going on! In terms of photographers, I love the work and ethos of Steve McCurry.
What’s been your favourite location to shoot so far?
I love India and South East Asia – especially Laos. I have also really enjoyed shooting up in the Arctic, which has been a big departure from my normal type of destination.
Do you have a dream location, that you haven’t shot yet?
I would love to get back to Vanuatu and some of the more Western parts of China, and also shoot in Bhutan. My big dream these days is time, not places. I can generally conspire to get anywhere and call it work – my big issue is that now that I have a young family, I don’t get to go away as often or for as long as I used to.
What’s your next step? Have you got any new projects on the horizon?
I am still running a few photography tours a year, and these are proving really popular. I have spent a while building these, but now have reached a point where they are ticking over nicely. Now I am concentrating on a few more serious and long term story ideas and working on a magazine project, which for the time being will need to stay confidential!
Finally, leave us with some advice. As a travel photographer, what are some top tips for those of us who haven’t travelled much to foreign countries, specifically regarding photography e.g taking portraits of others, cultures, customs and rules etc?
The most important thing that I would say is that I don’t believe that you have a right to intrusively photograph someone when you have good reason to suspect that they don’t want their picture taken. This is especially the case when travelling, where you will encounter various cultural differences – often when it comes to photographing women. I don’t feel right using our cultural power to force people from poorer parts of the world to be photographed; whether by bullying, lack of choice or simple guile. Some people maintain that you get more natural pictures if you sneak them: I maintain that you get more relaxed pictures by spending time with someone, even just a few minutes. Meet people, approach them, and interact. People will often surprise you by how open they are to being photographed and the interaction will be a major part of your trip.