From as far back as I can remember I have been fascinated with beautiful landscapes, impressive architecture and, most of all, how things work. It gives me great pleasure to be able to take to the hills with my camera gripped firmly in my hand. As cliché as it sounds the sense of freedom and being at one with nature is something that truly thrills me.
So it was inevitable that, when it came to that crucial time in my life of choosing what to do after school, I naturally chose Art and Design, where I eventually progressed to a Degree in Film and TV Production Technology. College and University were great experiences - great student relationships, great teachers, and for once in my life I felt like I was thriving in education. I belonged. This was the perfect career path for me. PLUS, this is also where I met Nicole! However, though I studied it for 5 straight years, education didn’t fully satisfy my hunger for crafting the skill I wanted to achieve in order to become a Master at video making.
From there I turned to YouTube and the hands-on, self-taught approach. There are a number of really great YouTubers online, dedicated to providing really helpful advice, such as how to set your exposure properly, reviews on products and how to use them, and even DIY tips on how to make cheap lighting equipment (plus grip gear, rigs, etc.). Although these videos are fantastically helpful, nothing beats getting out and doing these things yourself. This is something I’ve learnt throughout the years - knowing the theory is great BUT the biggest learning curves come from getting yourself out there. Just you. You and your camera.
The sense of satisfaction is immense.
Whether it’s a cold snowy mountainside or a scorching hot beach - I’ll be there, trying to find the best shot in the widest variety of situations. Not that I’m saying I’m an expert yet – far from it actually, there’s always something new to learn as technology changes and grows - but its very clear when you compare the first pieces I shot to what I can achieve now that the difference is astonishing.
So if you are in the same position that I was in all those years ago, take this advice:
If there’s anything you’re not sure about - just ask someone. Including me. You’ll be amazed at how many people want to help. Use everything that is at your fingertips. There’s a great site called Lynda.com; this is a subscription site but well worth a look, plus they offer a FREE 10 day trial, so you can check out if it’s right for you before signing up. Also, try and get out there and talk to like-minded people, people who have had more experience within the field you’re looking at. If there’s a specific discipline you enjoy such as landscapes or human interest videos then research those disciplines. Look at other peoples work that match your shooting style - great cinematographers such as Stuart Dryburgh and Dennis Lewiston have inspired me, but the list of influencers is endless. Instead of just watching films try and think of how the scenes were created and maybe try and recreate them for yourself.
And there’s just one more piece of advice from me: GO AND SHOOT! It is your duty to fill the world up with beautiful images and make people understand how you see things! Get out there and CREATE!