Hello! I’m Joel, I’m 26 and I’m a freelance photographer. I am originally from Liverpool but in more recent years, you could find me in Sheffield! Six months turned into three years until I decided that it was time to start up somewhere new.
I now live in South West London. I’m really lucky as the area I’m in is very green and well connected to the City, much like the places of my past endeavours.
Back to the good stuff though… I’ve been interested in photography for a long time. I studied media at school and college; I always had a fascination with cameras and film.
I guess this is where my inquisition of the subject began, back when I was 16.
My biggest passions have always been videography and film-making but since the move to London, I have re-established my love for photography and the pure bliss that it brings.
My typical day begins around 8:30, I try to get up and active at a fairly reasonable time every morning. I live a 15-minute walk away from my local gym so I head there first thing to try and start each day on a positive… it helps to blow the cobwebs off.
I then like to get on with my photo shoots. This timescale can vary from day to day! Sometimes I’ll go out with no real plan and spend all day wandering around getting shots. Other days, I’ll know exactly what I want to get and I might be done within a couple of hours. I tend to just go with it.
My favourite thing to photograph at the moment is architecture! I’ve been wandering around London getting a lot of photos of buildings and tube stations – there are some real treasures around here.
When you live somewhere as busy as London it’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed at times. I’ve moved here on my own so being comfortable spending time in my own company is really important. That’s where a passion like photography really comes in handy – you can go anywhere and get lost in what you’re doing.
Even in the current pandemic, in the midst of lockdowns and tiers… London is filled with interesting people. There is always something to do, it’s a big place!
When it comes to editing my work, I tend to always drift back to coffee shops. There’s one that is about two minutes from my place that is amazing… in fact, I’m in there now whilst I am writing this.
I think it’s good to get out of your own four walls if you can, even if it’s just to sit somewhere for a bit. Getting out of the house can help keep you sane. I spend a lot of time editing projects on Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. I would definitely say that Lightroom is my preferred platform as it is so easy and efficient. The simplicity of it means that you can just dive in and experiment with it.
I’ve used moving to London as an opportunity to start a new business and explore my work in more depth. I sell my work for a small fee! I think the best thing however is when someone tells me they like a photo. It sounds really simple but the whole point of photography is for people to see it and connect to it in some way or another.
I think moving to a creative hub like London gave me a real push to explore what might be possible. I think it’s difficult whenever you’re trying to build something from the bottom but social media makes getting the word out a lot easier. It’s still very early days with my new venture but I’m excited to see where it could take me! Of course, it will take time but I’m certainly looking forward to the challenge.
When I told my family and friends that I was going to quit my job and move to London in the middle of a worldwide pandemic… they would have been within their right to tell me that I was crazy!
My loved ones know how passionate I am about what I want to do and they’ve always enabled me to go after what I want, to reach for the stars. They’ve always been really supportive. My parents in particular are true inspirations in my life. They’ve always supported me and I know they’ll continue to do so, whatever the situation. They’re hardworking and caring people.
My favourite picture that I’ve taken in London so far was of a deer at Richmond Park. There’s a real stillness about that place that makes it so much easier to focus. I actually ran a giveaway of that particular image within the first couple of weeks of making my ‘brand’ if you will. It seemed to be collectively loved by my followers as much as I fell in love with it.
If I could give any advice to anyone with a similar interest or similar situation… I would say, just do it. Don’t worry about having the most expensive kit or feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing. Like all creative hobbies, the whole point is to experiment. You’ll get better with time so just get out there and take photos of stuff.