Justin Wilkes, Travel Phototographer, Justin Wilkes Photography

214246When and why did you decide you wanted to be a photographer?

I was in high school when a friend of mine let me take his old Pentax film camera from the 70s for a spin. I shot a roll of film and then developed it in the school lab and that was it. I was hooked on what photography was, even though I had no idea what I was doing. It wasn’t until later in university that I realised photography has a special place in recording and documenting the world we live in.

What do you like most about your job?

Seeing the world and sharing it with others.

What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?

In 2013 I quit my 9-5 job and sold my car and bought a plane ticket to Cairo, Egypt. I started to photograph the social unrest over 6 months and had images published in The New York Times and TIME. A huge thanks to fellow Australian photographer Ed Giles and EPA photographer Oliver Weiken for helping me to learn the ropes.

What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?

“Feel the fear and do it anyway”. A book by Susan Jeffers.

Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?

Honestly, there are too many to name. But just to name a few, Jan Grarup, George Voulgaropoulos, Moises Saman, Susan Meiselas, Viviane Sassen, Ed Giles, Peter van Agtmael and Donald Weber.

What can people expect from your work and what is unique about your pictures and / or style?

I shoot many cameras, medium format film, digital and a polaroid camera. Many situations are best recorded on different mediums. I like to change it up and keep the images interesting. I’m still trying to work out what ‘my’ style actually is, but I love shooting with a fixed 28mm or 35mm lens and getting in nice and close and giving the viewer a sense of energy and passion as if they were right there with me.

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?

I’d love to get to Latin America next as I’ve never been and heard many good things about it.

What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?

On my latest trip to Papua New Guinea we travelled by boat to DeiDei Village/Hot Springs which is roughly a 4 hour boat trip from Milne Bay. I took a polaroid of a def boy. I handed it to him to wait for the image to appear and he looked at me like I just gave him a piece of rubbish. Then his image started to appear in front of him and he couldn’t contain his excitement. He said he’s never seen anything like that before and he’s going to put it in a safe place. It was one of the most memorable experiences by far.

What are three things you always take with you when travelling?

A book, gin and cameras.

Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and photograph and a destination you’d like to visit with them.

Justin Bieber and we’d go to India.

https://justin-wilkes.squarespace.com

 ETB News had the pleasure of travelling to Papua New Guinea with Justin earlier this year – check out Justin’s amazing work in our stunning photo gallery here.

Source = Justin Wilkes Photography: Justin Wilkes
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