Q&A with Lawrence Thomas
We have been following Lawrence on Instagram for quite some time now, and must say, we are big fans of his work here at Far Afield HQ. He has quite the following on social media, and the likes of Hypebeast have been sharing his images of late.
Are you a Brighton lad, or just based here?
I’m not no, I’m a London boy born and bred. However, Brighton is stealing my heart slowly but surely.
How did you get into photography, and travel photography in particular?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a cool story about inheriting a camera from my great granddad or anything. I guess always liked documenting moments with friends and family on little point and shoots which led to me buying my first proper camera 3 years back. And I suppose what kicked off my passion for travel photography was a 15,000-mile road trip round Europe I did with one of my best friends. We went with the sole aim of enjoying the outdoors and tried to document every second of it. We trekked and camped in the Norwegian Fjords, walked over frozen lakes in Germany and saw the northern lights in Sweden. It opened my eyes to what the world has to offer and just how accessible these incredible places are.
How would you describe your photographic vision?
I think my vision and style have changed a lot since I start and will continue to do so. Most of my work is a product of the films I watch, the people I’m with and where I am in the world. I’m still very much in the learning phase and almost always come away with something new from every shoot. I think the aim of my photos and my vision is to provoke a reaction, good or bad.
What do you look for when you take a picture?
This is something that’s changed the more I shoot. I used to take photos of anything and everything. But now I’m much more selective with what I shoot. Light probably plays the biggest role in what I look for now. You could have the best landscape and the most beautiful model on a shoot but with bad light it’s going to be an average shot. So yeah, good light haha.
What’s one quality that you possess as a photographer that sets you apart?
I think determination for a shot I have in my mind. For example, in Norway myself and Jacob trekked 20km up a mountain with all our camping gear on our back just for a photo we had had in our heads since the beginning of the trip.
Apart from Brighton, of course, where is the best place you have photographed and why?
Haha, umm that’s a difficult one. The first place that popped into my head was Switzerland. I went for the first time back in January speeding up mountain roads in a 90’s Defender. It was bliss. Switzerland took me by complete surprise though, I had high hopes but it blew everyone of them out of the water. The never ending winding valleys and back roads up to the peaks is something that left me with a profound sense of awe.
When you’re out photographing beautiful scenes like the Northern Lights in Finland, how do you enjoy the beauty that’s in front of you while still getting the shot you want?
That’s something I think most photographers struggle with and something I’ve only recently gotten better at. With the Northern Lights example we were lucky enough to get an hour plus display so there was more than enough time to take it all in and get the shot. I think in general though its very easy to get caught up in documenting a moment instead of experiencing it but then again I feel I can’t truly appreciate a moment if I don’t have some kind of camera on me even if that is my phone.
Any advice to any budding amateur photographers out there?
As I mentioned earlier I feel I’m very much still learning when it comes to photography, and that’s actually something I truly love about it. The fact that the more I learn the more I realise I know so little. But in terms of advice for new photographers it would be just shoot! That’s it. Learn what you did well and what you didn’t do so well, learn from it and repeat. I honestly believe you can’t get anywhere without creating a huge body of work. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve taken a lot of terrible photos in the past, but the more I shot the more I read or researched the better I became and that’s not a coincidence.
Lastly, I’m sure you’ve taken hundreds of photos over the years, and a difficult to choose, but can you share your top 3 images?