Posts By David Williams

It’s #TravelTuesday again and I, Dave Williams, am in Iceland! It’s my absolute favourite place on the planet, so I’m very, very happy. I have a sneaking suspicion that I may live here one day. Anyhow, I’m here to talk about photography, so let’s do that!

Today I want to talk about gifting and trading photography. As photographers we’re all aware of the intricacies of our industry surrounding ‘free photos.’ There are people who believe quite strongly that we should never give away images and that we should afford ourselves and our work value, fiscally. Well I don’t think we should always charge. Don’t shoot me down just yet! Hear me out…

In order to develop or strengthen our photographic education, and to broaden our horizons, make people happy, or simply for fun, we should consider gifting or trading our photography. That’s exactly what I did on Sunday.

Beside me here is Alex, a Search and Rescue hero from Iceland. I met him about six years ago when I was photographing arctic foxes in the Westfjords. We got on and stayed in touch, and on this trip I ‘cashed in’ on an offer to go check out a newly discovered ice cave. Being with Search and Rescue for the trip was absolutely amazing. Check out these toys: –

So my offer in exchange was photography. It’s something I can do for them, and something that would otherwise incur them an expense. The trade comes into play because if I’d gone to the cave with a tour operator or a guide I would have incurred expenses myself, so I was more than happy to take some photos for them, like this one: –

In the end I had a bunch of cool photos of the team and their equipment, and a bunch of ice cave photos for myself. Trading our photography skills is valuable and, in fact, it can sometimes be more valuable than money. No amount of money can buy you a tour with a Search and Rescue team. Consider what value your photography can bring to others and how you can gift your photography. It’ll be worth every penny!

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday again and I, Dave Williams, am coming at you from on board the MS Norröna bound for Iceland.

I just finished a week in the Faroe Islands and it was intense! The Faroe Islands lie in the North Atlantic, between the UK and Iceland. They experience the full force of the Atlantic, with nothing at all but open sea all the way down to Antarctica. The wind and rain is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced and that has taught me a valuable lesson about photography.

Always keep your options open.

Sometimes we make plans to shoot a particular subject or location and centre a day or even a few days around getting it done. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t happen. I’m used to this, having come from the arena of fast-paced travel photography before having the freedom I have now, but it’s still a very valuable lesson.

I’d summoned a mountain (by driving) on several occasions with the idea to shoot the mountains rising out of an early morning fog, and in anticipation of this I’d been checking the temperate and humidity forecasts with my fingers crossed. It just didn’t happen, but I had a backup plan. In the opposite direction that I would have shot the fog, I overlooked Kolafjordur. The azure blue water carried in on the Gulf Stream was the foundation out of which gargantuan, dramatic cliffs rose and formed towering mountains.

Rather than walk away from the situation, I fell to the backup plan. I was able to take a stash of images away from the location, albeit not exactly the images I’d planned. It’s all down to having that ‘plan B’ ready to step in when necessary.

Team, always make sure you have options. Have a plan B every time you shoot so if plan A fails, you can walk away with something. We can strive to attain all we’d set out under plan A and, if it doesn’t work, wouldn’t have known unless we’d tried. Plan B will afford us the safety net to ensure we achieve something and to ensure some form of success to keep driving us forwards.

You can watch my progress via my Instagram story, and I’ll catch you all next week.

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. Today I write this post from the Faroe Islands where I arrived with my van just yesterday morning. I’m here for a week and so far I’ve taken photos in just one location.

As photographers we are largely at the mercy of nature. Some of us have the luxury of shooting indoors but for people like me who shoot outdoors, we rely on the circumstances being just right. I decided to travel in the this van of mine for that very reason. I am now far less limited than I was before and if the circumstances aren’t I right I can simply wait until they are.

Last night I had planned to shoot the setting sun from atop a mountain overlooking the incredible Faroese fjords, but nature had other ideas. As I climbed the mountain (in the van) a storm closed in fast. My plans had been completely hampered and nature was winning. The howling gales and rains offered the full force of the Atlantic Ocean to me, with nothing else to stop it between here and Antarctica. It just wasn’t to be and I had to move to a safer and more comfortable location, suspending my plans.

The weather around here is deemed to be ‘Subpolar Oceanic Climate.’ That translates loosely to mean ‘anything can happen.’

So I find myself here, on the island of Vágur. I’m waiting for a break in this crazy weather and I’m overlooking the waterfall I want to shoot today when, with a bit of luck, the clouds will part and let that golden light through.

We are at the mercy of nature. But we strive to succeed and show the world through our eyes.

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday again and I, Dave Williams, am writing this to you from under the sea! I’m in the eurotunnel – a 25 mile undersea tunnel that connects us Brits to mainland Europe. This is the first big part of my ad-van-ture and I plan to wake up in Kinderdijk, Netherlands in the morning when this post goes live. 

Today I want to talk to you about the fear I felt in changing my entire life in order to do this and hopefully inspire you to be brave. 

I’ve been a photographer for years but I was working alongside a full-time ‘regular’ job while I built my photography business. The regular salary was secure and would arrive in my bank account every month. Running your own business isn’t quite like that in most cases. 

I knew that if I was going to quit the day job and shoot for a living, rather than as my side hustle, I’d lose that security. I agonised over it for a few years, constantly telling colleagues that I was going to quit. It got to the point that I’m sure they didn’t actually believe me when I eventually did it! 

The process before that is the bit where I had to take all the thoughts, the niggles, the worst case scenarios, and everything else that was running through my head and try my beat to organise it and rationalise it, adding an element of bravery into the mix. We live our lives largely looking at our fears and the things that might go wrong and, if I’m totally honest, there is an element of risk still present despite all the planning and preparation I’ve done here. But if I didn’t have some bravery to throw into this mix I would never be here, under the sea in a metal tube moving towards France at 100mph and totally changing my future. 

So that’s my message for this week. Be brave. Consider everything, assess risk, but be brave in doing so. Sometimes the thing you really want that may appear to be just outside arms teach is achievable with a little bravery.

Much love

Dave

(and yes, this was entirely written and uploaded whilst under the sea. 2021 is making a comeback!)

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here to lay down a little inspiration all about proper preparation.

I’m now getting ready for my departure in the van, which will see me on the road for at least three months. The things I’m doing this week are critical to ensure my van is ready for an action-packed mission to take in as many Nordic countries as I can this winter, as well as spending time well beyond the Arctic circle. I’m servicing the van and installing new components that will make life easier (and warmer) for me. That got me thinking.

There have been many times throughout my photographic career that I’ve made mistakes simply by not being prepared. There are mistakes we can work our way out of, and mistakes we can’t. Misplaced memory cards, uncharged batteries, snapped slings, or forgotten lenses – there are so many levels of unpreparedness to consider.

When we work on a paid project rather than a personal project it can make a huge difference to our credibility and our future success. Being prepared for all our life throws at us, both personally and professionally, makes all the difference. If we prepare ourselves we stand a much greater chance of success.

This week as well as bringing the van up to speed, I’ll be checking, cleaning and charging all my gear just as I would have when I shot weddings and had a job on. If a shot presents itself or a writing opportunity comes in, I’ll be ready. I hope you will be, too.

When starting out as a pro photographer and turning a hobby into a business, this is crucial. There are tons of resources out there to help, including an array of KelbyOne classes, to help us get on track and stay on track.

Have a think about how prepared you are and see if there’s anything you can do to up yourself game.

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here writing from on the road in my converted van made especially for my travel photography. I’m currently in Scotland and on Friday I did something.

I was in a little bay called Skerray, at the end of a country road on the north coast of Scotland. It’s not often visited by people other than fishermen and dog walkers, and me!

I was exploring and noticed a desolate building absent of a roof, but when I went inside I found a couple of wooden boats and some paintings.

There was a bare picture frame on the wall. It looked sad. It looked like it needed a little something.

I got to work. I went back to the van and busted out my camera and tripod, then headed onto the beach. There were beautiful rocks with intricate shapes and nice colours, so I arranged them and took a shot of Skerray Bay. I hustled back to the van and processed the photo in Adobe Photoshop, making some very minor tweaks, before printing the shot on the Epson XP-900 that I designed into the van on A3.

I headed back to that little picture frame and left my souvenir behind.

With the festive season coming up I feel this is an appropriate time to remind all photographers to give the gift of photography, using their special talent to make friends and family smile.

Much love

Dave

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