What is your name and what do you do?
Sam Fry, photographer.
Where are you from and how has being there affected your creativity?
I’m originally from North London, so am quite lucky to be in a city with so much history and diversity which in turn directly impacts my inspiration. There’s so many different mentalities, ideas and approaches to work which is really refreshing when chatting to other photographers.
Explain what initially got you into shooting?
Definitely Instagram. I followed a bunch of London based photographers, saw what they were doing and thought “hey I want to get in on that”. Initially I was shooting on my iPhone 5S for around a year, cutting my teeth with the processes and trying to emulate what they were doing, but got serious in 2016 and went all in with a DSLR.
Explain what does an average day look like for you?
An average day when I’m shooting usually means getting up early for the good light. I like to plan my shooting days so will have a list of areas I want to hit up, spending as long as it takes to get some images I’m happy with – then back home to edit!
When I’m not shooting, I’ll walk the dog and make a mental list of things I need to do that day, then get stuck into some photography books, Lightroom or planning the next shoot. Photography is at the core of most things I do now, and my camera is never far from me.
What things do you look at or watch for inspiration?
My number one source of inspiration has to be Instagram. Without fail I can open my newsfeed and find someone at an incredible location, trying a new technique, or using a new tool to create something special – it’s really powerful having that available in your pocket at all times. Recently I discovered Tails by Light on Netflix and seeing the processes of world class photographers has been a big inspiration – can we have a second season, please?
What is a quote or motto that you live by?
Not the most interesting motto but “learn from your mistakes”. It’s inevitable you have bad days and bad shoots especially when you’re starting out, but examining why things went wrong and learning from that is vital.
What camera setup do you currently use (camera, lens, other accessories, etc)?
Sony a6000 with a mix of the kit lens, 16-50mm, and the Sony 55-210mm telephoto lens.
What do you specialize in or what do you enjoy shooting the most and why?
Honestly I still think I’m trying to find my niche and will be looking to specialise a little bit more in 2017, so watch this space! Right now I really enjoy street photography, with London on my doorstep it’s the natural habitat for me as a photographer and finding uniqueness in locations that have been shot thousands of times before is a infinite challenge I’m really relishing.
Since we believe that music is the center around all things creative, what are your top 3 music albums, and what about those albums that gets you in a creative zone?
This is such a hard question. Music is such an important part of my creative process and the albums I keep falling back on this year are; Kaytranada – 99.9%, Anderson Paak – Malibu and the soundtrack from Stranger Things.
What I like about these albums is that they are all pretty downtempo, for the most part, and provide a non-invasive soundtrack to shooting and editing. I know a lot of people don’t like to listen to music when they shoot, but I find it sometimes helps shutting out the world and focusing on getting the shot and these albums are a big help.
Who are some shooters that you follow and what do you admire about their work?
I’ve been really enjoying danny.mo’s shots this year. The New York based photographer has been absolutely killing it with his images from the frontlines of political protests and I think he’s captured more emotion than any other person on my newsfeed this year.
ahlex.thorne injects some much needed LA sunshine into my Instagram – though what I really love about her work is how she sucks the vibrance of Los Angeles out of her pictures and gives it a unique, moody tone.
Erenpxl and tomhards, based in London too, are two shooters I really admire. These guys finds shots in angles that you would have never thought existed before until you see their posts. For me, two of the best London based feeds out there.
What is one tangible piece of advice that you would give somebody who has just started shooting? (besides shooting more)
For me, it’s all about planning your shoots. For sure, you might get a few top quality shots if you go out with no aim or focus but having a clear image of the kind of shots you want to achieve, or your subject, is absolutely vital.
Random Question: Who are your 3 people on your bucket list for people you want to shoot with?
I’m a big admirer of Paul Nicklen’s work for National Geographic. He is always taking shots of creatures at the ends of the world and I bet he has some incredible stories to tell. Imagine being able to learn from one of the best in the game – where do I sign up?!
I think shooting with Ben Brown would be hilarious. Having seen his shenanigans on Mission Selfie with Steve Booker and on his Arctic adventure the guy knows how to have a laugh but get some insane good photos.
Finally, I’ve been really enjoying the work of Will Strathmann this year and would love the opportunity to shoot with him. The guy is the definition of explorer and some of the adventures he’s been on this year have been awing to see.
What is next for you?
In 2017 I’ll be doing a lot of travelling and photographing along the way. I’ll be kicking off the year with trips to Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, then hoping to get down to Australia and into the US national parks towards the end of the year. After that, who knows, I’m going to see where I end up!