Frequently Asked Questions

What gear and equipment do you use?

I’ve got a whole page on my website dedicated to the gear I use. Click here to visit it, or click here to watch a video about my gear and equipment.

What camera should I buy?

My advice is always to buy the camera you can afford, and the camera that you think is going to benefit you the most. Generally, when you are starting out in photography, you don’t need the most expensive camera on the market. The fact is that the difference between a £600 camera and a £3000 camera, isn’t really that noticeable unless you know how to use it. What you are far more likely to benefit from is buying a range of different lenses to be able to mix up your shooting style and subjects. To anyone starting out, I recommend thinking of the future and planning ahead. If you get into photography and get hooked, you will likely want to upgrade your camera body within a year or two anyway, so don’t break the bank on the first purchase. I recommend starting out on something that’s a middle of the market camera. Something that lets you shoot in RAW, lets you shoot in Manual mode, and has interchangeable lenses. It would also be useful to future proof your purchases by trying to stick with one camera brand – a lot of the lenses that fit on the Sony A6000 will also work on the A7iii, so if you did decide to upgrade you could keep some of your lenses.

Do you sell prints?

Yes! Most of my images are available for sale, simply drop me an email with a reference and we’ll talk about what I can do for you.

How did you get started?

I’ve always been a creative and active person. Photography really started for me when I was spending a lot of my teenage years skating or BMXing. I was always the guy who’d have a camera with me (I think I even used a cheap Canon point and shoot to get started). As I grew up and spent more time in the outdoors, finding my hobbies and the things I love to do, the camera came with me. I think it’s important to have an interest in your subject: whether its wildlife, nature or portraiture, you’ve really got to be into what you’re doing. Your passion for the subject will encourage and drive you to do more and progress yourself.

Do you have any tips for photographers starting out?

Get out and shoot. There’s not much more to it than that. You don’t improve without putting in the ground work. What really helped kick-start me was posting a photo every day. The drive to take enough photos I deemed of a high enough quality to post consistently really helped to get out and develop my skills.

The other thing I’d advise is to be inquisitive. When you see a shot you like ask yourself questions about it – what is it that you like about it? what techniques have been used? what settings were they using? Being keen to learn is always a great way of developing skills.

I always shoot on full manual, and pretty much always have. Part of this stemmed from using a camera for so long that really wasn’t very good at shutter/aperture priority, but also because I like to know that I’m in control. I’m not by any means stating that this is the best way to shoot, and many people switch between settings depending upon circumstance, but for me it’s just the way I’ve always done it. I’m comfortable with it, even if it might mean taking a short or two before hand to find the right set up.

Any tips for growing on Instagram?

Content is the most important thing about your account. Try to create a theme and style to your account so that people have something to invest in, give people something to expect and something to look forward to. You need to post regularly (but not too much); for me that’s once a day usually between 3-5 GMT. From experience I’ve found that engagement and attention seems to run on momentum, try to catch a wave and keep riding it as long as you can. Be social; don’t forget that this is social media. Talk to people, engage with your audience and other content creators. I also actively try to portray myself behind the account – share your feelings and emotions and utilise Stories to showcase who you are and what you’re up to. Use hashtags to try and maximise exposure, if you’re starting out try to focus on some smaller local tags that might increase your reach before stepping up to bigger tags and feature tags. Tagging feature accounts in your images is also a great way to get your work out there and increase the chances of being featured. Patience is very important as none of this will happen overnight and you’re going to have to persevere and keep putting the effort in. It will pay off eventually. Don’t get hung up on numbers, try to focus on creating work that you love and putting passion into it. Getting obsessed with numbers and growth will ultimately take the fun out of a lot of it, so just try to be chill and think of the reasons you started photography in the first place.
Don’t get caught up in any ‘cheat’ ways to grow quickly – engagement pods, likebots, bought followers/likes. Whilst you may think this is a good way to grow, it doesn’t create an interested and strong following, and ultimately you’ll end up regretting it.

What draws you to the outdoors and shooting landscapes?

I’ve always been an outdoor person. Right from a young child I’d spend most of my time outdoors, riding bikes or exploring in the woods. My dad started taking me on my first trips to the Lake District and Snowdonia when I was around 7, which helped plant the seeds of what was to come. As I’ve grown older I’ve found a real love for nature. I find it calming, refreshing and exhilarating all at the same time. I think that most people spend too much time inside these days glued to the television and social media, and that’s not what I want to see when I look back at my life.

How do you discover new locations to visit?

I tend to get my inspiration from a number of different places. Instagram and the Internet in general play a big part in it – I’ll often see a photo and become obsessed with it, finding out where it is and how to get there. I’ve got a pretty extensive map of locations saved, with places all over the world, which really helps when planning trips.

But as well as that I love the sense of adventure. Nothing beats the feeling of discovery and exploration – I think this is something that rings true with almost everyone. So I also spend a lot of time studying Ordnance Survey maps, or trawling through Google Earth for landscapes of interest, places to walk or locations to camp. I think it’s refreshing to head out with no real plan, no real idea of what you’re going to see. Sometimes that can lead to a flat disappointing day, but the contrast of finding something incredible makes up for that a hundred times over.

How do you go on so many trips?

I’ve always wanted to travel a lot, and there’s a few things I do which enable me to travel as much as possible. Every trip I do I aim to keep it as cheap as possible, which usually means sleeping in the back of my van or wild camping in the woods, whilst eating some basic pasta + pesto cooked on a gas stove and sipping port round a campfire. Yes, I’ll often get jealous if the people I’m away with go and get a pub dinner every night, but I’d always prefer to be going away 3/4 times a month and roughing it a little, than one trip in relative comfort.

Travelling in a group is the best way to minimise costs, and this is one of the other main reasons I’m able to travel as much as I do; splitting the cost of fuel, food and accommodation four ways means you can effectively do a weekend trip to Germany for less than £200 each.

What is your favourite place that you’ve been?

A few years ago I spent a week on the Isle of Rùm, in the Inner Hebrides. It was my first time travelling to Scotland, and it really opened up my eyes to the beauty of the British Isles. Rùm is an island with only around 30 inhabitants (although it boasts 900 wild Red Deer), and at little more than 10 miles across it’s quite a small place. Prior to this trip I’d made several trips to the Peak District, Lake District, Snowdonia, and the Brecon Beacons, but this was the first trip where I really felt like I was in the wild; rugged remote landscapes, without footpaths, roads or civilisation. That island, and that trip will always be special to me, and it’s somewhere I’d really like to go back to at some point.y.

Can we go out shooting/walking together?

Yes, I’d love to. I’ve met a lot of fantastic people through photography and have had some really great times getting to know people round a camp fire or climbing a mountain. If you’d like to go on a trip or meet for an afternoon’s shooting hit me up on the contact page.

My questions not been answered?

If you’re still searching for an answer, drop me an email on jack@anstey.studio and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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