Jack Anstey

AGE // 29
OCCUPATION // Freelance Photographer
HOMETOWN // Leicestershire, United Kingdom
BASED // In a van, United Kingdom

Photography to me is about much more than simply taking a picture. It’s about capturing the emotion, the story and the context of the occasion. I’ve learnt through years of exploration and adventure that it’s the experience that I cherish the most, not just the satisfaction of reaching the summit or watching a sunset. Through my images I aim to document the entire journey; conveying to the audience the entire adventure and letting them feel the experience.

I was born and raised in Leicester, United Kingdom, and spent most of my childhood exploring the outdoors. My earliest memories are of exploring the fields near my house, taking hiking trips to the Lake District, and riding bikes in the woods. The seed of excitement in the outdoors was planted and as I grew so did my love of adventure and I began spending more of my time outdoors. At aged 14 got my first camera to start taking photos of me and my friends skating and BMXing. I began taking more and more trips to the remote areas of the UK, wild camping the Brecon Beacons, climbing in Snowdonia and hiking in the Lake District, of course my camera came with me.

At 19 I relocated to study Graphic Design at Sheffield Hallam University. Whilst I wasn’t able to get out in nature as much whilst studying, I was still able to make the most of the nearby Peak District, as well as taking a few longer trips to Scotland and the Hebrides. After graduating in 2015 I landed myself my first design job and moved to Bakewell, in the heart of the Peak District. My professional skills and interest in the use and application of design in the real world developed greatly over the coming months. I began to learn web design as well as the professional aspects of photography within the industry. Whilst living in the middle of a National Park I was able to get out in nature every day, cycling, hiking, camping and taking photos. It was during my time living in Derbyshire that I first began to share images on Instagram and I first started getting appreciation and recognition for my work. 

I moved back to Leicester in winter of 2016 and into a Graphic and Web Design role, putting a lot of my newly learn skills into use. In the background my photography was rapidly becoming a passion I couldn’t ignore and I found myself living two lives: working hard in my design job in the week, and getting away on adventures at weekends. I’d leave work on a Friday afternoon and drive all night to spend my weekend in the mountains, before heading back late Sunday weekend. My desire to travel, document and experience everything the world had to offer was growing, and during this period I made trips to Wales, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy and Iceland.

Pretty soon I was getting professional interest in my photography, and I found myself spending most evenings working on edits, writing briefs and planning the next trip. I began to realise I had an opportunity with my photography and that I would forever regret not taking the chance to turn my passion into a career. With the prospect of a couple of well paying photography campaigns on the horizon I resigned from my design job, got out of my rented accommodation and moved into my van. From here I began travelling the UK and Europe working on photography briefs and personal adventures. Over the following year I was able to work with some of the world’s leading brands in outdoor, tourism, and accommodation industries, and travel across the world on assignments. 

I’ve always been cautious to keep my passion for photography at the heart of everything I do. I like to maintain a healthy relationship between my work and play, choosing to working on the right briefs and projects as well as making time for personal trips and adventures as well. To me photography, adventure, the outdoors and travel has become a lot more than a career; it’s my whole way of life.

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