Joseph Anthony mission statement. Get to know me as a person and photography instructor and what I can offer to teach you that I believe few others in the photography industry can.
WITH SO MANY photographers offering photo safaris and workshops I wanted to explain what I have to offer that I believe not many others do.
Hello my name is Joseph Anthony and if you are reading this I hope you will learn more about me as a photographer and photography instructor. I want to make a positive impact in the industry while instilling strong ethical approaches to photography especially with regard to wildlife and landscape subjects. No photograph is worth its salt if it has resulted in the stress of an animal, damage to the environment or disrespect for people. I also want to maintain the highest standards of integrity and best practices.
Unlike the vast majority of photographers out there claiming to "teach" you photography, I have a professional background in teaching from a previous career in aviation as a flying instructor and airline pilot so I have trained myself to use both the technical and creative sides of my brain as well as maintaining high personal standards and professionalism in a challenging and highly competitive industry with serious responsibilities. I transposed those skills and disciplines with strong work ethics and incorporated them into photographic teaching alongside developing my own photography skills across multiple genres through a combination of formal teaching, self learning, being mentored by industry leaders and sheer hard graft in professional and some cases extremely challenging outdoor environments. I have worked with wildlife and conservation organisations, the Nikon camera company, editors of top magazines and newspapers, provided exclusive and time critical photo news stories for the worlds media, worked to test equipment, shoot assignments, achieved high profile awards and exhibited several times around the world across a variety of genres. I understand the requirements for commercial and artistic printing needs, book making as well as the differences compared to digital online publishing. This breadth and depth of my knowledge and experience is a unique selling point as I can teach insights and skills to any level of photographer.
Although wildlife and nature photography is my main area of passion and arguably expertise, I chose to develop my skills across multiple genres contrary to the advise of many who think specialising is the easiest way to "make it" in the industry. To some extent as a lone photographer trying to make a name for themselves this might be sound advice but as I am also driven to provide the best TEACHING I can for others to learn from, I would feel like a fraud to call myself a photographer if I did not avail myself of the broadest possible range of skills in order to teach more effectively.
Given the introduction above, I believe that one of the keys to effectively imparting knowledge is being able to explain a concept or technique in more than one way because we all learn and respond to teaching differently. One explanation or demonstration might work for some but others might struggle to grasp the concept. Effective teachers need to be able to dig into their tool box and find other ways to explain the same thing. I'm sure you have all had teachers with lots of knowledge but who have no clue how to teach what they know! Being a good teacher is a SKILL and it is distinctly separate from being a great photographer! So do not be lulled into thinking that just because a famous photographer is hosting an expensive workshop or safari that they will be effective teachers.
Unfortunately there are also many photographers who think they are offering tuition when in fact they just use clients time and money to help them build their own portfolios or they choose quantity over quality when it comes to the size of their groups. It should be apparent that I have no need or desire to build my portfolio given the breadth and depth of my professional archive. For me photo safaris and workshops are entirely about the customer experience and I derive as much joy from teaching photography as I do from my own work and lifelong personal development as a photographer. I hope from that last sentence you picked up on the clue that I consider the mastery of photography to be a lifelong pursuit of excellence alongside personal evolution. As creatives we must not rest on our laurels and while it is nice to enjoy successes, the fruits of our labour and the joy of moving people with our work, it is also important to keep pushing and growing as individuals and photographers. There are endless possibilities with photography and I believe we should all be receptive to change and learning new things from each other. The only constant in life is change!
Apart from obviously teaching field craft and bringing people closer to nature, I teach a repeatable workflow and framework to develop core competencies conveying technical aspects in clear and concise ways for beginners as well as adapting the explanations to cater for the different skill and experience levels of photographic clients. Due to my varied professional experience across multiple genres and working in extremely challenging environments with different deliverable objectives, I know how to teach photographers the need to modify the basic framework and adapt it for any personal project or professional assignment. The secret is to have a core, repeatable and reliable foundation of skills and processes and then have the additional adaptive knowledge and insights to adjust for variations in approach. This is something relatively few photographers know anything about and especially those who only teach one genre!
The unique variety of experiences I have under my belt have revealed to me secrets such as how to deliver under time pressure and how to capture strong images consistently by understanding everything from light to composition and even things like understanding risk vs reward and the necessary mental and technical approaches needed to deliver time after time. Don't think this is only the domain of the aspiring professional! The insights and techniques I teach are applicable to varying degrees for beginners as well and I promise I won't baffle you with complexity if all you seek is to take better quality images to share with family and friends. It does not matter whether you have a smartphone or top of the line equipment, I can teach you how to get the most out of what you have. There are repeatable steps to develop consistency that applies at all experience levels.
My job is to identify areas of strength and weakness as well as be highly in tune with your aspirations and what you want to achieve with your photography. I want you to grow your skill set, develop muscle memories so that you free up spare capacity to think more freely and creatively and are no longer paralysed with worry or fear about the technical aspects or what people might think about your photographs. The technical skills need to become second nature and ingrained. You can then be more confident every time you take out your camera so as to unleash your true creative potential.
While I make no apology for wanting to push everyone as far as possible in the available time I also know how to limit things depending on the ambition level and capacity for learning of my students. This is a really important teaching skill that requires a lot of experience to know how to get the most out of a student without pushing them too far where their performance levels are adversely affected.
A key take away from my teaching style is that studying and understanding the environment and wildlife behaviour is essential before you can really capture great images. I am able to demonstrate that no matter what the subject or the opportunity in the field, by taking a mindful approach to life and photography, I can prepare you mentally to get in the right mindset to make your best images. Taking this approach will make you realise there are limitless stories to tell and great photos to be made around every corner often where you might least expect to find them.
I strongly advocate a broad genre multi disciplined approach even if you are only interested in wildlife photography in order to change how you see the world, photograph familiar often photographed subjects (and even less well photographed ones) in different and fresh ways. This approach will ensure you never get artistic or creative block and ensure you create images that are true to YOUR unique creative vision. Personally I am fed up with seeing generic images on the internet where it is clear the photographer has only copied someone else's work. I am also fed up with seeing excessive use of presets and filters to copy a popular "look". These approaches are limited and your work will just get lost in the millions of others or fall out of fashion when a new look becomes more popular. By all means use them from time to time as you explore and discover what you like and prefer but I can help teach you how to create images that will stand the test of time! I don't want you to make generic images, I want to coach and nurture your creative free thinking spirit, train you to 'see' like a photographer and give you the technical know how from in camera techniques to post processing and even printing so that you are equipped with the foundation of all the necessary skills to grow as a photographer. I want to be able to look at a photograph and be able to say I know who took it without being told who did. That is the kind of photographer I want you to become. Someone who has their own unique voice and who's work speaks for itself.
At the end of the day, your camera is just an instrument and I will teach you how to master it and become a better more uniquely individual and confident photographer over time. The real secret to photography is not how expensive a camera you have or how many lenses you own, it is what is in your mind and how you communicate that to your audience. It is important to develop a clear vision and then work out what tools you need to realise that vision.
So whether you just want tips on a photo safari to take better photographs or you want guidance on developing a serious portfolio with your own unique style, I can help you achieve those goals.
Most importantly I want you to realise that where the real fun in photography lies is in the enjoyment of the PROCESS and journey getting there, not being afraid to experiment, embracing your errors along the way and how to use what you learn from those errors to make better images !
I believe in the power of photography to bring like minded people together and so as a teacher I go out of my way to ensure that all my students feel included no matter the range of skill levels or ambition and I want to make you more confident and not feel intimidated no matter what the experience level you have compared to others in the group. Of course I can also gladly arrange to give you bespoke one on one tuition if you prefer.
I believe more strongly than ever that although yes there is a wealth of free resources online to learn about photography none of them can replace in the field experiences or face to face tuition. That interaction and practical guided experience alone helps you learn way faster than any online tutorial ever could especially when starting out but also when expanding knowledge and trying to ingrain the field craft techniques and skills. I can also vouch for that from my own personal learning journey. Especially crucial for wildlife and nature photography! There really is no substitute for getting out there in nature, learning behaviour and practising the techniques under guidance. The more you know the better it gets which is why I think photography can be a lifelong pursuit even if you have no intention to earn a living from it.
These and many more concepts are what I can offer you as photography instructor and mentor. My approach is meticulous, disciplined and thorough but also fun. I never want my students to feel intimidated but I do want to push them to realise their potential.
Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to see a student having their "a-ha" moment or the joy on their faces when they take a great photograph.
My tours are carefully thought out to keep group sizes smaller and more intimate while trying to represent good value at the same time. With this in mind I keep numbers in safari vehicles low and arrange exclusive use of vehicles to give my groups the most freedom of movement possible and in order to maximise teaching in the field. During down time back at the accommodation we will work on debriefing the day, understanding downloading, back up and image editing processes as well as image critique sessions and to prepare and plan for the following day. I also assure that before a trip I arrange to talk with each client about their equipment, what they have and what additional items might be needed, their current experience levels and what they hope to achieve. Then after a trip I provide ongoing support to tidy up any loose ends, clarify any learning points that haven't yet sunk in and make myself available for ongoing learning as required.
The objective is 100 % customer satisfaction both from a photography learning point of view and to ensure you have experiences and memories of a lifetime.
Thanks for reading this mission statement and I look forward to help you change how you see the world through the wonderful medium of photography!
Please see the safaris and workshops tab for two different itineraries in Africa this year to suit varying budgets and experiences. More will be added over time. Feel free to contact me if you have a specific destination in mind as I can tailor to private guided experiences or very small groups as well if you have somewhere or something in mind in particular you want to photograph.
firstname.lastname@example.org to connect via email enquiries or contact me via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn ! Link buttons at the top of every page here on my website!
"A new beginning " the photograph I captured from a boat recently at the ocean entry of Mount Kilauea volcano has been featured by National Geographic on Twitter and Instagram
Here is one interview I did for Jacada Travel as part of solo exhibition in Hong Kong.
An awesome day and privilege to photograph at the Mai Po marshlands on the border between Hong Kong and Shenzen China. Not easily accessible as you need to arrange special permission to visit. To get to this hide I had to hike a few km through the reserve including across a narrow boardwalk floating on barrels which took us through some mangroves via a waterway. Slow going with all my camera gear. Then access to the hide on the China side behind a border gate. Here I was photographing across a flat area with the tide out looking towards the imposing skyscrapers of Shenzen and the ever approaching urbanisation. Mai Po is one of the last strongholds for migratory birds which pass through Hong Kong. It is under pressure from developers who want to build closer and closer to the boundary of the reserve. Mai Po is a good example of sustainable development thanks to the retention of the traditional gei wai shrimp farming method. From the WWF Mai Po website "Gei wai not only support vast numbers of aquatic and marine invertebrates and fish, they are also a food source for other wildlife including waterbirds, mammals and reptiles. Non-commercial fish and shrimp are left in drained down gei wai and become food for waterbirds. A single gei wai can attract up to 1,600 individual birds from many species, including the globally endangered Black-faced spoonbill. These traditional shrimp ponds are a good example of how coastal wetlands can be managed sustainably in a way that benefits both local communities and wildlife while minimizing impacts on the natural environment". I was indeed lucky enough to see a pair of Black faced spoonbills from this hide. Iconic and endangered birds with only about 3000 remaining in the wild. Images to follow after bird expert ID of one exciting species observed in particular..
Breaking News: 28th September 2015: One of my super moon photos from last night is going to appear on T.V. tonight in the U.K on ITV News here also is the link to the image:
It will also be appearing in the Bournemouth Daily Echo tomorrow 30th September with a brief article about me. The Daily Echo website now has four of the photos from the last two days here:
To all friends and followers new and old alike welcome to my blog where you can follow my updates. The project has changed somewhat being broken down into a series of photo books. Starting with the first one about the Cat Survival Trust in Welwyn. Future books will continue to tell their story overseas. Stay tuned.
Keep checking back for updates and images added to the galleries and slideshows over the coming weeks and months. Fine art prints will be available for purchase soon in limited editions. Some even more exclusive images will be announced and viewings available online via password protected links for only the most interested followers of my work. Numerous printing options will be made available from traditional fine art museum grade archival paper to LED backlighting with variable dimmer switching options using special print processes on acrylic that meets the same standard of image quality as fine art paper but using the latest even light dispersion backlighting technology. This method of presentation will allow the collector control over the nuances and subtlety of lighting and detail usually only available when using front lit track spotlighting as seen in fine art galleries. Have this kind of control in your own home with special low profile LED ightboxes to highlight a unique piece of art work as a centrepiece in your home and luminance adjustable via remote control. Multiple framing options allows the technology to be incorporated behind traditional wooden frames and/or using more modern looking presentation. Using LED lighting also means very low energy consumption.