Richard I´Anson is a travel photographer who has had the privilege of travelling the world over the past 30 years amassing a substantial collection of images of people and places in more than 85 countries and on all seven continents, building a career based on my twin passions for travel and photography.
His images are published worldwide in books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, calendars, posters, cards and websites. They have been reproduced from the size of a stamp (literally) to the size of a tarpaulin protecting the contents of a 53-foot truck trailer. He has published ten books including four editions of the best-selling Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography and the large format pictorials Australia: 42 great landscape experiences, Nepal and India: essential encounters.
Richard I´Anson has won a few awards over the years but am most proud of gaining a Master of Photography and one gold bar from the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and being judged Australia’s top travel photographer by leading commercial clients and industry experts in the 2007 Capture Magazine Australia’s Top Photographers Awards. My photography is represented by Getty Images. When I’m not on the road I live in Sydney, Australia.
Question.- What does travel mean for you?
Answer.- Travel means intensive photography. It allows me to focus 100% on the most important part of my work, the capturing of images. All the other things that are part of making a living as a photographer are left back in the office and I can do what I do best without distraction.
Q.- What kind of things do you analyze when you’re preparing a destination?
A.- The first thing I always check is the dates of important festivals, public holidays and market days. I’ll then check the expected weather conditions. I will create a shot list of all the places and subjects that I’d like to photograph and this allows me to come up with a rough itinerary which in turn informs me as to how long I need, and on what days of the week I should be at a particular destination.
Q.- What’s first? The traveler? Or maybe the photographer?
A.- Photographer. The two are obviously very closely linked for me, but although I love travelling for the sake of it I cannot imagine going anywhere without my camera.
Q.- You started with photography a long time ago, so is there any trace in your pictures that remind us of the sixteen years old boy and his first camera?
A.- I think the connection with my sixteen year old self is that I am just as enthusiastic about taking pictures now as I was then. Plus, I’ve always been instinctively prolific, looking to cover as much ground and capture as many different subjects as possible.
Q.- Richard, what’s the most important project that you’ve done in travel and photography field?
A.- If I can only choose one I would have to say my book on Travel Photography (Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography), now in its fourth edition. It represents over 25 years’ experience in the business and each edition affords me a unique opportunity to perform a substantial review of the images and practices that have got me this far. Just as importantly it’s great to be able to share what I’ve learned and hopefully help others on their own photographic journey.
Q.- You say that one of your main goals is to capture the reality of a place, but how do you prepare yourself in order to achieve that goals? How do you observe people, landscape, architecture, etc?
A.- By using my pre-trip research to make sure I cover all the important sights, places and events, but allowing enough time to explore and discover lesser known subjects and to experience the daily life of the people. I observe all potential subjects with an eye to giving an insight into the diversity of the destination and to try and add something new to how people perceive a place and the people who live there.