Richard is a British photographer attempting to travel to every continent through a series of creative trades. Also known on the web as "The Glass passport" he offer his professional photography worldwide in exchange for food and accomodation.
When did you first know you wanted to be a photographer?
Buying a Fujifilm X-Pro1 in March 2014 was my first camera purchase. I can now trace back a bubbling interest in photography several years prior to that but that marked the beginning of actively pursuing it and teaching myself as hobby.
It wasn't until I went for the nuclear option and quit my office job in June that I decided to not settle for a half-measure and put my heart and soul into photography full time... with a twist.
Can you tell us a bit more about your ongoing project « The Glass Passport »
I am attempting to travel to every continent by trading my professional photography for food to eat, a place to stay and transport between these creative exchanges. Sofa surfing, living out of a suitcase and documenting every trade along the way. As long as those that want to trade with/hire me cover these basic needs I'm there with my camera.
Stripping back to my core motivations all I wanted to do is get out in the world and photograph more. Travel but without sacrificing my professional development. I'd learnt about people living these bartering lifestyles to various extents and this project became the answer that I was looking for.
What is the biggest challenge you faced so far in your career?
This project! I wasn't particularly established as a photographer at all (even in the conventional sense) prior to launching it. So getting it off the ground, managing logistics and continually trying to improve my work towards the standards I hope to achieve one day is a formidable learning curve.
I'm anticipating all of this amplifying as I take my first international step with the project first thing in the new year.
How do you edit on the go?
I edit my images with a 5 year old Macbook Pro that still handles everything very well but perhaps a bit weightier than I would like when on the move! I have to ensue I factor in the time at each location/trade for editing wherever I can set the laptop down for a couple of hours (pretty much exclusively using Lightroom).
How do you see the photography business evolving?
Technology will obviously keeping on increasing the accessibility of producing high quality imagery. I know that means photography is an increasingly saturated profession but it also provides more and more options to experiment, share and be creative in using photography as a tool to tell stories and get your take on the world out there.
Trade 31 - Kimberley Mills
Having just arrived for trade 31, my new hosts were keen to try the new Sushi place that had recently opened in Balham. We headed out for and spent the evening talking recent events, the role of University, Tim Ferris and, among other things, hot dog eating contests. The best projects/trades rarely start with photography, they start around the table with dinner and good conversation.
I spent the better part of a week staying there to create some imagery for Kimberley's Yoga business. Initially beginning in her studio, the nature of the project gave us time for creativity to evolve the shoots and try ideas in other locations around London as Kimberley got used to me photographing her practice. In between more food centric socialising and joining in her yoga classes myself that is.
Again, as with some of my favourite trades I had the tendency to set off for the next project with new friends instead of a new clients.