Published on July 9th, 2018 | by Alison Barclay0
Pro Team: Paul John Bayfield
Our Pro Team are a fantastic group of talented photographers, many of whom have used 3 Legged Thing tripods and accessories for several years. In the coming months, we will be introducing you to the different members of the team, using short Q&As to give you some insight into how they work, what equipment they use, and how they became professional photographers.
Next in the series is Paul John Bayfield, a photojournalist and commercial photographer.
What is your earliest memory of handling a camera?
“Don’t tell anyone, but when I was little I used to steal my dads camera. It was an old analogue Canon SLR.
“I figured out over a period of time how to use it and would use chore money to buy rolls of 35 from the local village shop. Most of the shots were terrible but they got better over time the more I practiced. He’d still kick my ass if he found out.”
Was there a single event that made you decide to become a professional photographer?
“Not really a single event. Cameras were always my favourite toys. Later in life I found people were asking me to photograph things and then afterwards they’d give me some money.
“After a while I realised that money was pretty much covering all my bills. When it got to the point where I had extra money after that I just kept going and gave up the day job. I haven’t had a ‘job’ since.”
What is your favourite location to capture?
“That’s a very tough question. I find my camera is the reason why I get to go and explore so many different places and I’m always hungry to explore a new location.
“I like getting out in to the wild. The sheer diversity of wildlife and landscapes in North America is incredible and I love shooting there. But at the same time I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Social media – love it or hate it?
“I got rid of my Facebook profile years ago. I still keep a business page to post images but you don’t get the home feed with everybody else’s issues all over it. I just got bored of seeing what high school friends were having for lunch. Plus they started breeding so it was non-stop baby pictures. I’m out.
“The one for me is Instagram, it’s just images and short videos and I love that it’s a totally visual world. You can be inspired by – and directly interact with – all the people you admire and influence you through the photographic community.”
Favourite camera you have ever used or owned, and why?
“I have a couple. My Fujifilm X100 goes everywhere with me. It’s a fixed focal length 35 and the colours are to die for. Because of it’s limitations it makes it work harder for your shot. I like that, keeps you practicing. I think if I could only keep one camera it might be that.
“Another one close to my heart is a beautiful old Nikon F3-T. If you’ve ever used one you’ll know why.”
What’s in your kit bag?
“It changes depending on the job. I just put the tools necessary for the particular job in the box.
“All my pro gear is Nikon. Not for any other reason than it’s durability. I’ve had various incidents, dropped them to the bottoms of rivers and even had one fall from a motorcycle and bounce down a mountain road. They never seem to break.
“I use the D850, D4 and D5 with focal ranges from 105 macro out to 600mm”
Name 5 essential items in your photography bag.
“At least one back up body and back up lens. Batteries, memory cards, more batteries.”
Are there any strange/unusual items in your photo bag? Household bits?
“Actually I keep some toothpicks. I’ve had a couple of times when CF port pins have slightly bent while working in the field and a toothpick came to the rescue. It’s happened a couple of times so I always keep them handy. Oh and diarrhoea medication. You don’t wanna be caught without that in a jungle.”
How would you describe your style of photography?
“Good question. Haven’t thought about that. I think if you truly love something it shows. So I hope that comes across in the images I take. Whether it’s of the subject itself or purely the act of taking the photograph. It’s all purely subjective. I may take a shot that I don’t regard that highly that someone will really love, and vice-versa.
“I try to keep my photographs as close to as my eye sees them, to set the camera to try and match the moment. I like documenting those bits of time as honestly as possible.”
What is one question you’d like to be asked and never have been?
“I’d like Hayley Atwell to ask me to dinner. In Costa Rica. Or just Costa if I’m honest.”
All Photos ©Paul John Bayfield