Pro Team: Joe Burford

Pro Team: Joe Burford

Pro Team: Joe Burford

Get some insight into our newest Pro Team member Joe Burford's career and learn about his passion for photography. 

Our Pro Team is a fantastic group of talented photographers. This time we introduce wedding and creative documentary photographer Joe Burford. 

Was there a single event that made you decide to become a professional photographer?

"It was very much a push rather than a great leap. I was made redundant from a very stressful corporate job as a Senior Account Manager in a London-based ad firm. The mere thought of re-entering the industry made my chest tight but luckily I already had a few weddings booked on the side and quickly realised it is possible to enjoy your job and not feel that inevitable Sunday night anxiety. In the subsequent five years I’ve been fortunate enough to shoot some amazing things in amazing places and haven’t looked back. I’m much better at this photography stuff... and not having a boss. It’s a push I’m forever grateful for."

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What is your favourite location to capture?

"Italy. More specifically the Tuscan town of Cortona. Such an old town that’s been kept relatively free of modernisation. There’s an abundance of stunning locations, subtle colour tones and natural light while nature and man-made co-exist seamlessly. Honourable mention to Iceland for obvious reasons."

Social media – love it or hate it?

"Depends on the focus. For business, especially in arts and culture; I love it. Some platforms act as great free marketing tools and information sharing. Conversely, there’s no doubt social media facilitates divisive rhetoric (especially in regard to politics) and I’m really apprehensive over anything with so much potentially negative cultural influence."

Favourite camera you have ever used or owned, and why?

"My Canon 5D mk3 with the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens. My first ever DSLR was a Nikon but quickly made the switch after working on a project for Canada Tourism where I was obliged to use Canon gear. The functionality came so naturally. I later invested in this stunning portrait lens which I’ve used to death and produced my very best work. There’s no doubt this camera-lens combo were integral in developing my overall style and approach. Although they still deliver the goods they are absolutely battered. I’m considering a small ceremony when they finally need retiring. You’re all invited."

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What’s in your kit bag?

"2x Sony a7iii

Sony FE 85mm F/1.4 GM, Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

Canon 5D mk3, Canon 5D mk2

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L

Tripods / stabilisers:

3LT Legends MIKE Tripod +AirHed Cine

3LT VANZ Rubber Feet
3LT Ray Legends Tripod & AirHed
2x 3LT ELLIE-C Bracket

Zhiyun Crane 2 Gimbal Other:

Lots of batteries, lots of 64GB Sandisk Extremes, card readers lots of chargers, lots of Seagate 4TB hard drives, MacBook Pro."

Name 5 essential items in your photography bag

"Sony A7iii + Tamron 17-28mm (favourite wide angle), Canon 5Dmk3 + Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art, 3 Legged Thing Ray Legends"

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Are there any strange/unusual items in your photo bag? Household bits?

"Trousers: I have an irrational fear of my trousers splitting mid-shoot (I tend to bounce around a lot)."

How would you describe your style of photography?

"Creative documentary"

What is one thing you have learnt over the past year?

"The worst decision is indecision.

On a less philosophical note I’ve got pretty handy with a gimbal and Premiere Pro."

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What is your earliest memory of handling a camera?

"Photographing my Dad and Brother at Epcot Centre in Disney World. Genuinely the worst photo ever. I used them to frame the giant iconic golf ball-looking-thing and they just look like two depressed goalposts - Things could only get better. I think I was 10 at the time."

If you hadn’t gone into photography, what do you think you’d be doing now?

"I have this romantic idea of being a head chef in my own Italian restaurant."

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All photos: ©Joe Burford

What is one question you’d like to be asked and never have been?

"Would you like to tour the arctic for a nature documentary?!"

What is the most random fact you know/love?

"Sharks have been around longer than trees."

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