Adventures With Dogs
by Laura Storey
CRISS-CROSSING THE COUNTRY IN A CONVERTED CAMPER VAN, JESSICA GRIFFITHS CAPTURES HER ADVENTURES IN THE WILDERNESS...
WHEN DID YOU START SNAPPING?
I bought my first camera in 2015 for a holiday in America. Me and my partner spent three weeks travelling and I decided I wanted a proper camera to take with us. So, I bought this camera and didn’t have a clue how to use it! I set it on auto for all the time we were there, but I did get some amazing pictures. When we came home it sat in a drawer for a good three years and then, one summer, I thought I should start using it more and I did a beginner’s course on how to use it properly. I first started really getting to grips with it in 2018 and took it out with us on walks.
WHAT MAKES A PERFECT PICTURE?
It’s about the composition and subject. If you’re passionate about the thing that your photographing, you can see that in the picture.
MY DOGS ARE ALL RESCUE DOGS. IT’S A WAY FOR ME TO SHARE THEIR JOURNEY AS WELL
For me, my dogs are my muse. Dogs, dog behaviour and training are something that I’m passionate about. My dogs are all rescue dogs, they’ve come from various different backgrounds and it’s a way for me to share their journey as well. It’s a way to catalogue our adventures together.
WHAT DO YOU USE?
I use a Canon D now. I started off with a basic starter kit, I only bought the one I have now in January last year when my original camera was broken. I knew I was due an upgrade and I felt like I was ready for it, I was ready to take that next step with a slightly better camera.
FAVOURITE PICTURE YOU’VE TAKEN IS…
At the moment, it would probably be one I’ve got of Lunar in the Lake District. We’d been walking round Whinlatter when it had snowed and we were up on the viewpoint and the photo looks out across the mountain ranges with the sun coming down and all the snow in the background.
LUNA LIKES HAVING HER PHOTO TAKEN AND DOESN’T LIKE IT WHEN I PHOTOGRAPH THE OTHER DOGS, IT’S REALLY BIZARRE
I always been quite artistic, and my mam was very artistic too. I remember as a child she was into photography and videography.It must stem from that. Being creative was something I was always encouraged to do.
DO YOU EVER GET CAUGHT?
I have taken the odd photo of people and I found them to be much more self aware and a more posed subject. In terms of the dogs, Luna likes having her photo taken and doesn’t like it when I photograph the other dogs, it’s really bizarre. I much prefer a candid photograph compared to the ones that are more posed. I photographed my friend’s child’s christening, and, as people didn’t expect me to be there with my camera, it was quite nice to capture those moments. The photographs that turned out the best were the ones where the subject didn’t know I was there.
ADVICE TO BUDDING SNAPPERS?
I think you need to be brave and go for it. The best advice I can give is to get to you’re your camera, have a play around with it, don’t be afraid and remember that even the best photographers out there don’t take a perfect photo every time. You can be very hard on yourself and your biggest critic will always be yourself. One of the things I always struggled with was looking at other people’s pictures and seeing all the pictures looking so amazing and I thought that every picture they took was amazing. Then I realised that’s not the case. Even the best photographers every now and then have a picture that’s out of focus or not perfect.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Be confident to go after what you want, make it happen and don’t sit around waiting for other people to make it happen because the only one who can control your life is you. My mum suffered with depression and when she died, I told myself I wanted to start living more and doing more of the things that I loved. So, I started travelling more in the van by myself and with my other half too, of course. I also started photographing more of our lives and the places we visit, because I wanted a keepsake of every memory. I started photographing the girls because neither me or my partner are selfie people. And from there as my photography improved beyond just point and click, they became my muses.