Would you mind introducing yourself? Hello! I’m Amelia, I’m 24 years old. I am a freelance photographer, van dweller and frenchie owner!
Amelia’s Instagram - @amslebrun
Where are you from, and where do you currently live? Well I was born in Germany and raised mainly in Jamaica, with a few countries in between! At the minute I am based out of my ’79 VW van around the UK, and sometimes Europe.
How would you describe your style of photography? I tend to describe myself as a ‘landscape and lifestyle photographer.’ I am passionate about working with outdoor brands and exploring more dramatic less documented landscapes. I try to shoot with more of a candid styling, and storytelling is something I am constantly aiming to improve through my photography.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? I can remember when I got my first point and shoot film camera it was metallic blue and it blew my mind. We were in Jamaica and I dread to think how much money my parents spent on developing endless rolls of film which tended to feature stray dogs, blurry beach scenes and the occasional ‘portrait’, But I will never forget the excitement of putting those little rolls of film into paper envelopes and returning to find my photos on those glossy sheets of paper. I was fascinated with the idea of documentary photography when I first started and was lucky enough to be exposed to some unbelievable scenes while growing up.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? I remember driving around downtown Kingston with one of our family friends, who was at that point a professional photographer. I remember the thrill of driving around purely to find scenes and moments to capture. The very idea that I was important enough, at the age of 9 or 10 to accompany her with my point and shoot camera made me feel so darn important.
Who/What inspires your photography? I think I may be slightly different when I say I have never really been inspired by the classics; particularly Ansel Adams. He seems to be the go-to ‘inspiration’ for every outdoor/ adventure photographer these days, but to be honest I rarely find black and white photography inspiring. A lot of my inspiration and influence came when I was still shooting documentary and street style work. Namely; Larry Clark, Martin Parr and William Klein, as well as many others. However as I moved on and into more adventure and outdoor based work Instagram was starting to grow, and I will never forget the first time I saw James Barkman’s work. I was blown away by his effortlessly natural photos, that seemed to encompass everything I strived to capture myself. As well as James, my current inspirations are; Zach Leon, Mohammed Abdulle, Finn Beales and Christian Watson (1924US).
Click here to check out our interview with Zach Leon :)
What kind of camera do you use? I shoot with a Canon 5D Mk ii, and a Canon AE-1 film camera. I've never had the best or most expensive gear and am a firm believer in using what you have, I mean just look at the quality of the iPhone cameras these days!
What's your editing process like? My editing process is pretty shoddy to be quite honest, I don’t have a set preset or method for all of my photos and I am constantly jumping between shoots, I cannot seem to edit in order! One thing I always tweak is split toning, blues and yellows always have a place in my highlights and shadows. Other than this I’ll either use one of my presets stored in Lightroom or just do it all from scratch.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Honestly, I am a firm believer in creating your own style, sure I’m inspired by a lot of peoples editing process' but I strive not to copy completely. But, if you really wanna edit like me give me a DM and I’ll throw you a preset or 2 :)
Are there any photographers/models here on Instagram that you wish more people knew about? Yes! There are so many underrated photographers out there that I wish more people knew more about - Luke Konarzewski, Ryan Tuttle, Daryl Walker and Hamish Morrison. With regard to models, I usually use my friends. I find it a lot easier to shoot (with) people who I have formed a relationship with. So shouts to Ophelia Prior and Lisa Jean Hooper for being amazing friends and beautiful people.
Click here to check out our interview with Luke Konarzewski :)
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? My number one dream destination…hhmmm… I think Patagonia or New Zealand, road tripping around NZ is such a bucket list item for me. Then the glaciers and mountains of South America are next level!
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? I think probably the summer, which is odd as it used to be my least favourite season. I still literally run from blue skies but I can’t deny the long warm evenings at the coast sure beat the dark freezing cold ones!
The coolest place you've ever been? I’ve been really lucky to go to some incredible places. I am still convinced that growing up in Jamaica was just incredible. Forget the white sand beaches and tourist resorts, I’m talking about tearing through acres of Sugar Cane in our Landrover Defender, volunteering in the local orphanage downtown and sleeping at our favourite lighthouse, miles from civilization trying to name all the stars we could see.
Do you have any upcoming photography trips/sessions that you would like to share? This past year I have really been working on exploring more of the UK. I have often overlooked so many beautiful places here for those more remote and seemingly exotic locations. Living in the van has been a great way to do this and I have so enjoyed meeting other Uk based photographers, and it means I don’t have to leave my French Bulldog Pig behind anymore. I am hoping to head out to Bulgaria for a family hiking trip before too long. But if you see me about come say hi! I am always keen to meet some new people!
Anything extra you would like to share? Something I am constantly trying to press is that my life isn’t what you see on Instagram, jump over there for the edited highlights but know that I, like everyone else have my cross to bear. I stand by the view that one should always be kind, for you never know the weight of another's burden. Feel free to shoot me a DM if you have any questions or just wanna chat!
Don’t forget to follow Amelia on Instagram! @amslebrun