Window to My World

The lifestyle inspires me!

What inspired the start to your chosen career?

I think the moment I picked up a camera I knew this was what I would do for the rest of my life, the lifestyle inspires me! Just being able to be my own boss and create images is all the inspiration I need.

What personal attributes are essential to guarantee success in such a highly competitive industry? 

According to passionate Durbanite and Wildlife enthusiast, Kierran Allen, photographers have a higher sense of imagination that allows them to see images before they even happen. He proudly acknowledges that becoming a photographer was the best thing he ever did!

Focus, dedication and absolute commitment are key if you want to do photography full time. It’s not easy but persevering through hard times will get you where you want to be!

We know how passionate you are about your home city of Durban…where else in the world would you choose to live?

I love Durban to bits but hands down, I would move to Hong Kong tomorrow. If you have never been there, do yourself a favour and go – it’s a phenomenal city! 

Where has your career taken you in terms of travel…and what places would you still like to see?

Only now, after six years grinding away at my passion, am I starting to see international opportunities coming my way. I have been all over South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Mozambique and recently |inline||landscape|c|jpeg|Kierran Allen Photography - 017.jpg||left|did a trip to Hong Kong and China. Soon I will be off to Dubai, New York, LA and San Francisco. With regards to things I still want to do, that is an extremely long list but next year I would like to shoot the Aurora in Iceland!

What does a good photographer never travel without?

Enough hard drive space! I pretty much have all my gear, as you never know what you might come across along the way but hard drive space is the biggest for me as you might end up shooting something amazing and you need that space available.

What has been your biggest lesson learned through your journey as a photographer?  

Being consistent, it doesn’t matter how amazing your gear is or how many places you’ve travelled to, if you aren’t consistently producing good images something is wrong!

If you could go back ten years, what advice would you give yourself?

I would tell myself to be patient, hard work does pay off but you have to commit to the process, put in the time and produce amazing work consistently. Once you get that right, nothing is impossible.

Photography has come a long way since dark rooms and developing rolls of film – what are your thoughts on the future of the industry?

These days there is a new camera or lens coming out every six months or so. The gear just keeps getting better and better. It’s hard to keep up with the speed of the evolution of the industry. I love playing with new technology, so as far as the future goes I can see overall image quality improving a lot, but it’s hard to say when things are moving so quickly.

Tell us a bit more about your interest in drone photography?

A somewhat misunderstood industry at the moment with people actually thinking it’s illegal, when it’s not at all! Drones have opened up an entirely new and creative world for photographers and videographers. Nothing beats an awesome aerial shot of the beachfront at sunrise. Drones make the impossible shots possible!

What is your favourite subject matter and why?

Wildlife and time-lapse; wildlife is my passion and with time-lapse, what’s better than seeing an image come to life with movement!

What are your thoughts on social media and its effect on photography as an industry?

I have been on all the social media platforms from day one: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Basically, these platforms are a window into what I do - whether it’s for potential clients to view my work or to gain general online followers, it’s a great way to get your work out there. I don’t use it to monetize anything at all, for me it’s just a window into my world! I like to think it has a positive effect on society.

Any words of wisdom for the up-and-comers? 

If you don’t believe in something that empowers you, you won’t succeed. Those who don’t try will never know. I have personally made hundreds of mistakes, but committing to the process of making this my life has kept me focused and driven. The challenge in this industry is to hold on and say yes to your dreams - find out what moves you, what drives you, focus on that and everything will fall in place.