Travel photographer Jord Hammond’s back story will be familiar to many a That’s reader – he started out as an English teacher in China.
“I lived in Chongqing for a year in 2015,” says the 26-year-old Brit. “I brought a camera with me to document my life there for my friends and family back home. I was lucky to be able to travel a lot in China on my days off, and posted the photos I took whilst traveling on social media. That is where my love for photography started.”
That passion came across in his stunning landscape work, which saw his social media blow up; Hammond has more than half a million Instagram followers (and rising), an online shop and travels the world doing what he loves.
“I used to choose destinations based on where the work was. But now that my online shop is up and running, I choose the destinations based on places I want to photograph; seasons and regions that aren’t popping up left, right and center on Instagram.”
Now based out of Bali, he still visits the Middle Kingdom regularly.
“There are so many beautiful places in China to shoot, but my favorite has to be Zhangjiajie. Despite getting incredibly busy, there’s something majestic about the scenery and there are some great off-the-beaten-path areas to visit within the park.”
As well as serving as an online shop, Hammond’s website is also a great resource for anyone visiting the same destinations, with comprehensive guides on places to shoot and how to get the best image, as well as cultural tips and suggestions on what to eat and drink.
“They take a lot of research,” he says of putting the guides together. “I scour the internet, using Instagram, 500px, Pinterest and simple Google searches to find places to shoot. Also, asking people who are from the country I’m visiting always helps!”
As for Hammond’s favorite destination for culture and food, the topic once again turns to China, as well as Japan. “The culture and food in these countries are so different from each other, but both equally as fascinating and delicious. The food in the southwest of China especially is my favorite.”
In terms of what he looks for in a photograph, Hammond says the key to a good photo is composition.
“It is the first thing I look for in a photograph in order to draw the viewer in. That and originality; I love seeing photos from places I have never seen on the internet.”
For those attempting to follow in Hammond’s footsteps and travel and shoot the world for a living, he has some timeless advice.
“Practice, practice, practice. In an oversaturated world of travel photographers, you need to be one of the best to get noticed, and so fine-tuning your craft is the key to success. Even now, I’m learning and improving every day. Also, be patient! It takes years to build up a portfolio that attracts jobs, so don’t be put off if it doesn’t happen right away.”
Follow Jord Hammond on Instagram @jordhammond and scan the QR code to visit his website.
[All photos courtesy of @jordhammond]