Interview with Kris Andres | GBPW Episode 98

Connecting to the environment is always my priority. Connection with my surroundings always surpasses the photography part for me.

Kris Andres

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In this episode, I talk to the talented Kris Andres. Kris specialises in travel photography and environmental portrait photography. He has been taking photographs for many years and knows how to take visually stunning and authentic photographs of the world around him. A typical adventure in his life involves miles and miles of hiking, carrying heavy camera equipment, and shooting in very cold locations!

We talk about:

  • setting boundaries on social media and not comparing yourself to other photographers
  • how Kris takes stunning travel pictures in some of the most beautiful places in the world
  • how to make friends and build your own community as a photographer

& much more!

In addition to being a talented photographer, Kris is a very friendly person who enjoys building communities and having real connections with fellow photographers. We focus on social media and adventure photography, so if you’re interested in having a healthier relationship with your online presence and taking stunning travel photos, you should definitely listen to this episode.

Q: How do you take great photos and stay present?

Kris Andres: I’ll take my shoes off at different times, just to have one more element of connection. When I kneel down and that knee gets wet – every photographer out there knows what I’m talking about – that’s a sensation for me. It’s a connection. It’s like, “There we go. I’m connected to my surroundings again.”

Quite often, if I start getting too distracted in my head, I’ll place one hand on the ground. I’ve been a yoga practitioner for years and years. For me, it’s just planting that root. I consider my hands, my feet, the roots. I’ll touch a mountain or a tree. It’s just that connection to where I’m at. Then, it’s taking a deep breath and saying, “You’re here.” Usually, that’s a great reset for my mind.

Q: What’s something that every adventure photographer should know?

Kris Andres: Prepare for everything. There’s so many things for an adventure photographer to know. The biggest thing for every adventure photographer starting out or not: go for the adventure. If you get the shot, great! Don’t beat yourself up for not getting the shot.

The thing I’ve learned in adventure photography is that everything happens so fast. You can have your camera on the entire time, ready for it, but you will miss something. Don’t beat yourself up for it. Go for the adventure and capture the shot if you can.

If it’s a paid gig, I get it. Everybody out there needs to make money and make a living. A rule of thumb is to always have a backup camera body and have your camera on, ready to shoot.

Q: Your models always look natural in your environmental portraits. How do you pose them?

Kris Andres: It’s always having them in an element. They’re doing what they normally would do without me before the camera comes out. I’ll have them walking along the ridge, or I’ll be watching their normal body reaction throughout the day and make a mental note of how they’re moving. Are they stiff normally? Are they standing in certain poses that I just love when the camera’s not out?

As soon as you bring the camera, you’ll see that stiff movement in them. Then, it’s basically having them walking until they relax a bit or giving them something to fidget with, like a hair tie. I’ll give them something to twist in their hand that you won’t see in the camera, but it just gives them that distraction. Just a great little distraction to help them relax a bit. Give them something to fidget with, as long as they can keep it over the view of the camera so I don’t have to clone it out.

This is the magical photograph that Kris refers to in this interview.

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