About three years ago I had the pleasure of meeting a particularly creative soul who was looking at delving deeper into connecting with nature through the medium of Photography.
James Brown is a barber serving a client base from his quirky hut in the pretty village of Steyning, West Sussex. As a barber, lots of time is spent chatting with his clients and being in an environment where is very focused on the needs of others.
James certainly loves his work and has been barbering for the past 15 years after an initial career in design where James had originally discovered a love of photography as it has been clear that he really has an eye for detail.
Upon our first meeting, James expressed to me that he felt he was being called to get back into photography as it would combine his love of open spaces and being out in nature. With that in mind it was not long before he had saved some cash and bought his first camera and soon enough his obvious talent began to shine through as pictures of our stunning local countryside here in Sussex were regularly appearing on his Facebook page.
I caught up with James on one of our recent beautiful blue sky days down at Shoreham Beach and had a chat about what his journey with photography.
“I love being out in nature and I guess the thing about photography is they just go hand in hand, they totally compliment each other. The one thing I really do want to express is that you should never miss the moment, you know, you have to enjoy that sunset, watch that murmuration, and feel the appreciation for the moment. For me at least I have found that this is crucial and I would certainly encourage that for people. Photography helps me notice so much more about the world around me and it calms my mental state.
Last year my mum had been taken ill and in between caring for her at home and then also later on at her days in the hospital I would have a break for an hour and go off with my camera, it really helped take my mind away from the worry for just a short time which meant I returned to mum’s side with a refreshed and clearer for her . Photography had actually also been mum’s creative passion so maybe there is a real connection there and I am so glad she was able to see some of my pictures too.
I love to see peoples reactions when they have a great haircut from me, it makes people feel good and they leave happy, I get the same buzz when people see one of my pictures and they express how it makes them feel. Such a good feeling when you can see them being transported as they may touch on how it reminded them of an early childhood memory or a special connection, sometimes it is not the quality of the shot at all but the emotion. Photography is certainly my passion and I love to use SLR because there is something to discover with it all of the time, you are always learning. I know the new cameras on your phone can also do so much these days but an SLR will always challenge you to look deeper.
It is all about appreciation really and the journey just goes on”
James’s passion has taken him on many adventures and has been the other side of the lens himself on more than one occasion after being approached by BBC South today & Sussex News as he was interviewed out knee deep in snow giving tips and advice on how to capture our wonderful landscape at it’s best. In a very short time, his love of photography has certainly brought enjoyment to many people. You can check out his sites by visiting endless horizon Instagram or thisissussex.
The Holistic Journal invited James to judge our new monthly Photography Competition which will focus on a different word each month. James has chosen the word for the month of July as “Freedom” and we will be offering two entry levels for the competition.
What do you win and why should you enter?
The lucky winners will receive a BestMeLife journal which is another fantastic tool to assist you with your daily practice, whether it be in photography or whichever areas of life you are bringing balance and focus to. There are various BestMeLife journals to suit all and one specifically for our under 16 categories the Buddy Journal.
So to enter all you have to do is send your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org with details of where you took the shot and your contact details. Our winner will be announced on the 1st August.
Good Luck and enjoy capturing the moment.