Patrick Alexander

#BeHumble

P A T R I C K   //   @WITH.PATRICK

I have always been interested in photography in a sense, well before I even got my first camera. It was usually just about taking photos on my iPhone on trips that I would get to go on with work, mainly sunrise or sunset. When I realized at some point that I needed to have a career as I was not very secure in my current job, and with my love for Scotland, I thought I’d like to show visitors what it has to offer. I managed to get a job as a Coach Driver; I am not much of a city lover, so it seemed a good chance to regularly visit the Scottish Highlands.

A few years later I met my fiancé and she noticed my passion for taking photos of these wonderful places, and very quickly noticed my phone memory clogging up which is why she bought me my first DSLR as a birthday gift in 2017. The passion has continued to grow since then. The camera went everywhere with me, taking photos of all sorts, across all times of the day. I remember having discovered how to properly edit an image and this sent me into a frenzy, knowing that I could change different aspects of an image. But after finding some sort of routine with planning trips and had shot what I had wanted to shoot, I feel like I lost the passion a little and the entire process began to depress me, mainly because I wasn’t getting the conditions I desired. I would always plan to go out for sunrise and sunset and there would be times when I would get the most incredible colours but, living in Scotland you do not always get these bright mornings and evenings.

I remember we had a family trip planned for a weekend north to Inverness. I had checked the forecast before we left and the weather was to be awful, making me question if I should bring my camera with me at all but I ended up taking it along. I was at a stage where I still had no idea if I wanted to continue with this hobby. After we had arrived, we went for a walk and it started to rain quite heavily; I could not believe it! I decided that was it, I had had enough and that I had taken my last photo. Until I turned to see my son laughing and splashing in the puddles. This little boy had no idea what the weather was going to be like, but he was having the time of his life. This was the sign I needed; for me to plan trips it just wasn’t going to work.

I decided that I had to embrace the elements and take what was given to me – I came back with some of the best family photos I have ever got. Deciding on which location I was going to head to with a rough idea of the weather in mind was the start of the journey for me. I wanted to get to a location and show the raw beauty that these places hold and what nature can throw at me. If I decide on what shot I want and see that the conditions don’t suit, then that will go against my progression as a photographer. These moments showed me the basics to dealing with what conditions are in play here and now.

I am still very much a novice in the photography world and I am happy with the progression I have made up to this point, though I know I haven’t even scratched the surface yet there is still so much for me to learn. From the behind the scenes in the office to getting out and putting all the planning into practice, it all excites me very much but at the same time it makes me nervous. The biggest thing I’d like to continue improving on is confidence. I have already ameliorated – I believe that without confidence I wouldn’t have been able to work with certain people. But with growth comes confidence, and with confidence comes more growth.

Instagram has also been a massive influence on me and my style to a degree, finding certain styles that I like – not necessarily copying but trying to add my own stamp on my images. After a bit of time my edits calmed down a lot, using the saturation and clarity sliders less (a lot less actually). I decided that I wanted to show Scotland’s landscapes as natural as possible, but with a little bit more mood. I feel that music is a huge part of editing for me as well. The playlist is very much a mixtape so to speak with hip-hop, techno, classical and heavy metal and I feel that my edits are usually influenced with what music I play at the time.

A little research on a specific location, a YouTube tutorial or even practicing a new edit with an old image. I feel so much more relaxed and at peace when I’m out in the hills or by the coast not knowing what will happen. I used to be at my happiest with being the only person within a 10-mile radius but lately I have come to enjoy others’ company while travelling. Comparing ideas and locations, understanding how they think and see things differently and if I can apply anything to my process. My grandfather used to tell me that every day was a school day and that no two days are the same in life. With this advice I realised the same concept applies in photography.

There are many people that inspire me and that I look up to. These people have all individually had a profound effect on how I try to move forward with my skills. All highly successful in their own right, and all have a unique characteristic that influences what I try to produce. But there are also many local photographers that inspire me as well and help influence where photography will take me, some of whom I have made connections with, so for that I am grateful.