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General Blogs

Behind the photographers: Q&A with Foto Fest speakers Tom Way and Rachael Talibart

Posted: 20 Aug 2019

Foto Fest 2019 is less than one month away, meaning if you haven’t got your tickets yet, it’s best to get them here. Foto Fest, now in its fifth year, is a fantastic event which gives photographers from all across the country, the chance to meet like-minded individuals and gain invaluable knowledge from one another.

The event this year also has four fantastic speakers, giving talks about their work and their careers. The four speakers are from a range of different backgrounds and all have different specialities when it comes to Photography.

The guest speakers for this year's Foto Fest are; Tom Way, a fine-art wildlife photographer and previous European Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Rachael Talibert, a former lawyer turned photographer, exhibiting all over the world and specialising in coast photography. Nigel Danson, former tech business owner who after a life-changing accident, decided to follow his dream of becoming a landscape photographer. Martin Parr, this year’s Keynote speaker and possibly the most well-known documentary photographer of this generation, having won multiple awards and even being voted president of the Magnum agency in 2013.

Before the event, we asked two of the speakers, Tom Way and Rachael Talibart, some general questions to get a quick insight before Foto Fest 2019. We discuss what they’ll be talking about in their talks, advice on becoming a professional photographer and so much more.

Tom Way



What's your top photography tip for 2019?

Take photographs for yourself - if you enjoy the imagery you are creating that is all that matters. 


What advice would you give to somebody who wants to become a professional photographer?

If you are looking to become a professional photographer, it is important to work out your clientele. It is all very well travelling the world to take amazing imagery but who is going to be paying you for what you do? Whether it is selling the images as prints, running tours or giving lectures, it is important to have this established before you start.


Your favourite bit of gear?

Canon 400mm 2.8 lens 


What's your favourite animal and why?

The Lion - full of beauty, power and majesty. 



What's your talk about? 

What it takes to be a wildlife photographer. Talking about important components which need to be included in wildlife imagery to make them successful and also, my thoughts when trying to compose a sellable wildlife photograph. 


Why is it important for photographers to print their images?

The final destination for any image you take needs to be print. This is when the image comes to life and looks at its best. 



Why should people come to Foto Fest?

Foto Fest provides an opportunity to learn from and listen to some of the leading photographers in their field. A full-on day with the chance to ask your own questions throughout. 


Rachael Talibart



What's your top photography tip for 2019?

Photobooks were a big thing in 2018 and 2019 looks set to continue this trend but with more emphasis on handmade techniques. The idea of marrying beautiful fine art prints with artist-driven and crafted presentation is very enticing and a super way to stretch your creativity.


What advice would you give to somebody who wants to become a professional photographer?

Take it slowly. Let the photography slowly gain momentum. If you can, negotiate part-time or flexible hours in your day-job - that’s really helpful.  But don’t rush it – slow and steady definitely wins this particular race!


Your favourite bit of gear?

Very hard to pick just one thing as I couldn’t do any of this without all the gear I have but I suppose, if you force me, I’d have to say my main camera, the Canon 5DSR (I have two!).


What's your favourite place to shoot and why?

My photography isn’t about the place as such so it doesn’t really matter where I am as long as there’s sea. My favourite place is the nearest bit of coast to wherever I happen to be.



What's your talk about?

I’m going to talk about creating seascapes for the gallery market and, in this age where it sometimes seems as though everyone is a photographer, how we might find our own voice and make images that stand out from the crowd.


Why is it important for photographers to print their images?

It’s wonderful to see your work progress from the ephemeral digital file to become a tangible, tactile artefact.  It will challenge you, make you slow down, become more considered and critical of your work, and it will bring a tremendous sense of achievement.



Why should people come to Foto Fest?

Gear, deals, talks, inspiration and a chance to spend all day mixing with folk who care about photography just as much as you do. What’s not to like?


Make sure you don’t miss out on Foto Fest.

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