On today’s episode of the FRAMES Photography Podcast W. Scott Olsen is talking to Paul Sanders, fine art photographer, Fujifilm ambassador, speaker and photography mentor.
You can listen to this interview using our podcast player below, but we strongly encourage you to subscribe to the podcast in your podcast app, so that you don’t miss any future episodes of the show.
Paul Sanders is passionate about the benefits of photography to mental health and wellness.
He has been professional photographer since 1984, beginning his career as a fashion and advertising photographer. He moved into newspapers in 1991, starting at The Daventry Express before progressing to News Team International, a successful agency based in Birmingham. He was appointed Deputy Picture Editor of The Manchester Evening News in 1996, and two years later joined Reuters, the international wire service.
Paul has always had a need to prove himself, to push himself to the limits and to succeed. For him, success was embodied by attaining a senior role at a national newspaper, which he achieved when, in 2002, he was approached by The Times, by 2004 he was The Picture Editor.
Looking at nearly 20,000 images every day and the associated responsibilities left him suffering with stress, depression, insomnia and anxiety. By 2011, depression had got its claws into him. His relationships with friends, with his wife and with his son all suffered and he was in a very bad way. At the end of December 2011, he left The Times to pursue a career as a freelance landscape photographer. He had no experience in landscape photography, but it gave him something that he had been missing; it gave him a way of expressing himself where words failed him.
Paul loves being outside surrounded by the beauty of the world we live in. It never ceases to amaze him, as he watches the storm clouds blow in over the coast, listens to the waves crashing against the rocky shores or watches sunlight stream through trees on a foggy morning, how lucky we are to have such beauty on our doorsteps.
“You can stand in a location for several hours, waiting and waiting for the light to give you a bit of something; you can wait for the rain to stop or for the fog to lift or come down – it’s trying to get the best out of what mother nature gives you without feeling frustrated or judgemental – she rarely gives what you want but she almost always gives you what you need”.
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