Brent Stirton, Natural History Museum’s 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year, whose winning image we wrote about the other day, went on Reddit for an AMA. Here are the high- (and low-) lights:

“the next one” 

On his favorite subject/project: 

It’s tough to pick a favorite subject…I can say anything where I can make images with emotional content, that’s what I am drawn to. As for favorite project, that would be the next one.

“The better you get, the more you need to ask of yourself.”

On how to become world-renowned what he would have done differently: 

I think that I was very shy for a long time in my career so I did not market myself or go see potential clients… That was a mistake on my part….these days you can use social media to put out your work and still be a reserved person…As for world-renowned, those goal posts just keep moving. The better you get, the more you need to ask of yourself.

“the authorities are complicit”

On his most difficult shots: 

The most difficult are always the stories where the innocent are killed or wounded and the authorities are complicit…I remember specifically coming to a RUF rebel encampment in Sierra Leone that had just been attacked by British special forces, there were “bushwives” in cages, these are young girls taken as sex slaves. Seeing those girls and what had been done to them will never leave me

“It’s been 25 years and I’m still waiting”

On waiting for the perfect shot: 

It’s been 25 years and I’m still waiting. There’s no such thing as a perfect shot, you might be really lucky to get close but a week or so after you make that picture, most good photographers will be thinking of how they could have done better.

“don’t be fooled by marketing”

On gear purchases for the aspiring photog:

Don’t spend all your money on gear, buy used and get what you really need, don’t be fooled by marketing. I can do my job with gear that came out 6 years ago for the most part. Spend your money on producing the story you care about.

 

Fun Facts/Added Bonuses:

  • While working in the Central African Republic, Brent was stung by bees more than 50 times a day.”
  • Despite his newfound allure as Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Brent is “too busy to be horny.”
  • Nikon or Canon? “Canon for me.”
  • Brent’s meal of choice? Nothing: “I don’t generally eat lunch if I’m working.”
  • Judging by his lack of response, we can also conclude Brent has no idea where to find hubcaps for a 1978 Ford Pinto.

 

Sounds like an interesting guy.