Bright Young Thing
PUBLISHED: 09:35 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:34 20 February 2013
Thomas Alexander on how research into climate change inspired his growing interest in photography, life on his family's farm and his love of travelling
Thomas Alexander on how research into climate change inspired his growing interest in photography, life on his familys farm and his love of travelling
Tell us about yourself
I was born in 1985 and grew up on the family farm near Shoreham. I completed my International Baccalaureate at Sevenoaks School, before studying Geography at Nottingham University. I thoroughly enjoy travelling, taking photographs and living in a beautiful valley on a busy farm in Kent.
What are you doing now?
I am currently working as a freelance photographer and improving my portfolio while earning my keep on the farm. Jobs on the farm range from driving tractors to designing brochures and the website for the shop.
How did you get into photography?
A couple of summers ago I took a short course in photography and discovered an artistic flair and was therefore encouraged to do more. At about the same time I was deciding on the subject of my Geography dissertation, so I linked together my two interests by researching climate change and how photographic images have been used to create an awareness of the growing issue. This really grabbed my interest and introduced me to some spectacularly emotive and powerful images.
After university I jumped at an opportunity with the Zoological Society of London to research a troop of baboons in a remote part of Namibia. This was a fantastic experience, which enabled me to live in Africa, and get really close to some amazing animals to test my wildlife photography. Back home I started seeking work as a freelance photographer in London and around the UK, while still helping out on the farm.
Earlier this year I realised I needed to develop my skills onto a more professional level so enrolled on a career-focused, intensive course at the London College of Communications. We were given a number of realistic briefs in a wide range of areas, from photographing fishmongers at Billingsgate Market, to fashion models in a studio. It was really tough, but I learnt a lot.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Right now I am looking to develop my skills and practical experience in a commercial photographic studio as an assistant, but would ultimately love to have the opportunity to travel and take more pictures of wildlife.
Whats the best thing about living in Kent?
What I love the most about Kent is its varied scenery. Whatever season it is, whether its the crisp and fresh autumn mornings on the farm, the wintery walks through snow-laden woodlands, or the long summer evenings, the landscape is always changing and is wonderfully photogenic. Especially when returning from travelling, or even just coming out of London on the train, as soon as I arrive in Kent I sit back and relax to admire the countryside.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I am always interested in travelling and whenever I have the time and money I like to visit a new country. During my gap year I spent six months scuba diving as part of a project researching coral reefs in Madagascar and Tanzania and have had a number of adventurous family holidays. I would love to drive across Iceland in the near future. I also regularly go climbing and visit the sandstone rocks around Tunbridge Wells.
What was the last book you read?
Read? I just like looking at the pictures! But seriously, my favourite book is Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.