Some questions that might be itching your mind
What’s the deal? You’ll come and take photos of my project, and in return I provide you with meals, accommodation and transport?
That’s the general gist, yes. However, depending on the length and complexity of the project, you may choose to contribute other aspects. It’s up to you! I’m not expecting five star hotels, a private charter plane and truffle oil, don’t worry – your spare room, a donation towards a plane flight and your famous homemade sandwiches will do me just fine.
What kind of things do you normally take photographs of?
So far I’ve photographed for restauranteurs, designers, architects, produced 3 day stories for weddings, jewellery collections for tiny start-ups, compiled portfolios for artists, done food photography for chefs and lookbooks for fashion cultures. As long as it’s creative and you’re a lovely person, anything is possible, really.
I’m really keen to trade, but I live in Saskatchewan. Or Timbuktu. Or the North Pole. I don’t have enough dosh to get you here myself – what do I do?
Easy – if you don’t have the means to be able to fly me to where you are, just get in touch and tell me your restrictions. This gives me an idea of how many people want me in what places, and how much they’re willing to donate to get me there. Once enough money has been raised by this collective group of strangers, I’ll pop on a plane over there and get in touch to do your trade.
Do I get to choose what you take photos of?
Naturally. Once you let me know what you want me to shoot, we’ll sit down and work on the concepts together until we’re both happy. In addition to what I actually shoot for you, I’ll also take some photographs of the area in and around where you live and work for my own personal interest. This divides the trade up into the ‘Locality’ and the ‘Trade’ shots.
I got on my knee and proposed, they said ‘YES!’ and we need a wedding photographer, do you shoot weddings?
Yes of course. I’ve already had a handful of moments eating wedding cakes with trades... and photographing the event of course. I ask that wedding trades go for a minimum of five days. This not only allows for capturing a detailed story of the lead up and aftermath of the day, it also gives you time to get used to the camera so the wedding day remains a celebration and not a photo shoot.
And how long are you planning to do this for?
I’ll continue on this journey until the well of human curiosity and kindness dries up, which going by my first two years worth of experiences seems like a long time. The overall goal is to reach all seven continents, once this happens the project will wind down to its conclusion.
When will I receive my photographs?
Due to the volume of trades I complete so rapidly, sometimes photos can take up to a month to turn around due to time considerations for editing. If you have a deadline date for your photographs, please let me know in advance so we can factor that in. Weddings can take longer because of the amount of late night editing sessions involved. Not really any longer than usual, for what most wedding photographers request.
And what happens after that? Where will you go?
If you’ve had an ace time and reckon you know someone else who might be interested in participating in The Pixel Trade, I’ll kindly ask you to put them in touch. Part of the nature of the project is the connections made across trades with a common experience. However, if you’re a fresh trade, it’s always nice to be able to add a new thread of yarn to the scarf. The more ties we can bring in, the stronger the network grows.
What about me? I’m a brain surgeon/astronaut/cowboy/dog walker – I don’t know what I’d get you to take photos of, but I’d like to help. What can I do?
While I may sound crazy, I don’t need a trip to Mars (yet), my cattle rounded up or my dog walked. However, if you can think of a friend who deserves a little photographic loving, you could offer to put me up and feed me while I do a shoot for someone else who doesn’t have the space or means to trade at the moment. Or if worst comes to worst, I can always shoot your next rodeo. Would be kind of fun, come to think of it.
How long do the trades normally last for?
It depends on what you would like photographed. If we shoot for one day then I ask for another day to do some editing, so a minimum of two days, others I’ll be on for weeks. It’s also possible to organise me to come back and do multiple smaller trades over a spread out period of time in order for me to document something that’s taking a while, like a sapling growing or wine picking season.
I want some of my photographs to be exclusive and not used on the website. Is that a problem?
No issue at all – in fact, a lot of the actual trade shots never go up on the website in the first place. They’re just for you, unless you want to give your business a little spruik online.
Let me get this straight. So you’ve earned no money nor spent any money in how long?
What equipment do you use?
For over three years now. I’m relying solely on the kindness of strangers to get myself from continent to continent in trade for my professional photography services. I find myself sometimes going back to some places I’ve already traded because there are so many great projects to photograph. Eventually I will get to each continent and I will continue to walk without a wallet until this happens...
I use a 2 x 5D Mk III's as my current camera bodies. A selection of L series lenses cover the spectrum from 17mm to 200mm and help me translate what I see.