A snapshot of cruise photography
At this year’s Birmingham Cruise Show we are launching a brand new Gallery feature to showcase the stunning travel photography of Samson Reddyhoff.
We caught up with Watford based photographer Samson ahead of the show to chat kit and find out how to take the perfect holiday snap.
Sarah: “When were you first exposed to photography, and when did you know that you wanted to be a photographer?”
Samson: “I had a Sony camera when I was younger and used to take holiday pictures, but it wasn’t until I studied Graphic Design at university that I got into photography, as I wanted to do my own photography and be self-sufficient.”
“After university I started working as a photographer and doing a bit of graphic design in 2012. I then looked for a way to combine photography and travel and working on a cruise ship seemed like a great way to do this as cruise ships take on people with little experience and develop them; they take on the personality and then train you.”
Sarah: “How long have you been involved with the cruise industry as a photographer and which cruise lines have you worked with?”
Samson: “Three years, from 2013 – 2016. I started off on P&O’s Oceania for 3, 5 and 6-month contracts followed by Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth for a 9-month contract which included a 4-month world cruise. My final 4-month contract was on P&O’s Arcadia. It was only for the world cruise, but turned out to be the best contract.
“I went to Japan in between the Queen Elizabeth and Arcadia contract from August to November in 2015.”
Sarah: “During your time as a cruise photographer what changes did you notice within the industry?”
Samson: “When I first started, cruises stopped going to Egypt because of what was going on there.
“My first cruise was to the Canary Islands. When we went through the Suez Canal we had British military police on the ship with us to guide us through. We had gone from Australia and New Zealand where it had been ANZAC day – their poppy day – so we had lots of Aussie journalists there to photograph it. It was really memorable.”
Sarah: “Which location was the most interesting to photograph?”
Samson: “Asia was the most interesting to photograph. Japan was the most fascinating place with ancient culture side by side with modern technology. I grew up with the things they create – Pokémon, anime and of course the technology.”
Sarah: “Talking of technology, what kit do you use?”
Samson: “Nowadays I am focused on food photography and I work at JJ Food Service as a product and commercial photographer. I use a Nikon D500 for product photography with a 35mm lens.
“For travel photography I use an Olympus OMD5Mach2 which is a really small camera for which you can get really small lenses which saves you from having to carry lots of kit.”
Sarah: “What are your thoughts on drones and do you use them in your work?”
Samson: “I work with people who do use drones and I want to look into it. They are especially good for wedding photography crowd shots.”
Sarah: “Do you have any tips for taking good cruise holiday photos?”
Samson: “Take your time and try to assess the area. Look around the people holding up their phones and try to see something different so you have a photograph that’s unique. And, don’t take flash photographs through glass!”
Sarah: “Where you advise new to cruise holidaymakers with a penchant for Instagram to sail to?”
Samson: “Head to Japan for the best pictures. The kimonos are so colourful, and they have the cherry blossoms in the spring and golden colours in the autumn.
“Also try New Zealand and South Pacific as they are so picture perfect. It’s nearly impossible to take a bad picture there.”
For a pre-show glimpse of Samson’s work head to http://www.samsonimages.uk/