John Davenport from phogropathy.com

An interview with John Davenport from Phogropathy

Having been a reader and follower of John Davenport’s Phogropathy website and videos on youtube for sometime, I recently noticed (unsurprisingly) that he had been snapped up by digital-photography-shool.com. Being an inquisitive sorta guy who wonders what makes people tick, I sent John an email asking a few questions about how he ended up on the path he is now and what sparked off his passion for photography and writing. Some very interesting and open answers appeared in my inbox. Can I just say John is a genuinely top bloke, he was very generous and kind to answer all the questions I threw at him – I know things must be pretty hectic at the minute and yet he still managed to find the time so thank you again John! Hope you all enjoy the interview and it inspires you to get out and get shooting!

 When did your passion for photography begin?

My mother was very into photography as I was growing up so it was something I’d always seen. However, other than a couple of point and shoot cameras here and there I didn’t really get passionate about photography until my first DSLR in 2011.

 What inspired you to get out there and set up Phogropathy.com

I’d been blogging for a little over a year at a now defunked site called TheEventOf. When I became interested in photography I wanted to document my learning as sort of a motivational tool to keep me using the camera that I’d just purchased and thus Phogropathy was born.

 Did you ever imagine it would take off as it did? 

Hah! I always dreamed (and still do dream) that Phogropathy will take off. I guess it’s probably more successful than any of my family and friends or even I ever thought it’d be, but it’s a long way from where I’d like Phogropathy to be – then again I suppose I’m the type of person that is never truly satisfied and always pushing to do better.

 How did you grow the interest in the site? 

Initially the growth was through my friends and family. I posted a photograph every day for almost three years and with this kind of consistency it’s bound to at least attract some people.

On top of the daily photo theme I’d guest post or join forums and just be a part of the photography community where I could. Most recently though Digital Photography School has been the main source of growth for Phogropathy.

 How did you end up writing over at digital-photography-school.com?

I’d been following Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger site for quite a while, even before I ever picked up a DSLR. As a result I was aware of his other site Digital Photography School.

After getting into photography DPS was one of the main sites that I went to learn. Eventually Phogropathy began growing I decided that I wanted to try and write a guest post for DPS.

I think I was fairly lucky in my attempt because after submitting the topic idea I was told to email Darren directly with the post and photos, within two weeks it was published and I never looked back.

For about a year and a half I sent the occasional guest post to Darren which helped me grow Phogropathy quite a bit, but in the summer of 2013 DPS had an open call to writers for more regular positions on the site. Having guest written successfully for DPS a handful of times at this point I gave it a shot and was hired a few weeks later.

 How did you reach out to people needing help with their photography?

I wouldn’t say that I ever reached out to people, people just seem to find me. In fact, I wasn’t originally trying to help people with their photography at all, this site started as a way of simply documenting my learning and the photographs that I took. After getting questions about how I’d captured photos I began to transition the posts and content to my audiences needs.

 Where do you get inspiration from for writing?

All over the place. From blogs and magazines that I read to my own experiences in photography. If something sounds interesting and I can put my own spin on it I’ll write about it.

Sunset silhouette

Another fine example of John’s photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you enjoy most about running Phogropathy.com?

The best part about the site is the community that it has attracted. Everyone there seems so open to learning and it has this feeling that no one’s better than someone else just because they’ve been photographing for years.

 Do you have a favourite photo you have taken? 

It changes all the time, but this one from Bologna Italy sits on my desktop at the moment.

Bologna

Bologna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What would be your top piece of advice for anyone who is struggling with their photography? 

I find that a lot of people who struggle with their photography are struggling because they are trying to run before they walk, or walk before they crawl. Photography, like many skills, takes a lot of time and energy to master.

I hardly consider myself a master, but just to give you an idea of the amount of time I’ve put into it thus far. In the first six months after buying my D3100 I would get home from work and go somewhere with my camera until sunset – almost everyday! It was crazy and I honestly don’t know where I found the time, but thousands and thousands of photos later I’m still improving everyday and I think it’s this mindset that every photographer needs to be prepared to be in or they will end up beating themselves up before they start to see progress.

 What’s next for you and for Phogropathy.com? 

I just released my first online workshop – The World Around Us – and I hope to be able to bring more of these online courses to the site over the next several months. A lot of work goes into them so they will take time to get out, but I have the next four outlined and am targeting one new release every three months.

 Any tips for aspiring bloggers out there?

Blogging is not easy and it is by far the hardest most time consuming thing I’ve ever done. You really have to love what you are talking about and you have to be willing to invest time and money into the effort.

Three important tips: be yourself, be consistent, and don’t underestimate your readers.

 Canon or Nikon??? :)

Nikon – but I think it could have just as easily been Canon.

 What’s in your camera bag?

camera bag contents

John kindly sent over a shot of the contents!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Money no object what camera/lens combination would you go for? And where would you go to shoot?

While I’d love to say that I’d buy the D810 and a 14-24 f/2.8 lens for some serious wide angle landscape shots I think the first thing I’d buy right now is a DJI Vision 2+ Quadcopter.

Recently I’ve become very intrigued by aerial drone photography and really want to give it a shot, but as of right now these things are just too far out of my price range.

As far as where I would shoot it’s hard to say I want to shoot everywhere really, but #1 and #2 would be New Zealand and Alaska probably.

 

Bio:

Find out more about John Davenport on Phogropathy today.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  • John

    Reply Reply July 16, 2014

    You’re very welcome – it was fun thinking about the answers to these questions I hope you’re audience finds my story inspiring. I’ll be subscribing to these comments so that I can respond to any questions should people want to know more.

  • lumusphoto

    Reply Reply July 16, 2014

    Great idea John, saves me having to come find you to answer even more questions ha!

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