Toby Butler Photographer
TOBY BUTLER INTERVIEW
-1 “Bound for the horizon on my favourite mode of transport.” Toby Butler
With the launch of his new website , Jose caught up with Toby to ask him why he does what he does. There’s nothing better then being driven by your passions , meeting and working with like minded folk. He’s producing some breathtaking imagery that does nothing but inspire to the core. A beautiful collection from exploring , adventuring and having a good time. Read a little more about what makes him tick, head over to his site and …..prep yourself for packing a bag you’ll want a trip.
So where did it all start for you, what got you into photography , and how long have you been creating images ?
So my names Toby Butler, I’m 20 years old and it all started at the skatepark in my local town for me. From making little skate edits on my Sony Ericsson to finally getting hold of a decent camera and then once the skate scene died out,moving towards the surfing world and getting stuck into that. I’d say I’ve been creating picture’s for a good 5 years now but amongst the surf and outdoor industry, I have properly gotten hooked in the past 2.
What cameras do you usually use and what is your favourite?
I use a variety of gear, my go to is Canon and I’m currently shooting on a 7D Mk 2, with a variety of lenses, I use an Aquatech housing for jumping in the water. Other than that I have my little Leica point and shoot, which I love and although I use it the least that little thing has got to be my fav.
What/who inspires your work the most?
A lot of people inspire my work and it changes all the time. But I’d say Dylan Gordon is pretty consistent with being top of the list. His stuff is on another level, and then the like’s of James Bowden, Aaron Bhall, Mark Clinton and so on.. It’s also rad to see a good crop of UK guys getting amongst it now. Luke Gartside, Tim Borrow and Olly Fawcett to name a few. These guys have awesome stuff coming out at the moment.
When you create an image do you mostly shoot from the hip or do you like to frame and compose to tell a particular story?
When shooting I am pretty much always framing and composing the image. I love to tell a story so usually first things first are seeking a couple of composition’s to best do that, then I make sure I’m ready for when the subject moves into the frame.
What made you want to pursue a career in photography ?
I think when I was younger and used to look through magazines or watch little clips online I was always more intrigued in the photo or angle compared to the trick or the place. I would always pause videos when I thought it looked cool or research the photographers and delve deeper into their story after seeing a really sick image, so there has always been more of an interest into that side of things. I guess after getting work published for the first time, you can then see how a potential career could be formed and that’s when people will begin to work towards that.
And how has working as a photographer shaped the last year of your life?
It has been hectic, and non-stop but such an amazing time. I recently came home from a road trip between California and Alaska, was able to chase waves with Jack and good friends all over France and the Basque region and was even lucky enough to work with Canon on projects throughout the year and build relationships with people I had never dreamt I would. I feel like it is all still pretty new to me so I’m putting my all into every opportunity that comes my way but yeah, have had a blast doing so up till now!
Do you have important theme or message behind your work, does it differ from project to project?
Yeah, firstly it would depend on whether its a job or personal project. But when it’s a personal shoot, or I have been left with my own ideas I like to think about the series of images, not just one really special moment. I love to be able to combine multiple moments and create a really special story or message from them, as a collection.
Where do you feel the most creatively free , home or on the road?
That’s hard because now, when I’m home, a lot of time is spent at a computer arranging, networking, catching up etc. so I would have to say when I’m on the road. I think when I’m away I filter out a lot of other thoughts and find it easier to just focus on the task at hand, and achieving what I have envisioned. I love a good road trip, because it never feels like the opportunity stops, sometimes on another kind of trip you’ll go back to the hotel and won’t shoot again till the next day but when you’re on the road it’s nice to constantly have a camera by your side and a weary eye for the next special spot or cool moment.
What has been your favourite location to shoot ?
Ha, I got asked this the other day and couldn’t come up with a solid answer. I feel like I haven’t been at it long enough to say, each new location I see or old spot I return to gets me so stoked that I’m like ah that was the sickest place, nowhere beats it, until I’m somewhere else and it’s equally amazing. I haven’t found anywhere quite like Ireland and seem to keep heading back there the most. The place, people, variety is all so special, so at the moment that is probably a favourite.
What are your creative ambitions over the next year ?
Next year is looking to be based around the UK and Europe, working on whatever pops up until September comes, then I want to head back to New Zealand. I spent a lot of my childhood out there and can’t wait to get back out and explore it, then Aus to welcome in the New Year if all goes to plan. But we will see, I never have anything to set in stone because who knows what could come up before hand, I am excited to see what happens though, ad deifantly include some warmer water here and there ha!
Chasing tall waves and raw atlantic power that has drawn me back to this place winter after winter.