Ellis Reed has relaunched his YouTube channel during lockdown. This heralds a new beginning for this seasoned photographer, videographer and vlogger. We get to catch this ride from the (new) beginning.
Welcome back to Somerset Stories where we chat to exciting creatives from our hub on Instagram. This month we’re talking to talented content creator Ellis Reed who contributes to the creative Bath scene with nuanced and clever photography and editing. Travelogues, reviews and photography tips.
Ellis is regularly featured on Love for Somerset due to his unique style of photography, composition and editing.
1/3 of the talent behind #igersBath (Instagrammers Bath) Ellis is a pivotal contributor to Love for Somerset’s community online.
Firstly tell us about you, where you’re from and how you ended up doing what you do.
I’m Ellis. I’m a photographer and videographer from Bath. I grew up in Chipping Sodbury which is about 20-30 minutes north of Bath so I’ve always been fairly close to Bath.
How I got into photography is a bit of a long story but I actually wanted to be a musician. Throughout my teens I played lead guitar and did backing vocals in a band playing gigs pretty much every weekend and recording whenever we could. I ended up going into music college in Bristol where I actually studied the business and media side of music which got me interested in graphic design, photography and videography.
Whilst the music side of my life isn’t as strong as it was, the photography and video side of things grew stronger and stronger. My Mum (@joojums), who’s also a photographer had introduced me to IGERs Bristol and IGERs Bath which only grew my passion for photography even more by meeting more like minded individuals. Through the photography meet-ups I’ve made some amazing friends and without them, I don’t think I would have continued photography the way that I have. Especially now running IGERs Bath with my good friends, Lloyd Evans (@lloydevansphoto) and Maisie Walker (@maisie_walker).
For me, photography is nothing without a kind and supportive community.
When did you first pick up a camera and which one was it?
I got given a Canon point and shoot camera in my early teens after trying to take loads of pictures on the first Sony Ericsson Cybershot camera phone with a 3.2 megapixel camera.
I picked up my first DSLR when I was 17 and that was a Canon 550D.
How would you describe your photography?
This is a tough one. I’ve always been very inspired by cinematic looks so that’s something I’ve always aimed for. In terms of the type of photography I do, I tend to post mainly travel/city/landscape stuff but I do lots of styles.
I’d say my photos are less about hunting for the shot and more about capturing the moment.
Capturing the moment, I love that! What inspires you?
The photography community. Photography is nothing without it’s supportive community.
Organising photo trips with close photography friends or even people you’ve never met in person but have met through instagram is the best way to inspire me. Even if I get rubbish pictures on the trip, I’ve still had a great time and it only inspires me to meet up and shoot more.
Meeting up with other creatives is so important. Who else do you admire in the photography industry?
A couple of my favourite photographers are Alen Palander. The other being Garrett King, also known as Shortstache.
Amazing! Is there one picture that defines you?
I don’t think there’s any one picture that defines me. I think any of my Bath shots is very reminiscent of me. There’s one particular shot (though it’s 2 shots merged together) which most people know me for which is the Bath portal shot.
View this post on Instagram
"If you had your own portal, where would it lead to?" Nobody asked for it but here's the spring/summer edition of my portal shot. The response to my last version was absolutely incredible and I can't thank those enough that liked, commented and shared it. You guys are legends!
That’s so clever. Which camera do you recommend?
For me, gear is a very situational subject. It’s whatever you need to get the job you want done.
For me personally, I started with a Canon 550D, then upgraded to a Canon 7Dmkii which I have used for quite a few years and recently I upgraded and bought myself the Canon EOS R which is an incredible camera and would be the camera I’d recommend. However, it is also very expensive.
I‘ve always been a fan of Canon over other brands for various reasons. There are some amazing camera brands out there but really it comes down to personal preference. It’s interesting hearing others opinions on what cameras they use and why but if you’re someone trying to figure out what camera you want to get then go into a local camera shop, tell them what it is you want to photograph/video and ask them to suggest a few cameras from different brands to try out. That way you can get a feel for what you like.
Photo credit: Lloyd Evans Photography
I know you offer tutorials on your YouTube channel so what tips would you give someone wanting to give photography a go?
- If your heart is set on learning photography then buy a camera that will future proof you. It may cost slightly more in the short term but in the long term it will be the best option.
- If you’re not sure if photography is for you but want to give it a go then start with your phone. The cameras in our phones are stupidly good and will easily tell you whether it’s something you want to get into. I still use my phone to photograph when I don’t have my camera on me.
- Get involved with the local photography communities on Instagram. It will only inspire and drive you to photograph more.
- Don’t worry about trying to find “your style”. That’ll be something that comes naturally with time. For me, I learnt how to create a style from downloading other photographers Lightroom presets and seeing how they edit and why. Once you know how and why people edit the way they do, you can easily create your style with the knowledge you’ve picked up from that.
It’s been incredible chatting to you Ellis, what’s next for you?
This is a tough question considering the current circumstances with the lockdown but my aim is to start doing more video work. From cinematic pieces to tutorials. Content that will hopefully help inspire and help people to learn.
I’m also looking to release my preset pack in the near future. I’ve spoken about this a lot but this has always been something that get’s pushed to the back of the to-do list so hopefully I’ll get this finished and released soon.
Other than that, I’ll just be continuing what I’m doing and seeing where it takes me.