Wildfire Photographer - Justin Sullivan

Wildfire Photographer - Justin Sullivan

Your name: 
Justin Sullivan


Your business name:
Sullivan Photography

Tell us a bit about your business:
I am a freelancer and work under the name ‘Sullivan Photographer’. The brand has evolved into producing content orientated around documentary and awareness projects, brining to life the stories that most of the public aren’t aware of. I love focusing on the wildfires of Cape Town, but general enjoy any type of documentary work where there is an opportunity to change public perception. 


How long have you worked as a photographer?
3 years

Do you feel it was an instant success or did it take a while to find its feet?
It happened pretty quickly and have been on an upward spiral since I posted my first set of wildfire images. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotion 

If any, what kind of jobs did you have before your career took off?
Worked some odd jobs here and there, nothing to make note of (Project manager, Data collector, Waiter etc)


Do you feel that you chose your "passion," or did it choose you?
I feel the passion has always been inside me, I just found a tool to explore it more

What made you decide to follow a creative career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
This definitely chose me, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life and photography fell in my lap

Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
I used to have constant doubts, especially when you see the incredible talent out there. But instead of competing for your dreams, create your own - I try live by this.


What is your favourite accomplishment?
My accomplishments lie in my experiences. Being flown up in a helicopter to the top of the Villiersdorp mountains in early 2018, spending the whole night with firefighters working the line and then finding a rock to sleep on while under a clear Milky Way, that is by far my biggest personal accomplishment. I thrive for these experiences, and I believe accomplishments lie in purpose. That night I experienced true fulfilment  

Tell us about any workshops you may offer:
No workshops to date. To be honest, I’m not the best public speaker and I always think its good to work to your strengths, but it will come in time

Where should Working Creatives get more info on workshops / your offerings?
When they come, they will be on my website - www.sullivanphotography.org

What is your favourite lens and why?
Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 - I need the versatility and durability in the field, and this gives me everything I need for documentary work under tough conditions. 


Are you working on any out of the ordinary projects at the moment?
Filming a wildfire documentary, which is unique in the sense that no other photographer in Africa has the time or access to the places I do :-) 


What is playing in your CD player/iPod right now?
Don’t Let it Get you down - Johnnyswim

What’s your favourite ’90s song?
Aeroplane - Red Hot Chili Peppers

What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Its where my most creative thinking takes place, so anything and everything that is on my mind, I spend a great time philosophising on how to create more positive change in South Africa

What were you like in high school?
I was very active and enjoyed time with friends. I loved nature and spent a lot of time joking around, but at the same time quite focussed on academics. 


Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your high school self?
Learn more about the world and it’s people. Academics are important, but learning about emotion and different cultures governs your understanding of the world. Without a strong emotional structure you cannot manage aspects of your life to the fullest. 


Your website:  www.sullivanphotography.org

Instagram handle:   Sullivan Photography

Twitter:  Sull Photography

Facebook:  Sullivan Photography ZA

Other:  Walking With Fire

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