Artist Interview: Kirk J Richards

Artist Interview: Kirk J Richards

Kirk J Richards Camping Clouds Sunset Patagonia

Get to Know Artist Kirk J Richards!

Kirk J Richards (@KirkJRichards) is a Melbourne, Australia based photographer. He has dedicated his time to shooting rugged landscapes around Australia, New Zealand, and Patagonia. He also has a keen interest in shooting outdoor portrait around his favorite Australian locations. Along with following him on his Instagram, check out his work at!

Tell us a little bit about how you got into photography. How long have you been shooting?

I started photography back in 2005 when I was in high school. I studied media and studio arts and had an assignment using 35mm film cameras, so my first real love came from being in a dark room and developing black and white imagery. From there I took a digital camera everywhere I went.

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

What kind of messages or emotions are you trying to convey with your work?

I just want my audience to feel a sense of awe and inspiration to travel. I want them to experience locations differently by seeing them through my eye and my composition.

What goes into being a professional photographer?

Alot of dedication and hardwork. Definitely a lot of trial & error and self reflection. You need to really put yourself out there without the fear of failure and rejection. You need to be open to feedback and continously try things different. You need to be thirsty to learn and I think being a people-person helps!

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia

Who inspires you to create; where do you draw your inspiration from?

Jason Charles Hill (@JasonCharlesHill) really inspires me. When I see his imagery, it makes me want to push myself even harder. I never really looked up to anyone over my early years, my main motivation to create comes from my imagination and my need to explore. I like to look at a lot of artists for reference though when I think of my main go-to for new inspiration, I refer to Jason’s body of work.

Explain your journey with photography. Has everything gone according to plan?

The whole journey hasn’t gone to plan. I only used to do it for fun with no intention to broaden my exposure or do it professionally. It was only until I got feedback from family and friends that I reached out for paid work and from there my audience has grown dramatically each year. I often look back and wonder how I got here and thats where ‘life happens whilst you’re being a photographer’.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia // Model  Tamika

Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia // Model Tamika

What was your first camera?

Canon 1000d.

How do you intentionally create photos that stand out from the crowd?

I look at a lot of different artists and try as much as I can to remain relevant but also shoot in a different perspective or edit my images differently to all of them. I like to change colours, tones and light to my own concoction, its almost a code only I’ll have as an artist.

Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful photo. How do you handle these unpredictable factors?

I plan for all weather conditions, check future forecasts and I also use an app that tells me the best locations for sunrise/sunset and put myself at the right place at the right time.

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

What is your best photography tip or secret?

Don’t be a lazy photographer! If you’re at a location, shoot every perspective possible but also be considered. Your best images come from the right lighting conditions so its important to put yourself there and shoot images you never thought you would think of. Sometimes you’ll get home and its the image you least expect that stands out.

Do you find yourself always looking at the World wondering how it would look as an image?

Always, everywhere and anytime. My eyes are my permanent camera lens.

Grampians National Park Victoria Australia Sunset Mountains Rocks

What’s next for you? Are there any new mediums you want to explore?

I definitely want to dive into video. I’m starting to imagine my photography as small clips. So i really want to explore how I can make my photography come to life as video.

What’s something about you that would surprise our readers?

I have a 4 year old son and at the moment my primary career is in banking and finance, with the aspiration of eventually moving my photography to full-time.

El Chaltén, Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz, Argentina

El Chaltén, Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Focal Collective: Artist Interview Series

Focal Collective would like to thank our contributing artists! This recurring propensity to create and growing community continues to inspire us. Are you interested in sharing your story? Feel free to apply to our Artist Interview Series with your portfolio, IG, and a brief introduction via our contact page. We'll look out for your message!

Focal Points: Adventure, Tutorial, Gear

If you enjoy our artist interview series, feel free to check out Focal Collective’s other adventure, tutorial, and gear review sections from our blog section Focal Points! We also have free adventure and tutorial content on our YouTube channel!

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