Behind The Lens With James Warbey

Hey James! For those reading, tell us a little about yourself...

I’m a self taught Photographer, living & working in London but find myself being drawn back to Cornwall as often as possible. Forever checking charts and making the trip west. It was only about 18 months ago that I really decided to learn as much as I could about Photography and invested in some slightly more serious gear. I have always loved images, mainly because my dad had every National Geographic when i was younger and I was always flicking through them. I have a love of the ocean, even though I live in London. Many holidays and hours & days spent in the sea when growing up means I am always drawn back to it. 

How would you describe your photography in 5 words?

Angles, backgrounds, not too serious.

Have you any passions that influence your photography style?

Living in a city full time is probably my biggest influence on my photography, it means when I'm away from it I really appreciate the coastlines/landscapes. So try to capture those scenes. Going from a view of 6 lanes of traffic to a view of the Atlantic is pretty inspiring and a big part of why I can shoot for hours and hours without getting bored! 

Where is your favorite place to shoot?

Without doubt my favourite thing to shoot is surfing. I don't care what you ride I just love it. Porthmeor would probably be my favourite break as i know it so well and have got to know the locals and they rip! If not there then a bit further west can be fun as well. If its not surf then Landscapes and Cities at night are next in line.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

There's a few trips I want to make (Iceland, Hawaii again). Hoping to work with my friends at Flat Out Mag again through the year & more music photography with the guys at Banquet Records. Of course hoping to see more of my work in print, there's no better feeling! (support those magazines!) Other than that you'll find me in Cornwall on a beach somewhere if the swell's on!

What is your preferred equipment to shoot on?

Nikon D500 is my main camera, and I recently purchased a Sony which will be going in the waterhousing.

What would you like viewers to take away from your work?

I think I'd like people to realise that in a fairly short amount of time you can learn a lot about photography. You don't need the best gear going. The cameras on some phones now are unbelievable. Just get outside and shoot be respectful and people will share their knowledge, not everyone but most will. That's how I have learnt, also practice, mistakes can actually create really good images!

Who are some photographers that you admire and respect yourself?

Mickey Smith, Sharpy, Tim Nunn, The Bielmanns, Russell Ord & anyone who swims with a camera to capture the shot. The list is kind of endless! 

Have you any tips or advice that you would give to someone wanting to get into photography?

Do it, you don't need the best gear so grab a bargain on eBay, youtube is your friend for tutorials and learning things you're stuck on. Thats where I started out then I saved up for some more serious stuff, but I've still got some of my favourite shots on the second hand equipment I picked up. 

And lastly, if you could shoot with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Andy Irons, the greatest in my opinion. 


Take a look at some of James' favourite shots and the story behind them...

Jayce Robinson flying at home, this was my first image published. Just happened to be in a mag i have been buying forever, thanks Carve!

Harry De Roth throwing a big stomp way out west, loved this as it was completely un arranged just happened to be in the same place at the same time.

Ben Skinner on the wave of the winter last year. A special weekend at a very fickle UK spot that pumped for 3 days straight. This was the bigger gnarlier of the days.

Tewet Tarn, Lake District. This is a little gem, wellies required, I only had my low boots and they soon filled right up with water. Lovely squelching walk back to the car!

Ben Foreman on the perfect wave at this spot. I had just set up when this thing came through. I grew up messing about on my bodyboard at this spot and it will always have great memories for me, they were never like this though!

The time the sun grew a face. I have been asked if this is photoshopped, it isn't. Right place right time and a favourite!

Frank Carter being the ultimate showman as usual. Had the opportunity to shoot at this gig and as I'm a fan anyway i couldn't say no! Love the energy he gives off.

Jayce Robinson at what looks like a Cornish pipeline! The only one out at this spot because of the size and nightmare paddle out. Was a great thing to watch someone just charge because they wanted to. 

Possibly my favourite shot of this beach. Jayce's local break and an angle I hadn't seen before.

Stumbled across this scene when walking back to my hotel on a brief visit in 2016 to the Lake District. One of the most tranquil places I've been and i had it all to myself.


Stay up to date with James' adventures! 

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