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INTERVIEW with our Ambassador Harry Renton

INTERVIEW with our Ambassador Harry Renton

JB: Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

HR: My name is Harry Renton and I’m 24 years old. I’m a photographer, hiker, climber, runner, and occasional coffee maker from the Peak District. I spend most of my free time outside walking, taking photos with my girlfriend and my dog Isla. The rest is spent photographing and working in a coffee shop.

JB: What makes you happy?

HR: Not to sound cheesy or soppy but my girlfriend makes me incredibly happy…along with our Bedlington Whippet Isla. We all do everything together and go everywhere together. I think my life would lack a lot of happiness without them. Along with those two it’s got to be the outdoors. If it’s climbing, running, or walking it clear’s my head and I’m usually left smiling at the end. I can’t miss out music either. Music came before photography for me, and it will always be a source of happiness and inspiration for me. Playing the drums was my first passion and I always shock people by saying that if someone asked me to choose between photography or drumming, I would always choose drums.

JB: How did you get started with Photography?

HR: I started like many of us, with an iPhone, I think I was about 15. It was my escape from school and my way of getting outside. I didn’t really know what to do with the photos, so I dumped them all on Instagram. I’d always spent a lot of time playing outside as a kid but as I into my teens I needed something else to do rather than pretending to be characters out of story books. Then I started to borrow my mothers or brother’s camera, eventually getting my own at the age of 18. I was lucky with photography as I got my first ever commission whilst I was still studying in college and after that I just kept pushing leading me to 2021 where I focus all my efforts to photographing sustainable/slow fashion or projects about the outdoors.

JB: Who are some of your influences?

HR: I have many influences not all are people, but I’ll list a few inspirational people below:

Benjamin Hardman
Alex Strohl
Nicholas J R White
Dan Searle
Kilian Jornet
Joe Greer

I will also mention my brother who has taken me on many climbing trip and introduced me to all the musicians that still inspire me today.

Aside from people I have to say that the weather influences me dramatically. It changes how I feel and changes how I photograph. The mist and fog are my favourite because it helps the landscape feel unfamiliar. I like to feel like I’m in an unfamiliar place as it helps to create new work.

JB: Is there any favorite spot/country and why?

HR: It’s home for me. The Peak District has been my home for most of my life apart from a brief stint in Edinburgh. It is where I started this story and is where I gain all my inspiration for my work from. It is a very changeable landscape so I feel like I can travel the world just from my doorstep. One day I’m in New Zealand and the next it could be Iceland depending on the weather. Or at least that’s how it feels to me. If it wasn’t home then I’d probably pick Chamonix or Iceland.

JB: Please tell us something about your home, the Peak District.

HR: I live in a little town that I grew up in called Chapel en le Frith. It’s been dubbed the “Capital of the Peak” as it was the first settlement inside of the Peak District. I’ve lived here since I was only a couple of weeks old and now I’m 24.

JB: Where did you live before?

HR: I’ve always lived here but when I went to uni I spent a little time living in Carlisle and then 3 years in Edinburgh. However, me and my partner spent every other weekend back home with family in the Peak District. Couldn’t keep us away for long.

JB: Where do you see yourself in five years?

HR: If you’d asked me this a year ago I probably would’ve said “in a camper van, living in Scotland or Chamonix” but things have changed I reckon I’ll be set up in a cosy house around here, hopefully working as a full time photographer and potentially an outdoor guide. But who knows?

JB: On which project(s) are you currently working on?

HR: I’ve always got something going on in my head with photography, mostly personal projects. One of which is called “Rain.” I love the rain and moody weather so I’ve started a little landscape project on it which you can find on my website along with all my other projects. Professional projects mainly focus around sustainable and slow fashion companies that have a close link with the outdoors.

JB: How does a typical day in the life of Harry Renton looks like?

HR: Wake up, walk the dog and then it’s either off to the café that I work at, or it’ll be out on a shoot. Then it’s back home to edit or email or create a shoot plan, make some prints, or work on some writing. There’s lots of variables for me as my schedule is never set in stone so I usually must play it by ear. The day always ends with Isla (my dog) lying across or falling asleep on me.

JB: What springs to mind for the following keywords?

Social Media — work and trapped.

Music — escape and first love.

Role Model — everyone and everything. We can learn from everyone. Role model doesn’t have to been someone that always inspires you.

Flow — State of mind.

Inspiration — Photographs, books, and nature.

Adventure — Escape and something I need to do more of.

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