Nicole Tj
September 6, 2021

Meet the Panel: Jarrad Seng | Photographer. Creative Director. A Life in Travel.

You can't help but get drawn to Jarrad Seng's photography and his view of the world.

Roadtrip adventures across Western Australia, breakfast dates with a giraffe, and everything in between. Each moment is masterfully captured, transports you right to where he is, and gives you a sense of adrenaline, awe and appreciation for the people and world around us.

We're so excited to have Jarrad Seng join us on the Selection Panel of the Travis Travel Creator Fund! As an award-winning photographer and creative director, he is one of Australia's most prolific travel photographers, working with the likes of Tourism Australia, Qantas and Canon. He also has a podcast "Life in Transit" and was once on Australian Survivor - yes, the reality TV show. He shares his experience in building a career in photography, and how he supports emerging creators today. Read on.

Camel shadows on sand by Jarrad Seng

How did you start your career as a photographer?

To cut a long story short, I once bluffed my way inside a massive music festival with a camera I had no idea how to use in 2009.  And quickly discovered that this whole photography thing was actually quite fun and I wasn’t terrible at it. From there I volunteered and travelled to remote villages in Nepal, Tanzania and Kenya and fell in love with documenting the world around me.

Man holding a camera Jarrad Seng

How do you currently support early stage creators in your own way?

I started an online creative support group of sorts at the very early stages of the pandemic when everything started shutting down and there was suddenly lot of anxiety, despair and free time on all of our hands.  We arranged a series of workshops, interviews and daily check ins all online. Last year I also created a $5000 fund (5 x 1000) for emerging indigenous artists to help get some great projects off the ground. And I’m always happy to answer emails and DMs asking for industry advice.

What do you look for in emerging creators today?

I think more than ever, what makes creators stand out are their unique vision, creative ideas and their personality. Skills and talent come into it of course - but as technology progresses, gear becomes more easily accessible and technical knowledge is more easily obtained, what makes somebody distinct is more the story, idea and creative concept.  Rather than being flashy and technically proficient.

Man running in winter Jarrad Seng
Young child smiling Jarrad Seng

What has been your most memorable photography experience/assignment?

I’ve been on a ten year journey with UK musician Passenger that has taken me to hundreds of cities around the world. We met by chance while he was busking on the streets of Perth, raising money to fund an album recording.  We struck up a friendship and a great long standing collaborative partnership was born.  Over the years I’ve photographed and filmed him playing to five people in a Warnambool pub, to 80,000 in Wembley stadium.  And you can imagine the shenanigans that have happened along the way.  Though I don’t travel with him all the time anymore, at least three or four months of the year I’ll join him on the road where I’ve learned many a lessons, both on creativity and on life. 

What do you know now that you wished you knew when you started out?

That if an assignment is challenging, difficult, scary and keeps you up at night - then you need to run towards it, not away.  It means that you’re stretching your capabilities, pushing the boundaries and will be much better for it.  That the essence of photography is problem solving, and each time you overcome a challenge you’ve grown in knowledge and experience.  Don’t get comfortable!

All photography by Jarrad Seng.


Win up to $475 USD from the Travis Travel Creator Fund!

Jarrad Seng joins us on the selection panel of the Travis Travel Creator Fund. Celebrating diverse stories of people, places and experiences, by emerging creators taking the next steps in their passion projects, side hustles, and careers.

10 winners. $4000 USD. Share your travel stories on Travis by 26 Sept 2021 to be in the running! For all the details, head here.

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