This week, local photographer Kirsty Faulkner announced her first photo tour, a chance for budding photographers to tour the island with Kirsty, learn all her secret vantage points, explore some unknown places and gain some amazing insights into her photographic skills.
We thought we’d ask Kirsty about a few of the things that inspire her…
What came first, the camera or the view?
Definitely the view! From the minute you land on this island, you are surrounded by nature. The towering trees, crystal blue waters, gorgeous birds… its hard to miss! The camera came much later, once my little family had grown up a bit & I was able to spend more time exploring!
What inspired you to become a professional photographer?
Christmas Island was all the inspiration I needed to become a photographer!
I have also been inspired by a number of amazing photographers along the way, like my good friend & epic landscape photographer, Steve Fraser and I’m constantly in awe of the latest wildlife images from Steve Parish! I love it when we get visits from mainland photographers, like Chris Bray, Will Patino & Paul Pichugin, as its great to see how they view Christmas Island through their photography – it always inspires me to get out there & keep trying new things!
What first brought you to Christmas Island?
My husband, Jon, received a teaching job at the local school 10 years ago & we’ve absolutely loved everything about living here ever since!
What is it about the island that is special to you?
I truly believe it’s the community. We have such a diverse range of cultures, beliefs & traditions here, and yet we respect each other for who we are. We are really like one big island family! The fact the nature is right on my doorstop is just a bonus!
What are your favourite hidden places on the island?
My absolute favourite hidden spot is Egeria Beach (Amy’s Beach). Its such a big long trek to get there…especially if you get lost!... but once you arrive, you are welcomed by the most perfect little crystal blue pool of water, with rivers of water overflowing from the ocean – its just gorgeous! I’ve only been there twice, but it’s my absolute favourite little spot!
What's your favourite time of day?
Well, that all depends on what kind of day it is!
I love a good, sunny day to get out when the sun is high in the sky to get those vibrant blues of the ocean & the gorgeous greens of the jungle. But then, I love it when a big storm rolls in and its all dark & moody – it’s the perfect time to go chasing waterfalls! I also love that moment first-thing in the morning, as the sun is just starting to peak over the horizon & everything starts to come to life. I’m usually on my own watching the sunrise & it’s a perfect way to start a busy day!
Do you carry your camera with you everywhere?
No, I probably should though, as I miss a lot of opportunities to capture some great moments, but I’ve started to appreciate those little moments for what they are, without always worrying about trying to photograph them.
What can visitors expect on one of your photography tours?
Fun & Adventure!! I love getting outdoors & exploring & I’ve packed a lot into the 8 days. We’ll be seeing a little bit of everything here on the island, – our birds & other wildlife, stunning scenery, a bit of island culture and of course a few of our crabs!
What makes your tours unique?
As a Christmas Island local of 10 years, I’ll be bringing all of my knowledge of the island on the tour. We’ll be visiting some of my favourite places, at the best times of the day, so that guests have the chance to see the very best of the island & take some amazing photographs too!
My tours are very limited in number – only a maximum of 4 guests. As a small, intimate group, we’ll have the opportunity to visit a number of places that are very secluded, that a larger group couldn’t fit into.
Also, you get ME! I love this island & I want to share it with everyone who visits! If my guests can take away some wonderful memories of their time on Christmas Island & some great photographs too, then I will have succeeded!
Will there be an underwater element to your tours?
Yes, absolutely! We are so lucky here on Christmas Island to have stunning coral reefs & the clearest blue waters – we just couldn’t miss an opportunity to get wet!
We’ll be spending a morning out on the dive boat to do some snorkeling over the reef & hopefully we’ll get a visit from our friendly pod of spinner dolphins!
If guests aren’t comfortable swimming, it doesn’t matter, as the views of the island from the water are spectacular & there’s always plenty of birds flying around to photograph!
What advice would you give to budding landscape photographers?
Just get out there & shoot! It’s the only way to learn. Practice, Practice, Practice!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype of having the best gear & the latest equipment (which I have been guilty of…), but if you don’t know what you’re doing with all that stuff, you’re never going to be happy with the results. There are literally thousands of online tutorials & videos out there, which are a great stepping-stone to help you along the way.
But really, you just have to get out there, have fun & enjoy what you’re doing – the rest will eventually follow!
To find out more about Kirsty's tours download the itinerary here.