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Sam Oakes - Young Photographer Guide

Meet the incredible professional photographers, who will be showing you the ropes on selected Young Photographer trips.

Who is Sam Oakes?

Sam Oakes is a professional photographer with many years experience. He is known for his fun and friendly approach to teaching and likes nothing better than helping adults and children of all ages improve their photography skills. He has appeared in many magazines and exhibitions and published his first book of travel photography in 2009. He has even received praise from Michael Palin, who said: ‘Excellent work! Keep on doing what you’re doing!’

Find out more about Sam Oakes.

Here's a taste of Sam's creations below...

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Great wall of China
Great wall of China
Bonsai tree, China
Pinnacles, Western Australia
Traditional Buddhist altar, Angkor Wat
Train tracks through the Outback, Australia
Lighthouse, Scotland
Rainbow in Scotland
Amazing sunset over the Adriatic
Local bedouin in Petra, Jordan
Child in Tanzania
A lioness on the hunt
Petra, Jordan
A child at Samburu village, Kenya
Waterfall close to Sam's hometown in the Yorkshire Dales
Lone tree, Yorkshire Dales

What made you want to be a photographer?
I remember being fascinated by old photographs taken of distant relatives and of the Yorkshire countryside. It wasn’t until I studied for my Art Foundation that I really got into photography, using film and developing the prints myself was really inspiring. It was always a buzz to play with light and see what effects you can create with simple tricks.
What inspires you?
The photos themselves always inspire me. The process of taking the image is so much fun, whether it’s a well thought out planned picture or just an off the cuff, moment in time, it’s the final image and peoples reaction that is exciting, plus the lasting memory of actually being there.
Top tip for taking the perfect shot?
There are so many tips and tricks to photography, which depends greatly on the situation. The first trick is to see your subject, whether it’s a grand vista or the smallest detail, plus a tip that I think relates to all aspects of photography, which is – and this may sound silly to start - but… we all view the world at eye level. So if you can either get down low or elevated then you create an alternative view to the normal, creating an already interesting perspective.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
When I was a child I always wanted Sir David Attenborough's job. I used to say that when I grew up, I would take over the role. Unfortunately for me (but not the world!), he is still as amazing now as he ever was.
Best travel memory?
 My long lasting memory will always be leaving on my first major trip abroad, alone with my camera - the intense nerves I felt at Heathrow Airport, as I couldn’t imagine what I was going to see or experience. I had only bought a flight to Moscow and a train ticket across through Mongolia to China, the trip ended up being 18 months long and continued all around Australia, to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.