What makes a perfect image and why do photographers create the images that they do? As Fujifilm Original Photo Paper we have a natural link with photography. The passion and vision of photographers tells a beautiful story, especially in print. We ask Paul Sanders to tell his story…

Who is Paul Sanders?
I am a full time photographer specialising in contemplative landscape and fine art images. Contemplative photography concentrates more on the experience associated with the creation of the image, rather than the technical or commercial aspect of the work. Photography has various beneficial side effects which lean towards mindfulness, being present and aware during the experience, helping to calm anxieties and lead to a reduction in stress. Personally, for me, this has been life changing. I don’t shoot commercial work anymore, choosing to concentrate on the creation of images that please me and bring me happiness through the experience.

How did you become a photographer?
My father purchased a camera in the 1980s and, without his knowledge; I would unload his film, load my own, and take pictures of random things in our garden. When I heard the car returning home I would quickly take out my film and replace it with his, trying to reload the film to the same frame he had been on when I started using the camera. There were a great number of multiple exposures on his film due to my poor counting of the frames! When I left school I started working with a photographer, shooting glamour calendars in Spain in 1988. By 1991 I started working in local newspapers. I then made my way through agencies and regional press until I was appointed as Picture Editor of The Times in 2004, I was responsible for the visual content of the paper and the website.

What has been your most amazing photo shoot experience?
Learning to see for myself and to totally appreciate the world around me.

What does it take to become a successful photographer? Define success.
Do you mean, am I successful since photography is something that I do every day and since I am happy doing it? Then yes, I am successful. Commercial success is different, in that respect I am not successful. To me success is about personal happiness and enjoyment in life. Financially I am poor, but experientially, spiritually and emotionally I am rich. To be successful in the eyes of the world you probably have to sell your soul to the devil that is social media, shooting to please others… this will lead to frustration and riches.

How is your experience working with Fujifilm and/or Original Photo Paper?
I love working with Fujifilm and Original Photo Paper, it delivers high quality results and feels great.

Photography is a highly competitive business, do you have any tips and tricks for emerging photographers?
Keep believing in yourself and your work, enjoy the entire experience and never stop learning. If you want to be a photographer don’t let anyone stop you.