Photographer of the Month: Isaac Wray

by Ashley Swinton / Jan 15, 2016 /

Isaac Wray, a native of Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, has always had a sense of adventure and curiosity but it wasn’t until he was in his mid-teens that he discovered his passion for photography. Now at 20 years old, he shoots weddings, lifestyle, and fashion for a living. When Isaac isn’t spending hours to get the perfect shot, he can be found chasing waters and pretty well anything that will immerse him in the outdoors. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Isaac Wray, our photographer for the month of January. 

Alouette Lake. Photographer Isaac Wray

Alouette Lake

Mike Lake. Photographer Isaac Wray

Mike Lake

How did you get interested in photography?

My initial interest in photography came from my sister. She lived in downtown Vancouver and carried her camera everywhere. She mostly photographed cityscapes and the odd public event. My interest really peaked, though, when I got my first Canon point and shoot for my birthday, and my sister treated me to a tour downtown and some urban exploration! 

St. Marks Summit. Photographer Isaac Wray

St. Marks Summit

Jones Lake. Photographer Isaac Wray

Jones Lake

Pitt Lake Midnight. Photographer Isaac Wray

Pitt Lake Midnight

How long have you been a photographer?

I have owned a camera since I was about 14 years old, but my job title of photographer started to take shape only a couple years ago, and it’s only been truly since September 2015 that I have been 100% photography, and no other sources of income. 

St. Marks Summit. Photographer Isaac Wray

St. Marks Summit

Jones Lake. Photographer Isaac Wray

Jones Lake

What is your favourite place or thing to photograph?

I honestly don’t know if I have a single favourite place to photograph . . . I have done some minor traveling outside of BC, but nothing seems to compare with what we have here in the Lower Mainland. We are so blessed with the geography of where we live, and I feel that growing up here has shaped me into the person and photographer I am today. With all that said, if I must choose one or two places that I love to shoot at, Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge and Pitt Lake in Pitt Meadows. Both those locations are so close my house, and I grew up going to and camping at them, so it’s a mixture of beauty and sentiment that draws me to them. 

As far as my favourite thing to shoot goes, I love landscapes. They are my escape from the real world. I shoot fashion and weddings as well, but landscapes are what got me into photography and they are what keep it enjoyable for me. They give me a reason to go out with my camera and explore new places, or interpret old places in a new way. 

Pitt Lake Northern Lights. Photographer Isaac Wray

Pitt Lake Northern Lights

Brandywine Falls. Photographer Isaac Wray

Brandywine Falls

How can photographers be a part of change in the world? 

I believe that there are multiple different ways that photographers can be a part of change in our world, but I think that each photographer's approach may slightly vary. For example, on the topic of climate change and raising awareness about it, there can be two basic approaches: photo journalistic and creative hyper realistic. From the photo journalistic approach, a photo of a starving polar bear can pack quite the punch, especially when it is shared across social media platforms, such as Facebook, where sharing photos is so simple. 

Now from the creative side, we have photographers like Von Wong, who go storm chasing and take breathtaking photos of regular looking people, doing regular everyday things - like ironing shirts - with a massive storm brewing behind them, with a caption such as, “Climate change doesn’t care about what you are going to wear tomorrow.”

Photos can be powerful, and as the saying goes, a photo is worth a thousand words. So I believe if a photographer wants to raise awareness on a certain subject, all they have to do is go and shoot it, and social media will help you spread it. 

Artists Point. Photographer Isaac Wray

Artists Point

Mt. Baker. Photographer Isaac Wray

Mt. Baker

Mount Cheam. Photographer Isaac Wray

Mount Cheam

Do you have any trips planned for the future, and if so what are you looking forward to?

Yes, I have a couple for this year! In February I am leaving on a one-month road trip with one of my best buddies. We are throwing our snowboards and cameras in Dora, my Ford Explorer, and we are taking off to the U.S. of A! We have LA as our main destination, but we are going to take our time getting down there and shoot as many beautiful places as we can. 

Following this trip, I am home for a month and a half, then the day before my 21st birthday I am hopping on a plane and heading to Iceland with my friend Ashley aka the Wild Frolicker aka the awesome person who is editing this article, #shoutouts! 

We will be there for around 2 weeks, and this has been a dream trip of mine for about 5 years now. The fact that it is actually happening and on my birthday, has me doing a happy dance for sure! 

And what am I looking forward to? Everything! Taking photos, running around aimlessly cause I can, dancing to 2k pop hits while a waterfall is thundering down behind me or the stars are twinkling above me. 

Garibaldi Lake. Photographer Isaac Wray

Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake sunrise. Photographer Isaac Wray

Garibaldi Lake sunrise

Mount Baker from Mount Cheam. Photographer Isaac Wray

Mount Baker from Mount Cheam

Any photography tips you want to share?

Play. The only way to get better at anything is to do it consistently. Don’t ever let yourself get discouraged because you aren’t capturing something exactly how you wanted to. If you understand the basics of shooting manual, you can achieve anything you want with time. That brings me to this: don’t let manual mode scare you. I know, and have run into many people who own DSLR cameras, but are intimidated by that big ol ‘M’ on the settings dial. I always recommend breaking it down to the simplest forms. Start with one thing, such as Shutter speed, then move to the next, aperture and ISO. Figure out what each thing does on its own, then begin to start pairing them up and figuring out how they work together. 

Lastly, learn the rule of thirds, and once you understand it, forget about it and play by your own rules! You’re a photographer; if you want to break the rule of thirds, go for it! You should however have a basic understanding of it, so that you know why want to break it. 

Brandywine Falls, winter. Photographer Isaac Wray

Brandywine Falls, winter

Duffy Lake Road. Photographer Isaac Wray

Duffy Lake Road

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

Pursue your dreams. If you have a dream job, whether it is a professional photographer or an astronaut, you can do it. Hard work and dedication can get you nearly anything you want. I know it’s cliché to say, but if someone had told me what I would've accomplished so quickly out of high school and who I would have shot for this past year, I would never have believed them. So I encourage anyone, no matter how big or small his or her dream is to pursue it, and always stay true to yourself.

Callaghan Lake. Photographer Isaac Wray

Callaghan Lake

Thunder Falls. Photographer Isaac Wray

Thunder Falls

Find Isaac online:
http://isaacwray.com/
https://www.instagram.com/isaacwray/

Hi, my name is Ashley, the Photography Editor for Wandering Educators. I'm 21 years old and grew up on the west coast of British Columbia. Now nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the outdoors play a crucial role in my life both educationally and recreationally. When I'm not taking photos, hiking or biking, I can usually be found immersed in environmental ongoings and helping the people around me care for the planet we share. Regardless of where you find me or what I'll be doing, guarantee that coffee will be near. Find me online at http://www.ashleyswinton.com

All photos courtesy and copyright Isaac Wray