Chris Evans’s photographs are quite well known in Whitby and are gaining huge popularity further afield. Lindsey Ebbs speaks with Chris about his transition from pub to picture gallery.
I have used his images for postcards to send from my online business for a few years now and they are always so well received.
When you live in Whitby, its beauty can often be taken for granted, it's only when you look at Chris’s photographs that you are reminded of how lucky we all are, to live in this amazing place.
When walking past the Ship Inn, I noticed in the window there was a display of Chris’s photographs. I was really interested in how this had come about and hence the interview.
Have you always been a photographer Chris or have you had other jobs?
I only started photography a few years ago, as a hobby, but once I started, I found I had a real interest in it. I then purchased more photographic equipment and also started to see the subjects I photographed in a totally different light. It then became something I wanted to pursue as a full-time job, I left my permanent job as a forklift driver in November 2020 and made the leap of faith into my dream job of photography.
Do you use more than one camera to take different types of photographs or is one camera enough?
I presently use a Nikon d810, upgrading cameras on a regular basis is normal for me but I always stick to a Nikon. I like using different lenses though, depending on the type of shot I am trying to achieve.
The photograph display in the windows of the Ship Inn is really impressive, how did that arrangement come about?
The landlady of the Ship Inn suggested the idea of displaying my work in the window of the pub. They were closed under the current covid restrictions but thought it would be helpful for my work to have a physical location. It was a brilliant idea for my business as the photos are then seen by all walking past and it certainly has been a great boost for my business.
Does a particular time of day make a difference to taking a photo and why?
No, not really, a clear sky, cloud formation and light make for a good shot during the day, but I personally prefer night time photography as it is far more atmospheric. The Abbey, under the right conditions always makes for an extremely mysterious and interesting photograph.
When did you decide to become a full-time photographer and how did you make the decision?
I decided a while ago that it was something, I wanted to do but was hesitating, giving up regular employment with a weekly wage to a job with uncertainty is a difficult decision to make. When Covid hit and I was spending more time at home, the decision became easier to make and I finally handed my notice in November 2020.
In your online store, what is the most popular and purchased item?
The canvas that is the most popular is ‘The colour pop brolly at the bottom of the 199 steps to the abbey', the calendars were a very close second.
My favourite photograph of yours is the lightning flash above the Abbey but I would like to know what yours is and why?
Mine is the photograph through the Keyhole, located off Khyber Pass. It was a lucky shot with the moon lighting up the clouds. This was a personal moment for me where I knew photography would be my full-time job.
Apart from the Ship Inn where else do you display your pictures?
The Metropole Bar, Dolphin bar and Saxonville Hotel and Yorkshire Cottages Agency on Skinner Street very kindly display my pictures.
The Pirate festival looks fun and interesting, how do you balance enjoying the event and taking the photographs at the same time?
I do know most of the people that attend the festival, they are very friendly and welcoming, the costumes always look fantastic. I mainly just do the photographs but I do meet up with them in between taking photos and I too really enjoy the event especially the reenactments.
Hopefully, weddings will resume this year, how do you manage to capture these meaningful moments and reflect the special energy within the photographs?
I always like to find that unique photographic shots for weddings, often looking for an unusual angle and the little things that others may not notice.
Natural positioning rather than a formal pose tends to capture the emotional moments of the day, which make for great lasting memories for the married couple, it is a responsibility to get just right.
If someone reading this would like to take up photography, what advice would you give them?
Start as a hobby like me, be prepared to get it wrong, when I look back now at my first photos, I cringe they look appalling!
Practice makes perfect, keep going and don’t give up and consider taking a few lessons.
Aim for one image that makes you think ‘wow', then you will want another ‘wow' shot, it can become addictive.
Once you feel more confident, upgrade your camera.
Try to look past the image and think of the surroundings as well and most importantly…..enjoy it!
Where do you think your photography will lead you in 2021 and do you have anything else planned?
I am hoping that when restrictions are lifted, I would like to do more local area shots and also to produce more variants for the 2022 calendar.
Covering events and weddings will be brilliant to be able to do again.
Having the pub window has made me realise I would like to open a shop in the town itself, so here’s hoping that this is the year that will happen?
Thanks to Lindsey Ebbs of Lindsey Ebbs Podiatry for this fascinating interview.