tabbatha gallen photography interview

There's nothing that inspires a heavy dose of wanderlust quite like looking through someone else's travel snaps. Instead of turning a brighter shade of green, though, browsing Tabbatha Gallen's pics make us feel like we're on the journey with her – kitsch old theme parks, peaceful lake, faux palm trees and all.

We pinned the world explorer down long enough to ask her some questions about her art.


What is your name and how old are you? My name is Tabbatha Jane Gallen and I'm 27.

Where were you born and where do you live now? I grew up in Forster, a small coastal town in Australia, and have spent the past decade based in Newcastle. As for where I live now, I would have to say out of my bag as I'm travelling throughout Europe for a year.

How does where you live affect your photography? Well, at the moment I am always on the move so my photography style has changed a lot. Instead of photographing people I'm photographing places. I'm taking the time now to really explore what surrounds me, looking closer at the little things, appreciating nature, architecture, food and so on. I'm just trying my best to capture what I see and hope my photos remind people how beautiful the world really is.


What areas, things or people in your neighbourhood do you most like to photograph? Back home I love to photograph women, I just find endless beauty in them. Whether it be in a studio or outdoors. I like to roam the streets to find my backdrops and now travelling I roam the streets to find my subjects.

Is there a certain camera or type of film that you wish you could own? I would love to own a Canon EOS-1D X, but I'm also happy with what I have as well. I met a man once who shoots for National Geographic and he told me it's not about how flash your gear is, it's about what your eye can see that makes you a good photographer. A little tip that has always made me appreciate whatever camera I'm using.

Is there a running theme to the work you create, or do you just make whatever comes to mind? At the moment I guess you could say the only theme I'm sticking with is capturing the everyday type of things that I'm surrounded by. Whether it be a cup of tea, a bowl of spaghetti or a pot plant filled with pretty flowers. I'm really enjoying the contrast in the places I'm travelling through.


Do you take the same care with personal photographs as you do with commercial/artistic work? I'm much more carefree at the moment with my personal photographs. I'm forgetting the rules and just having fun with it. I'm more structured and particularly with my commercial work, because I'm usually creating images for someone else. As for my artistic work, it really depends - some ideas are very specific, whilst others come to me in the middle of the night and I just play around with them trying my best to make magic.

What are the hallmarks of a great photographer? I think first and foremost, passion - you need to want to photograph. I'm always seeing potential photographs with or without my camera. I love it. Also, creativity and imagination, an eye for detail and a unique perspective.

What are some of the challenges that you are facing in modern times as a photographer? I'd have to say time. There are so many great photographers nowadays and the internet makes seeing their work extremely easy; with just a few clicks you can flick through hundreds of different artists' work. This can be a great thing, but I also think it means the works aren't being given enough time anymore to be admired and appreciated properly. People are in such a rush that they're barely looking.


What other photographers do you love? Some of my favourites are Sofia Sanchez, Tim Walker, Brett Rutkowski, and I'm madly in love with the works of Brooke Shaden. I also saw the 'Dance This Way' exhibition recently in Venice by the artist Mikhail Baryshnikov and I thought it was so mesmerising and incredible!

What do you enjoy doing when not taking photos? Travelling, meeting people from all walks of life, eating all types of yummy food, making memories with my amazing family and my friends, giggling with my boyfriend, playing with my cat Buddha, meditating in silence and going out and dancing my butt off to '90s pop music.

Where can we see more of your work? My website and my blog


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