J A C K. R. S U T T O N.
First of all, I wanted to give a big shout out to Jack. For taking time doing this.
Jack and his wife, Lauren. After spending 7 months on the road in Europe, are now back home in Australia. Jack and I started to talk over Instagram when I planned my summer trip to the alps. He told about their adventure. Even though I didn’t had the chance to meet up with them, following their story in the making, helped me escape the not always fun full-time work in Norway even if it was only for a few minutes. So when embarking on this new creative outlet Jack was instantly on of the first names that came in mind Not only because of they wonderful imagery he does, but more so his and Lauren’s lifestyle. Not everyone is up to live for such a long time in a small space a van brings.
To set the mode before you start reading Jack asked you to put on - Take Me - RUFUS.
“To take life as it comes and not to rush through it. We definitely learnt to slow down and enjoy each moment.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself, When did you get into photography? Why do you make images?
I started taking photos about 4 years ago when I moved to Tasmania with my wife. As we didn’t know anyone there we decided we would explore of much of the state as possible during our weekends and started taking photos to show our family and friends at home how beautiful Tasmania is.
We also started getting into using Instagram as a way of showing our photos and finding new places to visit. There are so many amazing photographers in Tassie so that pushed us to get better and constantly try to improve. We also met so many people through instagram and taking photos that we wouldn’t have met otherwise.
How/when came the idea to buy a van and travel all the way to Europe? Why an old VW and not a newer more “problem” free car? Haha.
We have had the idea and have been saving for the trip for a few years. Ever since I got my first car I always wanted a kombi so I was finally able to make my dream come true. We chose an old van because our trip was more about the whole adventure rather than just getting from place to place. Old vans have character and a story to tell.
It also made it a lot easier that it was already fitted out as a camper van so it meant that we could save some time and get straight on with our trip. Yes we had our fair share of problems with the van but they are all part of the experience.
So, for how long did you guys live in a van? What has been the struggles by living in such a primitiv way? Any scary moments?
We lived in our van for 7 months (May - November 2018). There weren’t too many struggles, mostly just things that are a bit more difficult and take more time than living in a house. Things like deciding where to sleep each night, where to find fresh water to fill up our tanks, where the nearest toilet is, where to shower, where can we refill our gas, and when we broke down where the nearest mechanic was.
Some scary moments included driving in Iceland through the snow, driving through Storm Ali in Ireland and trying to sleep in gale force winds (we ended up moving at 2am!). We have mostly felt very safe though, and we were able to get through our issues. Having experience with sleeping in a van at home prepared us a little bit for what to expect.
What is the positive things about it?
Too many to list! Flexibility and Freedom - the ability to do whatever we want whenever we want and change our plans if something comes up.
Having everything you need with you at all times and feeling like you are at home where ever you are.
Not working for 7 months meant we enjoyed everything to the fullest without worrying about any work commitments.
Any life-lessons learned on this trip?
I have learnt so much from spending time on the road, about myself and also about my relationship with my wife. Mostly about what is important to us and to take life as it comes and not to rush through it. We definitely learnt to slow down and enjoy each moment.
How will life continue when this trip comes to an end? Is there going to be any major changes from how you lived before you set of?
We quit our jobs and packed up our lives in Tasmania into 2 cars and drove them back to Canberra before we left for our trip. When we got back from our trip we started new jobs and moved in with my parents until we find somewhere to live. There will be a lot of changes to how we lived our lives last year but its just the start of a new adventure for us.
What/Who’s your biggest inspiration?
My wife Lauren! She is the reason I started taking photos and probably the reason I continue to take photos (it is something we enjoy doing together).
If someone wants to do similar things? Where do one start, embarking on a big journey?
Save, save, save. We saved enough money for our trip so that we didn’t have to work which meant we could mostly do what we wanted and also pay for activities and experiences without stressing about money. If you aren’t able to save enough money I would recommend staying away from the Scandinavian countries, they are very expensive!
I would also recommend trying it out at home before taking the leap. Travelling in a van for an extended period of time isn’t for everyone. You might also want to make sure if you are planning on travelling with someone that you still like them after spending every second of everyday living on top of each other!
What’s your 5 to-go-places on this earth of ours?
Tasmania (especially the East Coast), Australia Iceland (everywhere!)
Hokkaido and Tokyo, Japan
Zermatt, Switzerland Copenhagen, Denmark
Any advices for aspiring photographers out there who wants to get better on their craft?
Pick up a camera and get out there. Everyone has to start somewhere! It doesn’t matter what camera you have the more time you spend using it and getting comfortable with changing settings and taking photos in different situations the better you will be.
Link up with other creatives in your area if possible, keep an eye out for Instameets - they are a great way to meet other local photographers.
Start learning how to edit on Lightroom. It took us a few years to realise how important post processing is in the photography process and developing your style as a photographer.
What makes you get up in the morning? What’s life to you, Jack?
And, Im still trying to figure that out! I guess learning from your experiences and growing as a person, spending time with family and friends and just enjoying life.