"Social media has transformed into a place to educate", says filmmaker Jack Harries

Jack Harries
(Image credit: Jack Harries)

The Photography Show 2022 is open for another year, and it features a roster of fascinating speakers – professional photographers and filmmakers who are sharing their expertise, wisdom and inspiration for show-goers.

Jack is appearing the super theatre speaker at The Photography Show tomorrow. From his beginnings on YouTube as JacksGap, to covering COP26, interviewing Obama and David Attenborough, and working alongside Netflix and the WWF, filmmaker Jack will discuss his journey, how social media has changed, and how he's gone about amplifying the human voices behind one of the biggest crises facing our planet today – climate change.

We spoke to Jack ahead of his talk to find out more about his content creation, what he thinks of social media and what we can expect next.

Tickets are still available to see Jack Harries at The Photography Show in Birmingham, UK on Sunday, September 18 from 15:30-16:30.

Jack Harries
Jack Harries

Having grown up in a family of filmmakers, Jack Harries understands the power of storytelling. Whether campaigning for the future of our planet, directing documentaries, or creating content that spotlights global issues, social empowerment and environmental education are at the core of Jack’s work. Both his Youtube channel and production company Earthrise humanize and discuss the impact of global warming and environmental degradation. Jack is appearing at The Photography Show with his talk Tackling the climate crisis with creativity.

Can you tell us a bit about Earthrise Studio and what you hope to achieve with the platform?

Earthrise Studio is a creative studio and online platform which aims to communicate the climate and ecological emergency. We’re a multidisciplinary studio working across film, design, live events, and fundraising campaigns. Our aim is to envision the world we so desperately need and ultimately inspire systems change through human-focused storytelling.

Jack Harries

(Image credit: Jack Harries)

And how do you think we can use our own personal social platforms to bring about change?

In just the last few years it feels as though the issue of climate change has gone from the fringes of society to the forefront of the global agenda. This year in particular extreme weather events across the world have served as a crucial and urgent reminder of the unfolding crisis. For many years, we’ve been told it’s up to individuals to create change in their own lives. We now know that this alone won’t be enough. It’s vital that we all work together, to organize, educate one another and campaign for systems change on a global scale. Ultimately we believe we need a system that prioritizes people and the planet, and not just profit. 

Jack Harries

(Image credit: Jack Harries)

Now that you’ve completed your first series of Seat at the Table, with highlights including Sir David Attenborough, do you have plans to make a second series and who would be your top three interviewees? 

Unfortunately, YouTube Originals are no longer funding environmental content which seems like a missed opportunity to me. For this reason we won’t be making any more future seasons of Seat At The Table, however I would like to continue to interview inspiring figure in the space, in particular speaking with wisdom keepers, land protectors and indigenous communities who have long practised a different philosophy from the one that has led us to where we are today.

How has your career evolved over the past few years, and could you have foreseen the evolution from YouTuber to filmmaker and climate storyteller?

I feel immensely lucky to have had opportunities to grow as a filmmaker and presenter over the last few years. I certainly didn’t imagine being here when I created a youtube channel all those years ago. I’ve always just pursued what I'm passionate about and so far that has led me to some amazing people and places. Whilst it often got me in trouble at school, curiosity has turned out to be my strongest attribute.

How do you feel social media has changed since you started your YouTube channel and in your opinion, is it for the better?

Social media is always changing and honestly my opinion on it depends on the day you ask! What I have noticed is that over the last few years social media has transformed into a place to educate, inform and inspire one another. Through the proliferation of infographics and short-form video, information has become increasingly democratized and used as a tool to organize and create community. Ultimately, I think this is a positive change and the first steps towards creating the systemic changes we so desperately need.

Jack Harries

(Image credit: Jack Harries)

What can we expect to see from you next in the world of film and documentary making? 

My aim over the coming years is to grow Earthrise Studio. I’d like to find more ways to champion diversity of voices from people all across the world. We have plans to make a variety of new ideas for some well-known broadcasters and hope to broaden out into the world of podcasting and physical events next year.

You may also like the best professional cameras and the best cameras for landscape photography. Find out more about The Photography Show.

Lauren Scott
Managing Editor

Lauren is the Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, having previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, a practical-focused publication that inspires hobbyists and seasoned pros alike to take truly phenomenal shots and get the best results from their kit. 

An experienced photography journalist who has been covering the industry for over eight years, she has also served as technique editor for both PhotoPlus: The Canon MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and DCW's sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine

In addition to techniques and tutorials that enable you to achieve great results from your cameras, lenses, tripods and other photography equipment, Lauren can regularly be found interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing tips and guides on subjects like landscape and wildlife photography, and raising awareness for subjects such as mental health and women in photography.