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TPS 2020: Five quick questions with top photographer David Yarrow

TPS 2020 5Qs David Yarrow listing
'The Wolves of Wall Street', just one famous image by The Photography Show Super Stage speaker David Yarrow (Image credit: © David Yarrow Photography)

This award-winning photographer and conservationist needs little introduction, but for anyone who isn't familiar, David Yarrow was born in Glasgow and started out as a press photographer covering sports events. 

While his photo of Diego Maradona holding the World Cup trophy aloft after leading Argentina to victory in the 1996 World Cup Final in Mexico City was seen around the world, Yarrow is now best known for his valuable work in wildlife conservation. 

Sales of the Nikon shooter's prints have raised over £2.2 million for conservation NGOs, children's education in Africa and medical charities around the world. 

Find out more about David's relentless pursuit of perfection and how he creates his dramatic images during his 'Living on Earth' talk on the Super Stage, on Monday 16 March 2019, 3.30pm. 

Tickets for the Super Stage speakers are available now for £12 each. The talks will be held in the Toute Suite, just outside the main hall of The Photography Show. 

In the meantime, find out more about David and his work as he answers five quick questions ahead of his Super Stage appearance… 

'78 Degrees North' by David Yarrow. Catch him on the Super Stage at The Photography Show 2020 on 16 March at 3.30pm   (Image credit: © David Yarrow Photography)

Five quick questions with David Yarrow    

1. Your talk will be titled 'Living on Earth'. What can we expect to hear about on the journey you're going to take us on from the extreme cold of Antarctica to the oppressive heat of Borneo? 

I think I want to show that success normally comes after a lot of failure and in a lot of places you get it wrong. Then you learn from getting it wrong and try to get it right. It's not about just going to these places, because anyone can visit these places with Google these days and a bit of cash. 

It's what you are going to do when you get there and I think simply going to these places isn’t enough; you can’t win a medal. You have got to be an artist when you get there and that is a lot of my internal processing.  

2. Do you get more excited by the work you do now, or is photographing the world's biggest sporting events the best buzz there is?

Photographing the world’s biggest sports events was a long time ago. I prefer to go to those events now as a spectator – it’s more fun. 

There was always a buzz there but the problem was that there were also another 200 photographers on the pitch, whereas with what I do now, it tends to only be me. 

Super Stage speaker David Yarrow on location (Image credit: © David Yarrow Photography)

3. Do you have a favourite photograph from your career? Or do you look at each of your best-selling images and think there's something you could have done better?

I think Mankind, taken way back in 2014 in South Sudan, was a big picture. That was taken on a camera with lower-quality resolution to the cameras you have now. 

If I could go back now with better equipment there would be even less noise in the picture. You have always got to believe that the biggest pictures are ahead of you rather than behind you. 

I think there are probably four or five big pictures in my career, and I wouldn’t want to change anything about them. That is why they are the big pictures they are. 

4. You have said "… storytelling is started by the camera and finished by the viewer." How would you describe your role in this process?

My role is to engage the viewer so that he or she thinks there is a story there. You have always got to think about a picture that people can look at for a long time; if they can’t look at it for a long time then you have failed. 

A key point of that is to make sure that the photographs aren’t loose, the framing isn’t loose, that there is enough action in the foreground and that it immediately grabs the viewer's eye and holds on to it. 

'Rajasthan' by award-winning photographer and conservationist David Yarrow    (Image credit: © David Yarrow Photography)

5. What's coming up for you for the rest of this year? Will it be more assignments photographing iconic animals, or do you have some other interesting projects in the pipeline?

We have a lot of interesting projects in the pipeline but things move fairly quickly. We are hoping to go to Antarctica later on this year, but doing it in a very different way. 

The world is a little disrupted due to the coronavirus at the moment, so we are taking each week as it comes. Going to China was on the plan at some stage this year, so we are having to adapt to the circumstances. 

It has been very wet in East Africa which has altered our plans there, so we are spending a lot of time in America – currently we are in West Texas. 

Booking details 

Catch David Yarrow on the Super Stage on Monday 16 March 2019, at 3.30pm. Tickets cost £12. 

There are over 200 exhibitors and over 300 free talks and demonstrations at The Photography Show, and sister event The Video Show. 

Tickets for the main show are available now, and you can get 20% off standard adult tickets if you buy them before 11 March – just use the code DCWTPS20 when checking out. 

Don't miss the other Super Stage speakers 

Chase Jarvis
Award-winning photographer and entrepreneur

One of the most influential photographers of the past 20 years, Chase’s expansive portfolio ranges from shooting advertising campaigns for mega-brands including Apple, Nike, and Red Bull,  working with athletes including Serena Williams and Tony Hawk, and collaborating with global icons including Richard Branson and Lady Gaga. 

Read '5 Quick Questions with Chase Jarvis'  

Saturday 14 March 2019, 1.15pm 

Susan Meiselas
Documentary photographer and photojournalist  

Perhaps best known for covering the insurrection in Nicaragua and human rights issues in Latin America in the late 1970s and 1980s, Susan has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1980 and has produced an extensive body of work. Find out more about it during her 'A Life Through Photography' talk on the Super Stage. 

Read '5 Quick Questions with Susan Meiselas'. 

 Saturday 14 March 2019, 3.30pm

Gavin Free
Award-winning cinematographer

Sharing over 13 million subscribers on YouTube as The Slow Mo Guys with his creative partner Daniel Gruchy, Gavin achieved fame by capturing high-end slow-motion videos of fascinating processes, such as a balloon bursting. On the Super Stage, Gavin will be speaking twice: sharing his insights into his life as a successful YouTuber (1.15pm), and the art of high-speed cinematography (3.30pm). 

Sunday 15 March 2019, 1.15pm & 3.30pm 

Ross Halfin
Music and landscapes photographer  

Anyone into their classic rock might want to hold onto their hats. Music photographer Ross Halfin has captured bands such as Aerosmith, Kiss, Metallica and The Hollywood Vampires – and now he's going to be taking to the Super Stage to discuss his craft, 'Four Stages of Rock: A Conversation with Ross Halfin'. 

Monday 16 March 2019, 1.15pm

Juno Calypso
Fine art photographer 

Juno's latest project, titled 'What To Do With A Million Years', saw her shoot a series in a Las Vegas bunker-mansion. She'll be discussing how and why she creates her photos, how she accesses the bizarre locations she uses, and the enduring allure of 'exposing herself'. She will also discuss her meticulously crafted self-portraits that feature her fictional alter-ego 'Joyce'. 

Read '5 Quick Questions with Juno Calypso' 

Tuesday 17 March 2019, 1.15pm

Brooke Shaden
Conceptual fine art photographer 

Closing the line-up of Super Stage speakers, Shaden will be sharing how she led the charge into inclusive art – her award-winning photos are rich in storytelling and weave dark, whimsical and beautiful tales.

Tuesday 17 March 2019, 3.30pm 

Read more about TPS 2020

The Photography Show 2020: everything you need to know

Download your free 32-page Photography Show 2020 preview

Line-ups for Photo Live & The Studio stages at TPS 2020 

10 great travel photography tips from a professional photographer