A Q&A with Mark Parren Taylor, who took home the Photography Award at the Travel Media Awards 2021
The deadline to enter the awards is Friday 29 April, so if you haven’t submitted your work yet, there’s still time. There are 20 categories covering travel writing, broadcasting and photography, which are all free and easy to enter.
To inspire you, here’s a Q&A with one of our 2021 winners, Mark Parren Taylor, who took home the Photography Award.
What does it mean to you to have won a Travel Media Award?
It’s a big, hearty pat on the back and is really very welcome, especially for a freelancer. So many of us spent the past year sitting in front of a screen at home, feeling a little remote, and this award is a reminder that we may have been thrown off track during the past couple of years. But we all still love the idea of travel and the fact that it’s still exciting, romantic and necessary.
What makes a destination great to photograph?
The light, architecture, culture and food are all essential elements of building a photographic impression of a place, but above all it’s the people. They can be shy or party loving, farmers or art dealers, and they are almost always strangers, but hopefully at the end of every meeting we’ve all made new friends.
Has the pandemic changed your approach to travel photography?
Like most people, my idea of travel and travel photography is always changing. Certainly, the pandemic has forced me to reassess my priorities, but so too has the growing discussion about climate change and social inequalities. Change can be hard to face if we think about it too much, but in some ways the pandemic — especially its lockdowns and restrictions — has helped, rather than hindered change.
What’s been your greatest challenge over the past year?
Trying not to think too much about places that I love but was unable to visit: Japan, for example, and France, Edinburgh and Hong Kong. My next big challenge is relearning how to deal with jet lag.
29 April — entries close
25 July — recipient of Special Contribution Award announced
1 August — finalists announced
26 September — awards ceremony takes place