Q&A Coffee With Finn & Alex
Hmm. That's pretty good, actually. I have invited Finn for some coffee just so we could talk about the old days and how we met. For now, 45 seconds left on the brewing time. This coffee smells pretty good, and it's Portuguese. Nice color. All right. I love the AeroPress, but the yield of it, it's pretty minimal. And I've gotta split this in two, but it's gonna be delicious. Well. Okay. Ooh. So, coffee's still a bit hot, but I'm coughing. Finn, coffee's ready!
I feel like I need a drumroll. (Alex laughs) (Finn mimics drumroll)
Yeah, this, no, this is, is this the first time you appear in the workshop?
Oh my God, this is it.
Can we have like a little drumroll for the man?
Yes, I need some sound, sound.
Or like, we can add it. (drumroll rumbling) (cymbals clash)
For the time.
Okay, this is Finn, Mr. Finn Beales is here. He's home, everyone.
He's come in here for a coffee.
Just happened to be in Portugal.
And have a cu...
p of coffee with Alex.
Yeah, we happen to be in the same house in Portugal.
Yeah, it's extraordinary, I book an Airbnb, and you come free with a cup of coffee, it's brilliant.
I wanted to make you this coffee, it's Portuguese. It smells pretty good. It's quite a dark roast.
Which is not your favorite.
Yeah, it's quite.
They like it a bit dark in Portugal, I think.
Yeah, some kick.
It's got a kick, it's gonna wake yourself. But and anyways, I mean, I've explained why I'm making this workshop, and you're gonna explain you're making this workshop.
But I think this is, I mean, I just want us to reminisce on the old days. (Alex and Finn laugh)
Yeah, and they are getting old, 'cause this is like, four, five years?
Yeah, Alberta was like-
Since we first met?
We met in Alberta.
That's right, you invited me on a trip over there with a bunch of other people that I already knew.
From the internet, that was the beauty of it.
From the internet.
These were like early days when, oh man.
You know, there's few people doing-
No, there was Jared, Chambers.
Oh yeah, Hiro's, yeah.
We're making the first trips, actually that's the first proper like travel trip. I think so.
I nearly didn't make that trip, I was already booked on a shoot in Kenya. And I remember-
It was in Nairobi.
You gave me some sweats when you're like, I'm not sure if I'm gonna make it.
I was like, bro.
You were trying to get connecting flights from Nairobi to London, and across to-
And it was super complicated, I remember.
I actually crashed the shoot. I canceled the Nairobi shoot in order to come to-
You told me, yeah, you just canceled it for us.
And now, it's like you say, serendipity.
Yeah, I think so.
It was the correct decision. 'Cause bad things happened Kenya, remember.
Some bad stuff happened. Yeah, it was the time of the terror shooting in the mall. The precise time I would have been there.
For your shoot.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, you told us that when you arrived.
Yeah. Well, I remember getting the news, it was crazy. When we were over there, and I was like photographing places, and you know, it was- (Alex and Finn laugh)
Yeah, so I'm rather glad you-
It was a better win, yeah. Yeah, 'cause we got back the first snow, I remember, in the trip.
Yeah, Lake Moraine.
So, we saw both sides of it, didn't we? We turned up, we had this beautiful-
Oh, the fog-copters we had.
Four engine, I remember.
And we went to sleep, and then we woke up the next day, and we had this incredible-
Oh yeah, we set down near Lake Moraine, yeah.
It was pretty amazing, it was this first snow on the lake, so it's not frozen, it was still blue.
And then you get all the white, it was pretty rare conditions.
Yeah, that's right. We were pretty lucky, but it's, I mean, no video of this trip.
Yeah, that's what I was saying earlier.
There's no Insta Stories back then, I wish-
Somehow we had them, but you think, just seem to disagree, like.
There they are, I like it, I mean, I feel like video is quite revealing, and I quite like the fact that that trip happened at a time when there was no video, and there only document are pictures.
They're just pictures of-
And memories that we have.
Yeah, that's it, it's really a pretty private, I guess, approach.
Yeah, it kinda like puts it into a sort of legendary status, you know?
Legendary, stories come out of that moment again, but it's just a little bit oh, whatever, but.
Look, we did see some bears, and some moose, right?
Yeah, we did.
Pretty amazing stuff in Alberta.
It was amazing for a person coming from Wales, 'cause I hadn't been to Canada before, that was my first trip to Canada.
And this is big country.
You started big too, Alberta, I mean, you're pretty new out there in Alberta. Yeah, we sort of helped put it on the map I think, yeah, and then, but just moving on to that, I think that, I mean, yeah, couple of years we've known each other, you came to see us in Alberta, in Montana.
I did, midwinter.
That was rough.
It was a lot of snow.
Lot of, yeah, it was deep snow. Avalanche risks.
I remember going up to a ski hut with yourself, and Morgan, and Zach.
Zach was there.
And then Morgan strapping this like avalanche beacon to my chest. He gave me this like crash course in how to survive, so I was like, okay-
Yeah, that's like-
It was just like. He was like, yeah, we've got about like three minutes to find you, or something, and I was just like-
You're dead. (Alex laughs)
So, let's go! 'Cause that's Morgan, and he has to make it dramatic.
It's Morgan Phillips. This is just like all the OGs, yeah. (Finn laughs) Saying OG, yeah, we sound like old people.
Oh, the old days.
But no, I bring up the Montana trip because you, well, I didn't shoot many photos on that trip.
'Cause for me, it felt pretty normal.
It's just this what life looks like, I mean, I live in Montana, and just winter is that way.
And you shot a whole series on it though that was impressive. And we can probably show it now, some of the photos, but.
Yeah, I was like, fuck. He saw all that while I was not seeing that. Like, you saw so many different things.
So, that's what also the reason is why I think like, your storytelling, that's one of the moments I was like, wow, he went to my backyard, and he did this, you know?
It's a hit.
Yeah, you were out in my stomping grounds, and it's like, wow, he made this beautiful set I could never have done. So.
Well, maybe that's a fresher pair of eyes, I don't know.
Probably, but still, like, you really capture good things, so, that's also one of when I was looking at people like, who should we start this new workshop format, you know, with, about photographers? I was like, and he's just the best we could, and you know, we just start it then. It's not just you just send you flowers or something. You know, I like the guy, (Finn laughs) he's got his defects just like everybody. (Alex laughs) I really his accent, it makes him sound really smart next to me. But rubbish. (laughs)
Rubbish? Don't know.
I do a very bad British impersonation or something. Let's not go down that route. But yes, we're starting things off with you because you, I think, are like the best storyteller I know. Visual storyteller I know, 'cause you do the photography, and stills, it's difficult to do stories with stills. It's not like you have music and access to moving footage-
And cutaways. But you've put together this plan, and I mean, we should probably do this in the next episode, but just hearing about your, why you wanna make this workshop, you know? Because when I approached you, you were like, first hesitant, like, should I do this? Is it a good move? And then you were able to, we were able to make it work, and I think people would like to hear about the reasons why, you know?
Well, if we take the Montana trip as an example, I think a lot of those pictures that you saw, little details, little snapshots from your backyard.
There were some, there were some really nice portraits.
They were married with portraits, they were married up with big scenes, you know? So, it's like everything working together, I feel like a story is made up of lots of different puzzle pieces, you know?
It's not just one scene, so it's about bringing your audience into that place, using a bunch of different camera angles, or.
And you do that well on your series, and even on your website, like the cutaways, you have this whole system.
I mean, we've been working on this for a while, and I've learned a lot about the process of, his process of making the series, and the cutaways in the light room. I don't wanna tease it too much, but he's got a lot to share. Yeah, you've go a lot to share.
Yeah, well, I shoot a lot, so I need a system to make it easy to understand when I couldn't get it together.
Yeah, that shoot, usually.
I think I work, you know, it's like, as much as I'm a photographer, I'm also like a director, and an editor. And I think the edit is super key-
It's just in your-
He's also a director, makes movies.
When you're putting together a set of images. Oh boy.
Did the, our house has a few issues. We like this house, it's really central this village, but it's very front end, isn't it? But I mean, anyways, besides the house, you know, I think that we have a few days in Portugal, have quite the schedule.
Well, I've got a workshop to make, so.
Yeah, I'll just leave you at it, you know? You can just talk about your wives, you know? Chat, I'll leave you with Jillian, you're in good hands.
Okay. Okay, man.
Stay good, see you soon!
Good luck. Yeah, yeah, sounds good, we'll be back to our big house.
Okay, so it's just me and you. (warm synth music)