Inspirations (2): Conor MacNeill (The Fella)

Updated: Aug 26


Welcome to the "Inspirations" series, interviewing photographers who produce consistenly amazing content.

Meet Conor MacNeill, or "The Fella" as he is known to his social media followers. Conor was one of the first photographers I came across when I first joined Flickr five years ago. I was drawn to his fantastic London Cityscapes, and seeing these images actually made me focus on my own desire to capture Londons landmarks.

Since then, Conor has become a world recognised travel photographer, capturing stunning images across the globe.

You can find Conor across the web at the following sites:

Website

Flickr

Instagram


The Fella, Travel Photograher, Interview by Mark Cornick Photography

Above: A Bridge of Two Halves (One of the first London images I discovered by Conor)

Q} I first discovered your work when searching for London based images on flickr, ­what is your favourite London landmark to photograph?

I think the landmark I've photographed most has to be the iconic Tower Bridge. To be honest, I haven't really gone shooting around London in a long time. Having lived here for 10 years now, I feel less inspired by the city.

Q} You have an absolutely huge following on Instagram of over 194K. ­Has this platform been the most important for building your brand / business in photography?

For getting paid jobs and global recognition, Instagram has been crucial for my photography. That said, I have a soft spot for Flickr, although exposure on this platform doesn't really lead to any jobs or opportunities, at least in my case.

Q) When did your appetite for travel start, and did your interest in photography emerge at the same time?

My interest in photography actually stemmed from my desire to travel. I wanted to do a lot of travelling on my own, but was concerned that I might end up getting bored on trips if I had nothing to do, so I bought a cheap camera (Canon EOS 500D) online and thus started my passion for photography.


The Fella, Travel Photograher, Interview by Mark Cornick Photography

Above: The Lost Plane (Iceland)

Q} You have recently taken on Photography as a full time job, was that a scary transition?

It was pretty scary and still is! I'm still in my first year of being freelance and really just in my first six months of actively seeking primary work through photography. The scariness and sense of unknown can be unnerving, but also quite exciting.

Q} I see that you are aiming to visit every country in the world, how many countries have you visited and what is the next destination?

So far I've gone to just over 50 countries I think. To some people that sounds like a lot, but it's only around a quarter of the world's nations, depending on how you define a country. My next immediate trip is a bit of an unknown. Perhaps a scouting trip to the Faroe Islands. I'm also aiming to hold another workshop in Iceland in the winter and have a shoot for a travel company in Japan later in the year.


The Fella, Travel Photograher, Interview by Mark Cornick Photography

Above: Crooked Timber (Namibia)

Q} And following on from the previous question, what has been the most rewarding country you have visited?

That's a tricky question. Photographically, I think I've gotten most images from Iceland. As an astrophotographer, I've found Namibia to have stunningly clear views of the Milky Way. As a traveller, I really enjoyed Burma, as it's still quite raw and not overrun with tourists.

Q} How would you advise a photographer to “stand out from the crowd” in such a competitive industry?

It's really difficult to be distinct and attract attention to your work these days, as everyone considers themselves a photographer. Being an early adopter of new sites can help, as it gives you a head start. Social media can really boost your profile, but it's best not to rely solely on it. I think you should know what type of work you enjoy and become passionate and technically adept at it.