James Grant is a professional landscape photographer who specialises and loves all things mountains, hills and coast. He is based on the border of the stunning Peak District National Park, where he has spent many years exploring every nook and cranny, subsequently producing Amazons most reviewed book on the area called Peak District Through The Lens. Consumed with a passion to explore, he has travelled further afield into the higher mountains of Wales, the Lake District and Scotland, often camping on high mountain tops in the hope of capturing something special.
At the age of just 31, James feels proud to have achieved what he has so far and believes a connection with his subject is what spurs him on. He has self-published his own book, won two national competitions, had various publishing’s including multiple front covers and works in great partnerships with the likes of Blacks Outdoor, Kase camera filters, Visit Peak District and Monarch Airlines.
Life as a photographer started back in September 2008 when he purchased his first digital camera and DSLR, a Sony a200. James undertook his first mountain walk on Kinder Scout, Derbyshire’s highest point at 636m. On this walk, without a camera he knew from that moment he was missing a trick and then invested in one to record his walks and adventures to remember times gone by when he was older.
It progressed from there and within 3 months he had taken his first award winning image ‘The Last Push’ at Ramshaw Rocks in the Peak District on a cold Boxing Day in 2008. He entered it into Trail Magazine’s Action Photography Competition not expecting much. It was judged in May 2009 by professional and renowned rock climber, Leo Houlding and he selected ‘The Last Push’ as his favourite.
One of the prizes that came from the competition was a photographic workshop holiday in Wales. There, James met Nick Jenkins, a professional photographer who saw something in James and spurred him on to make something of what he had. For that, he is eternally grateful as it would see him pushing boundaries and moving forward like he would have never thought.
James spent his time building his photography portfolio and the walking started to become the second reason to go out, while photography was a much more focused effort. In June 2010, he submitted ‘A Kinder Wonderland’ to Visit Peak District and Buxton Festival’s ‘A Breath Of Fresh Air’ competition. The image was taken on a bright, fresh blue skies day with deep snow on Kinder Scout’s western edges, taking the route coincidentally he took on his first ever trip out. The image went on to win the competition.
In 2012 James undertook a partnership with camera filters manufacturer 84.5mm as well as providing imagery under commission on various occasions to Blacks Outdoors to use both in store and on the web. He also took on his first international commission working for Monarch Airlines later in 2013.
James’s proudest achievement by far came in 2015 where he went onto self-publish his photography guidebook to the Peak District, titled Peak District Through The Lens. This 400-page guidebook took you from the honeypots to the hidden gems of the Peak District, whether a walker, photographer or sight-seer. It aimed to provide a definitive guide to the Peak District as well as helping to improve the reader’s photography. It was no steady ride to get there, but James managed to secure enough funding from a crowdfunding campaign to go full steam ahead and self-publish. The belief people had in him only inspired him more. The book was published and was a huge success, ranking as the most reviewed Peak District publication on Amazon with over 80, five star reviews.
James has run a number of workshops over the years and has been running them regularly since 2016 after turning professional. He runs regular, sold out workshops in the Peak District and also runs courses further afield such as Snowdonia, The Lake District and Scotland. At least twice a year he runs his popular Isle of Skye Photography Workshops. He caters for all abilities, both physical and technical offering workshops that are low down and easy access through to adventurous multi-day wild camping workshops.