Marrying Photography with the Written Word, by Jan Masters
01 May 2020

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Marrying Photography with the Written Word, by Jan Masters

The Dovetail Agency
ArcticWe would like to showcase our fabulous partners during this challenging time – friends of Dovetail who support us for client events and projects. They are all incredibly talented and deserve recognition and our support for their own businesses during this time. We invite them to showcase their art, their expertise. This week we introduce the talented photographer, editor and writer, Jan Masters.  

It was so muddy. So hot. And humid. Crikey, it was humid. I was on an expedition to Papua New Guinea with residents from The World,  home to luxury residences at sea. We’d caught a plane up to the Highlands of this fascinating country, one of the last frontiers in travel. Amazingly, the expedition leader had assembled tribes from all over the area to come together and dance, some travelling seven hours to be there. What a privilege. It was mesmerising…a million miles away from the faux entertainment so often served up in hotel foyers. 

At the time, I was editor of Harrods’ portfolio of magazines and app. I’d always been a writer and editor, and before Harrods, I contributed to titles such as Marie Claire, Sunday Times Style, Elle and Vogue Japan. I also had experience in marketing, enjoying the challenge of creating smart, quirky copy. But the idea of marrying travel writing with my own photography was just a dream.

That dream became a reality in Papua New Guinea when I took an image of a tribesman that went on to be shortlisted for Cover of the Year at the British Society of Magazine Editors. I knew then I wanted to add photography as another string to my bow. The fact I’ve been able to do that is thanks to Jayne and the team at Dovetail who organised that assignment on The World.

I’m not a photographer who makes a big deal of setting up a shot. My style is to capture a moment when the window of opportunity is finger-snap short. It might be a candid shot in a crowded public place or a glimpse of a wild animal that I barely dared hope to see (this is how I felt when I took shots of polar bears with Natural World Safaris).

What I love about marrying photography with my words is that it not only illustrates the story in an authentic way, it also helps me feel less anxious when I’m far away from home. Behind the camera, I’m an active observer, neither totally removed, nor totally involved, absorbing not just the mighty scenes but also the curious cameos. Writing is my core skill. Photography is my passion.

Instagram: @janmasters1

Harrods Travel 2014 - Jan Masters

Namibia - Jan Masters


Mongolia - Jan Masters

Hot air balloons

Jan Masters

Panguin - Jan Masters

Boy - Jan Masters