Wendell Stephen Jay Reyes of Stephen Jay Photography is a Trinidad and Tobagonian photographer with a special inclination for bird photography. The best word I can use to describe his work is STUNNING, but you don’t have to take my word for it, his work speaks for itself (see images below) and if you’re Caribbean you may have seen his work before. I felt the need to know more about him.
- In a few sentences, tell me about yourself.
I am an entrepreneur, a Certified Microsoft Systems Analyst and computer technician. I spent my early teens to mid twenties growing up and going to school in New York, USA.
- Excluding photography, what is your favourite past time?
One of my favorite past times, would be playing lots of video games. Particularly strategy games, role playing, car racing and first- person shooter games. My fave game in recent times was Unreal Tournament 2004. However photography has replaced gaming. One more I can’t forget to mention, is table-tennis or ping pong.
- What lead you to doing bird photography?
I have always loved and admired the winged beauties since a little boy. Living in Trinidad, there are over 400+ species of birds, and I wanted to show their beauty to the world, also to support conservation and to educate because most folks don’t realize these beautiful creatures and how sensitive they are to the environment and why we need to do our part to take care of and maintain the landscape around us.
- Do you photograph other species of wild life?
I photograph many other wildlife species, such as bats, butterflies, iguanas, anything wild that nature gives me the opportunity to while out there in the field.
- How long have you been a photographer?
In late 2009 I got my hand on my first DSLR camera, but it was not till mid 2010 that I really started to make time to explore photography in general. In 2013 I decided to really induldge in bird photography so I purchased my first birding lens a Nikon 300mm f4 lens with a 1.7x extender. Altogether, I have been doing photography for about 7 years, but serious photography for 6 years.
- Do you currently do other kinds of photography? If yes, what kind?
Yes. I do portrait, wedding, landscape and macro photography. But next to bird photography, I really enjoy wedding photography because of the happy and fleeting moments. I love capturing the positive things in life. I enjoy landscapes photography as well, nothing beats heading outside to watch the sunrise or sunset which are the most spectacular natural shows on earth.
- If you could be an animal which animal would you be and why?
I would probably choose to be a hummingbird, because they are incredibly beautiful iridescent tiny gems that sparkle in the sun, they can do all sorts of amazing acrobatic manoeuvres in the air that no other birds can do, and they are the fastest birds in relation to size. I think they are just amazing!
Reyes is quite the accomplished photographer. His images have been published in numerous Caribbean magazines such as Caribbean Beat (Caribbean Airlines in-flight magazine), Discover T&T and Ins & Outs of T&T to name a few. His images have also been prominently featured in Teriffic & Tranquil, a book published for Trinidad and Tobago’s 50th Independence celebrations. Reyes’ images have placed first in prestigious photo competitions, one of which was the 2014 The Moment competition by National Geographic.
- Apart from your camera, name something you must or often have with you on your photography trips.
I always have a bottle of water and a microfiber lens cloth.
- Do you have any upcoming events?
At the request of many of those who follow my work. I have been hosting a couple of photography workshops since January 2016. A Maximum of 5 participants per workshop as I am able to guide and work closely with individual participants to developing skill sets and effective techniques for the creation of their images. “Mastering Digital Photography” along with “The Art of Landscape Photography” was quite a success.
For the first time I hosted my “Art Of Bird Photography” workshop which was a 3 day session on March 26th. I will host another one on April 24th, they both have been fully booked.
- What advice do you have for someone pursuing a career in photography or other art related careers?
The single most important thing you can learn is how to relate to people. Be a people person, after that always make sure and have fun, you must love and be passionate about what you photograph. It will show in your work.
Blogged by Gabrielle Beckford.
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Images by Wendell Stephen Jay Reyes (Stephen Jay)