Frequent flyer: John Tsiavis

This photographer's work feeds his passion for travel.

Q Where are you off to next?

A Central Australia to shoot stills for The Rover, which has Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce in it. After that I'll be going to New York.

Q How did you get into shooting movie stills?

A I grew up in Sunshine, Melbourne, and was at RMIT studying photography when Jane Scott, the producer, contacted the school looking for someone to shoot stills on the movie Head On. I got the job. I was 20. It was an amazing break. I've been working ever since.

Q What was your last trip?

A I was in London and Istanbul about three months ago. I try to tag things up. That trip was to work on London Fashion Week, but I added on Istanbul for a photographic series I've been working on for myself the past 10 years. It's a really good way to see the world, keep yourself inspired. I'm primarily a portrait photographer, but this series is about empty places.

Q Are you a heavy packer?

A Yeah, it's ridiculous. I have to pack camera equipment, all the paraphernalia that goes with it. The last trip was insane - London, Istanbul, winter clothing, summer clothing. It kills the people I travel with because I always palm my stuff off to them. I really need a sherpa.

Q Best travel advice?

A Just be open to new experiences. Don't be rigid. Find time to keep things loose. I surprise myself sometimes. I turn a switch in my head and realise that when I'm travelling I'm not in control of my environment, so I just let it go.

Q Essential carry-on items?

A I travel with a really big black leather bag that everyone thinks makes me look like a crazy bag lady. In it is my panoramic film camera, film, iPad, iPhone, earphones, speakers, pawpaw ointment, my sleeping tablets, lots of other bits and pieces.

Q What has photography and travel taught you?

A All my shoots are unique experiences. Having done it for as long as I have, 15 years, I've realised you need to respect the moment and understand you will never be in that position again. I used to take things a bit for granted. It's the same with travel. You will never be in that same place and time, so respect the moment.

See John Tsiavis's work at tsiavis.com.

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