At any given time, somewhere in Australia, you may find Jason van Miert driving a van up a coastal highway or hiking up a trek to find a gorgeous vantage point. While this may sound like an extended vacation, it’s anything but.
In fact, van Miert sold all his belongings before traveling across Australia. Why would someone do that? For him, it was the best way to hone his craft as a photographer.
“I believe everyone needs a creative outlet.” Before getting into photography, Jason van Miert’s creative outlet was music. He spent all his spare time learning about it, which led him to DJing for almost 10 years in clubs before setting off to backpack around Europe and Southeast Asia. “I knew I wanted to capture my trip with photos, which led me to learn more about photography.” That 18-month-long trip sparked a passion that hasn’t let up since.
“My motivation is I want to turn photography into a full-time job,” van Miert says. “Especially travel, landscape, adventure lifestyle photography...” This has been the main inspiration which has encouraged van Miert to pack up his life and drive around Australia while living out of a van.
“I know the best way to make this happen is to put all my time and energy into doing that,” he says. “So last year I worked full-time as an electrician, saved up as much money as I could so I can now afford to travel Australia living out of a campervan.” He built the campervan himself with the goal of focusing on photography and figuring out how he could turn his love of travel into a career.
This journey, which started in Queensland, has seen van Miert travel throughout NSW also. “Travelling in a campervan, in my opinion, has been one of the best ways to explore. It offers so much freedom and flexibility,” he says. Of course, it has come with its fair share of lessons and surprises as well. “I usually try to get up and shoot a location for sunrise, which means I’m at location at 5:30am.” In addition to super-early mornings, van Miert must also figure out where he’ll camp for the night, with some locations also requiring hiking one to two hours and driving one to three hours just to get there. But it’s the emotional rather than the physical that elicits the greatest response: “Loneliness is definitely the biggest challenge,” van Miert says. “I’ve done a lot of travel overseas where I was solo, but I was staying in a hostel, so I was meeting lots of new, like-minded people every day. Not having my girlfriend with me to do these adventures with sucks.”
The images van Miert has taken on his journey have amassed him a huge following on social media; their sheer scale and epicness showcases his amazing talent and eye.
“It has become second nature of me to look for symmetry, patterns, and angles wherever I go,” he says. “I can’t help but look at things and imagine I’m viewing them through one of my lenses and how I would compose the shot.”
And maintaining a social media following is just as hard creating the amazing content Jason does, including the content created with a Galaxy S8. “To create the content, I’ve got to scout and research locations. Drive and hike out to the location. Shoot it and then spend time editing. So creating the content I like to share takes up a lot of time,” he says.
Jason’s use of social media helps him engage with his audience, wherever he may be. “I try to reply to every comment and message, as well as engage with the work I enjoy from other photographers that are posting.” Jason has a set schedule when it comes to posting too. “I usually share one image a day on my page, and I’ll document my day on stories … so people are able to see what adventures I’m currently up to.”
This adventure has given van Miert priceless experiences and lessons, as well as a key understanding others can learn from: “If you want to pursue an unconventional or creative career ... you need to not worry or care what people think about it, especially those close to you. You’ve got to figure out exactly what it is you want, find the people that are already doing that, and reverse-engineer the steps they took to get there.”
As van Miert has proven in his unconfined life of van-travelling solo to become a full-time adventure travel photographer, it’s all about making decisions and believing in yourself. “If you have the talent, put in the time and work hard toward it,” he says. “Things will slowly start to work out for you. I think at the end of the day everyone should want to be able to say that they choose this life – they didn’t settle for it.”
Find more of Jason van Miert's work here.
Live an unconfined life with the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Header Design by Emily Gulli