Interview with a Barefoot&Bearded photographer

We know how important it is to get inspired by bright and brave individuals when working in the creative field. This is one of the reasons we continue featuring on the blog photographers from our Squaremuse community. The second reason is that we enjoy communicating with those great guys ourselves 😁. Today we want you to get to know closer the bearded Australian who apparently doesn’t like to wear shoes, and namely Joel Alston, the person behind the Barefootandbearded photography brand.

Interview with a Barefoot&Bearded photographer

Rumors say the higher the altitude of his shootings get, the cooler his photos are. We won’t judge his photography in relation with his captions’ location height, but we won’t stay silent about the highly cool new website he’s got, using one of our Design Kits - Minima Design Kit. If you come to any conclusions after you've read this interview, please let us know what do you think: are the photos cool because of the location, or because of the photographer?!😏

We admire your work so much but we know nothing about you. How did you start doing photography? 

Awwww thanks guys! I was always interested in photography when I was young, especially in surf photography. When I first got involved in the hobby I got a wicked set up with a housing and fisheye lens (yuck!!!) and get in barrels photographing my mates surfing, which was really fun! After a while I discovered the industry wasn’t what it seemed. Not very constructive. So I leant towards lifestyle portraits for a while, then a couple who were friends of mine wanted some shots of them for an engagement shoot, I hesitantly accepted as I heard from friends to NEVER shoot couples and I didn’t know what to expect. Turned out I LOVED it!!! Here I am now 3 years later and over 200 weddings, elopements and couple shoots under my belt haha.


Where do you get your inspiration from?   

Nature inspires me massively. You would see in my work that I am heavily adventure based and am a believer in “the best places aren’t the easiest to get to”. Nothing better than the reward of an hike to an insane mountain top to catch an insane sunrise/sunset!!!

Classically you would hear photographers also mentioning other photographers they admire as inspiration, and I can confidently say my two favourite shooters are Oli Sansom & Ryan Muirhead at the moment. 

I watched a video from Ryan Muirhead recently where I interpreted his talk about “the best inspiration comes from things you don’t necessarily agree/feel comfortable with.” Finding inspiration in things you are comfortable with is called “masturbation” haha! Fully agreed with that when I heard him say that.

So I am currently exploring the artistic world for confronting images/works of art and finding massive amounts of inspiration from those things! 

What are 5 things that make you happy?

  • My family
  • Cold climates and snow!
  • Camping with a camp fire and case of good beer!
  • When couples are openly in love with eachother!!!
  • Good music!

Joel, your brand’s motto is “Fuck traditions, do it your way”, but can you tell us how to actually do that? How to ignore the beloved old and come up to to the innovational new? 

Don’t start me on this haha, I will not shut up! But I will try and give you a condensed version haha. It is unfortunately very common that the influences of “great aunt Gladice” come into a couples planning process with those stressful comments of “you need to have a cake! It isn’t a wedding without a wedding cake”. 

Excuse my language, but FUCK THAT! It isn’t Aunt Gladice’s day, it is yours! 

I find generally most couples do the old traditions purely because that is what is expected of them, not because they actually want to. I don’t necessarily have a huge problem with traditions per say, I just have a problem with them if the couple don’t have their own unique connection to that tradition and are just doing it out of peer pressure from friends and family.

The role of friends and family throughout an elopement or wedding planning should be to offer support, help when needed and give their opinions to themselves unless they are asked!!! 

At the end of the day, your REAL family and friends just want you to be happy. So if Aunt Gladice is sitting in the corner whinging because you didn’t get her cake then that says more about her than you guys! I just want couples to do it how they want to do it. It is one of the biggest days of your lives as a couple, so let’s fucking do it properly with no regrets! So long story short, I just talk with couples and ask them if they “really” want to do certain traditions and just remind them they don’t need too! 

We know you’ll have some workshops soon. Can you pitch them to us? Why should photographers join you in these adventures?

I am super lucky and remind myself constantly of this humbling experience I get to share what I know with others amongst the photography community. I am always super shocked with how many people actually care about what I have to say!!! Haha. I am just a dude with a camera.

Anyway, all the workshops I plan are super focused on the adventure and being unique. Obviously incorporate as much learning as I can, but I want photographers to just have an epic time away, almost like a retreat, also to walk away refreshed, inspired and with a clear vision of the next steps to pursue in their business. 

My next workshop is in Joshua Tree, CA. An epic camping adventure based workshop for wedding, elopement and couple photographers, I am teaming up with my good mate Benjamin Patch to run our first “Intoxicated - intensify your wildly artistic side” workshop on July 11-12th!

After that I am running another epic adventure/camping workshop in Barrington Tops NSW, Australia with my best bud Aaron Shum for our workshop brand “EXPSD Adventures” on August 2-4th. That is all for the near future, but I am sure there will be plenty more to come!!! 

You’ve recently updated your website. Let us know why did you decide to revamp your site style and how things changed since you are using our Minima design. 

Awww my god, what a game changer. For those in the industry, we all know we need to keep on top of marketing and branding constantly. I had this old boring template for ages and knew it was time for a change of template but I couldn’t be bothered and had no idea what I even wanted.

But when I came across the Minima template from Squaremuse I LOST MY SHIT! I knew this was the template!!! It wasn’t even that hard to apply the template myself, and I am super stoked with the new fresh look and the way it depicts my moody and intimate shots. BIG FAN!!!

Website built with Minima Design Kit


Liked this guy's website? You can revamp yours with our DIY Design Kits. Get a HOT new site with 15% OFF any of our Design Kits by using the code SUMMER15 at the checkout. 

Creatively yours,
Squaremuse Team!