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Molly Wallis

Molly is a South West photographer and videographer with an abundant passion for the oceans and all its creatures, her passion for the seas has evolved into her studying marine biology at university in Cornwall. Alongside studying the marine environment she produces absolutely stunning images of all kinds of sea creatures, seascapes, landscapes, drone shots and surfers enjoying the waves, helping to show of this magical underwater world alongside educating her followers and encouraging them to help protect these environments. We have thoroughly enjoyed speaking to Molly and learning how her passions developed.

Tell us a bit about you, who are you and what do you do?

Hi, I’m Molly, I’m in my second year of studying Marine Biology in Falmouth, Cornwall with Exeter Uni. I have lived in a little fishing village called Brixham on the South West coast of Devon for most of my life but thoroughly enjoying Cornish life. When I’m not slogging through uni work, you’ll normally find me in the sea, whether it be snorkelling, surfing, swimming, wakeboarding or just messing about with some mates. Photography and videography is purely a hobby for me at the moment, although I do sell the occasional prints here and there on Etsy.

What are your hobbies and interests?

One of my passions is road cycling, a typical ride for me is about 40 miles – I just love how cycling allows to me explore Cornwall in a way that you couldn’t by car. Surfing and freediving are also passions of mine and it’s a way of being able to further my photography into some of my favourite pastime activities. Although doing an academic subject, I love just sitting down and jamming on my guitar or illustrating the sea life I photograph.

How did you develop your passion for photography?

I turned to photography as a form of escapism; I had hit a rough patch and I needed a distraction, so I bought my first camera. I knew I wanted to focus on marine-based photography as I’ve always found a sort of reassurance and peace when in the sea and it allows me to reconnect with my surroundings.

What inspires you to take photographs?

One of the many things that being a marine biologist has taught me is just how threatened the ocean’s health is, and I feel it is my duty to convey to others the importance of the oceans in our day-to-day lives – I am able to use photography as a vessel to convey this message and unmask some of the ocean’s beauties and best kept secrets. It’s a world that not many people get to see so I feel privileged to be able to showcase it in such a unique manner.

Who inspires you to take phots or develop your style in a certain way?

A youtuber Aidin Robbins greatly inspirers and influences the videos I make as he has a very calming and almost surreal way of depicting nature in his video. I was also heavily inspired by many of the Cornish surf photographers but in particular Ross @_rtshots , Caleb Giddens @calebgiddensmedia and Ben Hartley @benhartley8

What is your favourite South West area for inspiration?

My favourite place probably has to be either The Lizard or Godrevy. Both places are so contrasting to me in both their setting and vibe. I spent many summers in the sea and on the beach at Godrevy but the Lizard is just such a wild, untamed and rugged place.

What is your usual set up and go to equipment?

My usual set-up includes my Pentax K1000, my DJI Mavic air 2 and my Sony a6000 with either the 55-210mm or 16-50mm lens

How do you get into your editing zone?

I find that kicking back in my room with all my plants (or my little jungle as I call it) with either a rum and coke or hot chocolate puts me in the right frame of mind for editing. Put on some banger tunage and queue the creative flow!

Where do you see your work progressing? Is there an end goal?

I’m not sure where I see my work progressing to really, it was just such a spontaneous thing to start doing and the amount of praise and attention that I have received over my work has really shocked my (in a good way). I would love to be able to incorporate my photography into my marine biology studies and to keep pursuing surf photography to eventually feature in Carve or Wavelength. I would like to progress even more into cinematography and eventually create a short documentary

Any advice, hints or tips for people starting out?

All I can say is just go for it and don’t compare your work to others. So many people hold themselves back by looking at other people’s work that have been in the game for years but in reality, they started in just the same way as everyone else. Don’t wory about having the latest and greatest equipment either, as long as you’re having fun and creating art that you enjoy, who gives a f**k?

What is your favourite piece of work you have created and why?

My favourite piece so far has to either be my ‘Just Breathe’ video or my Snakelocks Anemone photo. ‘Just Breathe’ was just a way for me to show how much the sea meant to me and how much I rely on it for both mental and physical support. I was going through a kinda unsure, demotivated rut and was struggling with uni work and just lockdown life and so decided to show people it’s ok not to be ok

The snakelocks anemone piece is just a favourite because it just looks so alien and otherworldly. Not many people know just how bizarre life on our planet truly is!

Where can we find your work?

My work can either be found on:

- Insta under @molza_photography

- Etsy under MolzaPhotography

- Youtube under Molly Wallis

- Facebook under Molza Photography


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