A 4am alarm clock for sunrise; hanging out 3,000ft above Hong Kong from a helicopter; sitting 80 storeys above Dubai watching the sun set, shooting the stars… This is all in a days work for 21-year-old Richmond photographer, Jacob Riglin, who is taking the world by storm with his Instagram account
‘Ever since I was young I was always creative and I had a fascination for the world and the way it looked, both the man made and natural elements,’ says Riglin. ‘I was fortunate enough to travel with my family throughout my childhood. I owe it all to my parents as they let me see the beauty in the world and I’ll forever be grateful for that chance.’
It wasn’t until Riglin was 17 that he began to experiment with photography and it was Instagram that opened the doors to everything he is doing now. ‘It gave me a place to share my work, and a place where I got instant feedback from people all over the world,’ he says.
‘People began to show interest in what I was shooting and it was something I hadn’t experienced before. At that point my focus was very much London. I would head out and shoot sunrises and sunsets every night of the week, then spend hours on my laptop learning about techniques and how I could push my skills to the next level.’
It wasn’t long before Riglin realised that in order for him to really push himself he had to be shooting more than just London, and be capturing moments all over the world. He finished college and took a gap year.
‘This was my first real taste of travel photography, waking up in a new location each day, wandering the streets of unknown cities and taking every day as a new adventure.’
It’s fair to say that sometimes dreams really do come true, and for Riglin this was certainly the case when he was approached by award-winning creative agency Beautiful Destinations.
‘Three months went by in no time and before I knew it I was on the plane home already worrying about what my next move would be; the most likely choice being accept my place at university and spend three years regretting it, but that’s when BD came along,’ says Riglin.
I spent a year working two jobs in Richmond saving as much money as I could and funded three months of travel around Australia and Asia
‘Five weeks after arriving home, Jeremy Jauncey approached me. He had seen my work after searching for a friend whose name was coincidentally also Jacob and stumbled across my Instagram account.’
Jauncey and his brother Tom proposed the idea of Riglin becoming the community manager for BD. The job would involve becoming the first in-house content creator.
‘Without hesitation I accepted their offer and from that moment onwards my life changed forever,’ he smiles. ‘Eighteen months later and I have experienced more than most people in a lifetime. Tom and Jeremy have become like brothers to me, I’m now director of content and I am travelling to the world’s most exotic destinations.’
Riglin firmly holds Richmond in his heart as a place that inspired him to take this path and is refreshingly grateful for the opportunities presented to him growing up in west London.
‘This year is super exciting. It is going to be a wild one, we already have so many countries lined up that I have never been to before – but I can’t disclose details yet!’
What advice has Riglin got for budding photographers in west London?
‘Don’t give up. Determination is the key to success. I spent every night for two years out photographing London. It got me in a mindset that I still have today, which is to push as hard as I can for every moment I get – 17 hour days are normal now,’ he says.
I spent every night for two years out photographing London. It got me in a mindset that I still have today, which is to push as hard as I can for every moment I get – 17 hour days are normal
‘Try and be different too. Social media is saturated with photographers doing the same thing and not pushing boundaries. In order to stand out, strive to create content that hasn’t been done before. Be the person innovating and always aim higher.
‘On that note, BD is currently hiring for The World’s Coolest Job, looking for the best talent to join the team and travel the world.’
What are you waiting for west London?