Jordan Banks : Behind the Lens

Lauren Kania
By Lauren Kania  - Junior Travel Editor 7 Min Read

With vast experience capturing the essence and unparalleled characteristics of countries and landscapes across the world, Jordan Banks showcases his most recent venture into the icy depths of the Antarctic and discusses what has led him to this point in his career.

With a career that spans over two decades and consists of myriad accolades from National Geographic, Lonely Planet, Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY), and more, Jordan Banks is notoriously well-versed and recognised as one of the UK’s pioneering photographers in the world of digital arts. 

Banks’ expeditions have taken him to over 100 different countries, where he has traversed some of the most diverse regions in the world, including Myanmar, Greenland, Botswana, Easter Island, and Patagonia, leading him to become not only a respected photographer, but also an educator and speaker at global art and photography events, conferences, and workshops.   

Additionally, Banks is the founding editor of the award-winning travel magazine, JRNY Travel Magazine (JRNY), where he, alongside the rest of the team, is working towards improving the future landscape for creatives in the travel editorial sector, while also mentoring new talent and helping provide opportunities for the next generation of travel storytellers. 

Most recently, Banks travelled to Antarctica to document the utterly pristine environment, which is dominated by creatures of all shapes and sizes and barely marred by human touch. He gives us an inside look into the unique landscape and how he managed to capture an image of one of the world’s most formidable apex predators.


Firstly, what drew you to work in travel photography?

Jordan Banks (JB): My love of travel and exploring the unknown is what initially got me into photography. I had played with cameras a little when I was in my teens, but nothing serious. As I got the opportunity to travel, the urge to document the lives of people and communities seemed like a perfect time to start picking up the camera. This was well before the days of digital photography, so it was a lot more of a challenge with some steep learning curves, but I picked up a set of skills that are still the basis of everything I capture now. When shooting a film camera, it is imperative you get as much as possible correct, and I take this approach with my photography even today.   

What do you find most exciting about this kind of work?

JB: Ultimately, it’s about having the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful regions and communities around the world. Just last year, I spent six weeks in the High Arctic in Canada and Greenland, as well as two months in Antarctica. Not many jobs will take you to these sorts of places and I am incredibly grateful to be able to experience unique opportunities like these as part of my career. 

On the flip side, what are the biggest challenges?

JB: The biggest challenge I face right now is being a present father to my children. I am away a lot on photography shoots, so it’s important I manage my time as efficiently as possible so that when I am at home, I’m involved in family life as much as I can be.

How would you describe your style of photography?

JB: I still consider myself a photojournalist. I don’t always shoot what you might typically think would be journalistic images, but storytelling is ever-present in my approach to photography and an incredibly important aspect of the individual style that I have come to develop over the years.  

What has been one of your favourite destinations to capture?

JB: Hands down, it has to be Antarctica. It’s truly like nothing else in the world. It’s hard to put into words what an amazing feeling it is to photograph such pristine environments and witness a place that can, at times, feel like a completely different planet altogether. 

Have you been involved in any interesting assignments or projects recently?

JB: I co-founded JRNY back in 2021. The magazine has made a real name for itself in just three short years, winning the best travel magazine in our first year, supporting writers and photographers, and launching the World Travel Photography Awards. Currently, our biggest goal is to revolutionise the travel and adventure editorial space. 

Finally, what’s next for the future? Are there any new destinations you’d like to cross off your bucket list?

JB: I’ve been very lucky to travel extensively for the past 25 years, so I’m now at the stage of wanting to tick expeditions off my bucket list. The top three right now are the Northeast Passage, overlanding to the east coast of China, and circumnavigating Antarctica. I’m confident I’ll get them all done in the coming years.


“I was on an expedition in the High Arctic off Ellesmere Island, when we spotted a lone female polar bear way off in the distance. We approached slowly, and she wasn’t at all bothered by our presence; in fact, she became quite interested in us and our vessel. She had settled down for a nap, and just before we departed, I was able to capture this frame of her.”


Read our previous interview with Jordan Banks here.

Read Issue 15 of Outlook Travel Magazine