We had the opportunity to sit down with Florent and Amberly who are the faces behind Of Two Lands. They are incredibly talented videographers and photographers who travel the globe doing what they love. Their photos take our breath away and we are consistently inspired by their perspective when they travel. So grab your cup of tea or coffee and get ready to be provoked to live out your dream.
Tell us about you both. Where you were born, how you met and what brought you to capturing the world through film and digital?
Amberly : I was born in The Blue Mountains West of Sydney, Australia. I’ve always had a keen interest in illustration, graphic design and photography which naturally translated across to film as well which I was introduced to by Florent.
Florent : I was born in Grenoble, France. I have had an interest in filmmaking since a very young age and being with Ams allows me to develop this passion that we now both share.
We actually met while working in a printing company, back in 2010. We both always had an interest in visual arts, and photography is something that we both did before meeting each other and now continue to improve at together.
What made you decide that this is what you were gonna do, that this is where you are going to put your time and energy? And what pushed you to take the risk?
We don’t think that there was a specific moment where we decided that this is what we were going to do, it was more that we realised that taking photos and videos was what made us happy and allowed us to do more than just travelling.
Both of us have never been really career oriented people in the sense that we value what we enjoy in life more than having a planned path ahead. This is our take on life and some people are happy to put most of their focus on work and climb the ladder, it is just not for us.
Working on photos and videos is not what we really consider as working. We do spend a lot of our time and energy but it is extremely rewarding because we create this and it is our own. The more we grow the more we know that is definitely what we want to do.
Travelling a lot with work comes with pros and cons. What are some of the biggest challenges you face in travelling constantly and what are your biggest rewards?
The biggest challenges for us are the facts that we need money, and time, in order to visit those places. It can be difficult while we go away several times during the same year and that we have to leave our things behind or organise everything just few days before. We usually move apartments quite often, while based in Sydney, and it can be exciting but also we lose that sense of belonging somewhere.
On the other hand, visiting different places around the world is an incredible and rewarding experience. Discovering new landscapes and cultures, meeting people along the way and spending time together is something that we highly value.
We have so little time on this earth and to us trying to visit as much as we can, while we can is a big motivation point.
Where in the world is number one on your wishlist to travel and what is your dream job?
Florent : To me, the ultimate destination would be Antarctica. It is a childhood dream to visit this remote and unique place. Having read many books about it and seen many documentaries have furthered my interest in going there. If I had to pick a dream job I think it would be to works as a cinematographer on film projects, like documentaries, that would take me around the world. Being able to do what I love and be surrounded by beautiful and interesting landscapes with a purpose in mind would be ideal. Or on a less serious note, getting paid to watch movies or tv shows would be pretty cool.
Amberly : Aside from my interest in film and photography, as an illustrator in my spare time, my dream job would be a full-time illustrator of some kind.
That or having a house full of cats to care for and play with all day would be the ultimate. I am really keen to go to Japan as I think the vastly different culture, and just the sheer amount of people, would be such a unique experience and culture shock. I’d also love to ski there in winter as it looks quite stunning.
At Sceen’ry we talk a lot about finding beauty everywhere you go. What are some of the most beautiful places you have visited and what is it about them that really stands out to you?
We have been lucky enough to visit so many beautiful places over the past few years. Iceland, Greenland and New Zealand are the ones that really hold a special place in our hearts.
Iceland for its barren and stark scenery. It really felt like an untouched part of the world.
We are big movie fans and being able to see some of the locations of our favourite films was a highlight. We also love the Icelandic culture and way of life.
Greenland for its beautiful and unique features such as the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Arctic was a dream and it didn't disappoint. Cruising amongst icebergs the size of buildings under the midnight sun was an incredible experience.
New Zealand is where we kind of started Of Two Lands. Having also lived there for few months, we feel very connected to it. Its mountains and rivers, its people. The amazing roads that took us to even more amazing sights. There is something very special about this country and we definitely haven’t seen the last of it.
In an age where everyone has become a photographer and content creator because of apps like instagram, how do you combat that as professionals? And what is your take on the digital/social age we live in?
Funnily enough we actually started to become more active at the same time as social media exploded. We don’t think that we combat that but rather work with it. It allowed us to get amazing opportunities and meet some really nice people. It took us quite a while to jump on Instagram and such but it was definitely worth it.
Finding inspiration is what is great about social media, but it is also its biggest problem and it can be easy to fall into the ‘trend’. Of course it is rewarding to get likes and followers because we feel that our work is appreciated and it sometimes gives us a purpose but in the end we have to do work that we love and care about.
It is true that everyone has become photographers but we think that the most important thing is to really shoot what you like and find your own style and it will definitely show.
What do you look for in places that inspire you, not only creatively but also personally?
Over the years we realised that what we like most is those remote and unique places that haven’t been too much altered by human impact. We obviously love landscapes and especially mountains because it allows us to escape our somewhat busy city life.
We read a lot and watch a ridiculous amount of movies and travelling to those locations help us to have the same feeling. Being able to learn about a place and its history, to plan a trip, to explore and see things that we have never seen before is what makes us thrive. We are lucky that we get to experience this together, it makes the whole thing even more interesting on so many levels.
What are 5 things you would never travel without?
A camera, a map, a book, a backpack and a sense of adventure.
What are some tips you would give to aspiring photographers and adventurers?
Every person is different from the next, but we think that if your want is to become a photographer or/and adventurer just do it. Getting out there, shooting as much as possible is the best way to find your style and to know what you like to do most.