Patrick Gouret is a photographer and co-founder, with his girlfriend Jibbie Monchumas Punnakitti, of a fine photography, travel and lifestyle blog called holiday-runway.com . The website has reached over 400,000 followers and it keeps growing. The site’s N.1 goal is, as said in the site itself:
Promoting a good work life balance, setting an example that it is not required to quit your job to travel the world and encouraging everyone to travel whenever to wherever.
While Miss Jibbie Punnakitti writes down the extraodinary experiences she and her boyfriend share during their monthly travels in different places all over the world, he focuses (…literally 📸🏝🏞🏯🌅🌃) on transmitting the beauty of said places through his photos. Some of his pictures can also be seen on his instagram profile (followed by 65,5 thousand people) or on 500px.com (where the photos have been seen 21,350 times).
NOTE: All of his shots and videos have and are being taken with a DSLR Canon 6D, a GoPro Hero 4 and a Phantom 4 Drone.
The couple’s motto?
“DON’T WAIT FOR HOLIDAY, MAKE HOLIDAY! THE WORLD IS OUR RUNWAY”
MY PERSONAL OPINION
In all honesty, I’m just a starting photographer and I’m not the most qualified person to judge Mr. Gouret’s works. However, I can’t help but write my personal opinion about them. I’ve seen a lot of photographic art, and just like for every other kind of art, from music to writing to drawing etc. the most difficult thing to do is having a personal ‘signature style’ that makes the works recognizable among a million others. Some photographers choose drammatic effects that make you wonder on a place’s history, others choose majestic landscapes, or a particular type of portrait or literally anything else. The possibilities are endless. And it’s just because of these infinite choices that I found Mr. Gouret’s choices to be… poetic.
His signatures are a little difficult to spot at first, but once the eyes get used it’s almost impossible not to see them. It’s difficult not because of a lack of uniqueness, but because he always tries something new, completely changing subject with each photo and travel. From islands and beaches with crystal blue waters to jungles and forests, to temples, streets, super-modernized shining cities, luxury hotels and more.
However, the signatures I’m talking about are almost always present.
No matter if he’s photographing an active metropoly at night, with thousands of colorful lights and the meticulous movements of dozens of cars moving in a freeway, or if he takes a shot of an isolated corner of the world immersed in the green of a jungle, the feeling he will transmit stays the same. He’s capable of giving a deep sensation of peace and calm to the most chaotic of cities and give a sense of futuristic advance to the most ancient of places.
Another of his signatures is still waters mirroring what’s above them in a perfect pattern that makes the whole image seem something else, completely different from what’s actually in it. What that thing is, varies for each shot, and also for each person that looks at them, just like a Rorschach test. So, I’ll leave you the pleasure of discovering them. All I can say is that they look as if they came straight out of another dimension or an alien planet.
And at last, the most romantic of signatures… love. He often photographs his beloved. How happy they’re are together, her smiles, their everyday life in wonderful travels. It’s something very simple, yet immensely powerful. In each photo starring Miss Punnakitti it is loud and clear, from the perspectives he chose to the joy on her face, how much he loves her. True love that finds its way and grows with time is something so rare and beautiful, I can’t find the words to describe what a nice thing it is. And honestly, there’s no need to. Sooner or later, we all experience it. Some of us already did, some still haven’t, but it doesn’t matter. Seeing a couple being happy and dedicating their lives to explore this world, now, in our modern times, well it seems… no… it IS, a TRUE MIRACLE.
Speaking of which, all of his photos, both the ones starring Miss Punnakitti and the ones not starring her, make you feel as if you’re looking at heaven instead of our planet. That’s how things are supposed to be seen you know? Many lucky people knew this as children, but forgot it as they grew up. The world is full of problems and struggles. So full that sometimes it seems more of a hell than a paradise. That’s what makes so great, good and genuinly perfect Mr. Gouret’s work. Sometimes all we need is a little reminder of how great the world we’re living in is. And just looking at some of his photos will already make you feel happier and cheer you up. At least, that’s the effect they had and they’re keep having on me. My final ‘vote’, if so I can call it, is 5 stars out of 5.
1. Good morning, how are you?
I am great, thank you! We just came back from Koh Mook Island in south Thailand and will head to Kao Sok National Park next week-end!
2. What is your and your girlfriend’s main goal with the blog “Holiday Runaway”?
Our main goal is to tell people: ‘travel as much as you can, anytime you have an opportunity. You don’t have to cross the world to find beautiful places, just look around you, there are plenty of wonderful place to visit.’
3. When was your passion for photography born?
It started when I moved from France to Thailand. I came to Bangkok as an exchange student, pursuing an MBA. As I knew South East Asia was beautiful I bought my first camera just before leaving France.
4. How did you start following it?
I was simply taking pictures during my travels and was always looking for ways to improve my photography skills. I started learning photography and practicing what I learned. This is when I realized it became a passion.
5. When did your career truly start?
When the tourism authority of Thailand contacted me through instagram in order to take part of International Media trips.
6. After how long did you become satisfied with your photography?
Just recently, I would say after 5 years. The more you learn the more you realize you can do much better. It’s hard to be satisfied of your work when you are still relatively new in this art and you admire the work of photographer who are much more talented than you are.
7. How many countries have you visited so far?
8. How often do you travel?
9. How many photos have you published?
A LOT! So far 636 on my instagram @patoss, but much more if you visit our blog.
10. Do you have also another job or you’re focusing at 100% on being a photographer?
I have another job, I am an account manager for a french fragrance company. This job is perfect as it offers me opportunities to travel as well.
11. Is there any specific message you’d like to transmit through your work?
Not really, I just try to take the best pictures of the places I visit.
12. How do you sell your photos and where can people buy them?
You can buy my best work on 500 PX : https://500px.com/patrickgrt
I also sell pictures on shutterstock.
13. What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to become a photographer?
Practicee as much as you can, learn from videos and books online.
14. How did you meet Jibbie?
We met when I arrived in Thailand 6 year ago, through mutual friends.
15. Is she a photographer too?
Jibbie likes to take photos as well, yes, but I am behind most photos in our blog and she is the one who writes about our travels.
16. Why did you first decide to open a blog?
To share our experiences with our friends, then the audience became bigger and bigger.
17. How did you reach such a huge number of followers?
We actually started using instagram when the application was not so popular yet, we also shared pictures and stories of places which were not so famous yet. Today there are many account sharing the same types of pictures and copying other people, so it’s harder to be noticed for newcomers.
18. What advice would you give to any photographer who wants to promote his/her work on the web?
Only showcase your best work!
19. So far, what is your favorite place on Earth?
Philippines, Maldives, Phi Phi Islands, it’s hard to pick one !
20. What is the weirdest thing you saw during your travels?
If by “weird” you mean extra-ordinary, we have swimmed with shark wales while in Cebu Islands, in Philippines. That was an amazing experience.
21. Have you ever been in real danger while taking photos?
Yes, this year we went on the top of Bali’s main volcano, mount Batur. On the way down we took a short cut and went around the volcano submit. The path was really narrow with no rope or anything to secure yourself. At some point the path got so narrow that there was just enough space to put my one foot at a time. There was a 200 meters downfall on both sides. I was carrying my 10 kg camera bag and got scared to death that I would fall. Eventually I made it but got completely paralyzed when I realized how dangerous the path was.
22. What are your projects for the future?
We are travelling to Rome, Venise and Paris in 2 months.
23. What are your dreams (both related and unrelated to your career)?
To travel the world and visit every countries while living exclusively of photography.
24. What are the things you consider the most important in your life?
Family and friends
25. Who are the people who have influenced you the most?
Talented photographers like Jimmy Mcintyre.
26. Is there anything else you’d like to tell the world?
Life is short, so travel as much as you can, while you still can.