South Florida Photographer Glen Thuncher – Jacksonville to Key West
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South Florida Photographer Glen Thuncher – Jacksonville to Key West

- edited by: Glenn Shuck

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If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, you’re lucky enough. I’m a landscape photographer based in Port St. Lucie, and love the diverse beauty that the Sunshine State offers. I’ve photographed scenery from Jacksonville to Key West, and up and down the Gulf coast, and love every part of this state.

Lucky Live Florida!

Hi Glen with one “n.” Your work around Florida is fantastic and we’re excited for you to your background and story travelling Florida and beyond. For starters, tell us in what part of Florida do you reside now and how long have you lived there? 

My family & I (my wife, 2 kids, and 2 dogs) moved to Florida in 2016, originally settling in Palm City – and now just up the road in Port St. Lucie. Prior to living here, we called the island of Maui home for 20 years … with adventures along the way in Austin, TX and Bend, OR. 

What is your favorite part of the First Coast to photograph

Without question, St. Augustine is one of my favorite spots to photograph in the entire state – in fact, we almost moved there a couple of years ago. There are so many quaint, coastal towns along the First Coast … and many that are still on my to-list.

What type of equipment do you use? 

I’m a camera geek, and love how far digital photography has come. I currently shoot medium format with a Fujifilm GDX 50S, and full frame with my all-time favorite Leica Q2. (The new Fujifilm X100 VI is on my radar now!)

How long have you been part of the hobby? 

I got my very first ‘real’ camera when I was 13 years old, it was a Minolta XG-1 … and I’ve had a camera in my hands pretty much every day ever since.

Do you do any type of planning before you head out to take photos or do you just wing it? 

Occasionally I’ll just wing it and take a chance, but usually I’m checking weather reports, satellite imagery, wind speeds, humidity, etc … ironically, blue skies are a landscape photographer’s worst nightmare.

Are there any constants in your photography, if so what are they? (ie. subjects, editing, lens, etc.) 

I have been blessed to witness (and photograph) more sunrises and sunsets than anyone I know! I love the colors, and lighting, and the solitude of sunrise. Having said that, I constantly try and challenge myself to mix things up and view things differently. 

How would you describe your style of photography? 

I try and capture images that accurately reflect what I see in front of me while I was taking the photo. I’m not a fan of HDR, over-edited, or AI.

Do you edit your photos right after your shoot or do you let them sit for a while? 

Good question. Sometimes I’m so excited by what I’ve captured, I can’t wait to see the results. Usually, I will edit the same day … but will hold off sharing images for a day or so.

Where is your favorite place (or type of place) to take photos? 

Here in Florida, a lot of my images include water features … beaches, boats, silhouetted trees, sunrise, sunset, etc. But I’m always searching for something new.

If you could live in any decade (with your current photographic gear), which one would it be and why?

That’s another great question. I tend to live in the present, and love what I have to work with in 2024. But the ’70s have always intrigued me … probably because that’s when I got my first camera. I love vintage vibes, and film simulation presets that harken back to that era. I think it would be amazing to visit some of the places I photograph in Florida now, 50 years ago – before the high-rises and population showed up.

What photographer (current or historical) do you draw the most inspiration from? 

I think my own photographic style has been influenced the most by Peter Lik, I’m a big fan of his work. And while I don’t shoot a lot in black & white, I have been in awe of Ansel Adams ever since I saw his images.

What do you think is the most important component to producing great results? (camera, lens, light, editing, location, artistic vision, etc.) 

“An amateur worries about the equipment
A professional worries about the money
A master worries only about the light.”

My favorite saying, ever. It’s all about the light.

Is there a ritual that you use to get into a creative zone? 

No ritual, just coffee. LOL! Most of my photography excursions begin before it’s even light outside. So caffeine is important. For sunset, I start monitoring the sky … live beach cams … and weather stats 2-3 hours before actual sunset. If conditions are favorable, I am IN the creative zone.

What outside (non-photographic) influences (if any) shape your photography? 

Mother nature. I know, sounds cheesy … but when I see the beauty that surrounds me, I want to document the moment.

What advice would you give someone who just picked up their new camera on how to get started?

Have fun! Get out there and take photos – lots of photos … it’s the only way you’ll learn and get better. If you’re new to photography, your first photos probably won’t look like what you see in magazines or framed on walls. But that’s okay, you’ll get better if you put in the time.

What is the goal of your photography? (A business, just to share on social media, gateway to adventure, etc.)

My goal, first and foremost – is to make me happy. Photography is a pure passion for me, and I’m fortunate that I haven’t had to monetize my work to support my family. I have sold pieces and had some success with my photography, but it’s not what drives me. 

Do you shoot with your editing style in mind, or do you edit based on the shot that you got? 

I’m old school, and try to capture the exact image I visualize in one shot. Editing and cropping are a very important part of my work flow, it has to be when I’m shooting raw files. But my goal is to get as many things right in camera.

Do you prefer to photograph alone, or in a group? 

I’m a social guy and don’t mind company when I’m shooting, but a lot of my photo shoots occur very early in the morning – when I’m still having trouble forming syllables. LOL! 99% of my shoots are solo.

How do you feel like social media has changed photography and do you think it’s a good or bad thing?

I have a love/hate relationship with social media, but ultimately Facebook and Instagram provide a platform for photographers, artists, and creators to showcase their work. And I’d be lying if I said I likes and follows didn’t matter to me  😉 

What is the best way for photographers to network? 

Well, this seems like a great platform right here to meet artists of like mind. I’m not much of a ‘networking’ guy, so probably ill-qualified to offer advice.

Do you enjoy books? If so, any specific genre? 

I’m not a voracious reader, but I do enjoy books. I’ve read everything that Jimmy Buffett wrote, and tend to gravitate towards non-fiction … biographies, autobiographies, etc.

What is your favorite photographic accomplishment? 

Humble Brag Alert! I was the principle photographer for the 5-star Brasada Ranch Resort in Bend, Oregon. Did the same for country singer George Strait’s Tapatio Springs resort in Texas, and was most recently hired as a brand ambassador for The Moorings Resort in Islamorada (the “Bloodline” resort). My images were also featured as double truck centerfold pieces in multiple issues of Florida Coast Magazine. 

If you had a question you would like to ask another photographer what would it be? 

How’s your day going?

What’s the best thing for you about living on the First Coast? 

We came close to being First Coast residents, but still live just down the road in Port St. Lucie. But I love visiting … I love the photo ops … I love the history. (And I LOVE Whataburger! I nearly cried when I saw one in Jacksonville!)

Is there anything else that you want to tell everyone? 

If you’re still reading this, you just might be a photography enthusiast … 50 years later and it still gets me out of bed in the morning and chasing the light! I highly recommend it.

How can we see your work? 

website: www.floridalifephotography.com   
Facebook: Florida Life Photography  
Instagram: @floridalifephotographer

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