We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Murray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
The most important lesson that I’ve been taught so far is either to embrace failure or to be fearless. A lot of frequent trial and error is required on my end to validate ideas or parts thereof. With this comes a lot of possible and actual failure, which can at times be disappointing and draining. As much as I would love to avoid it, there are no other ways around it to achieve success. As such, I am attempting to embrace it more along with the lessons that come with it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Please tell us more about your art. I am a Jamaican photographer on a mission to capture landscapes, cityscapes, nightscapes and everything in between. The consistent theme that emerged across my work is a focus on capturing unknown locations that most have not come across along with known locations in ways that most have not been able to experience.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others? What you are most proud of or excited about.
What sets me apart from other Caribbean landscape and travel photographers is my obsessive focus on finding the best compositions with the most optimal lighting conditions in great locations. This has led to the creation of some of the strongest and most unique images in Jamaica and possibly across the Caribbean. I am proud of the 2021 and 2022 Jamaican Calendars that I’ve recently executed and I’m excited for the new projects that I will be embarking on in short order.
How did you get to where you are today professionally? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
To create work that was different from what was being produced locally, I ended up looking outside of Jamaica for inspiration. This eventually led me to the work of present day photography legends including Daniel Kordan, Michael Shainblum and Yuri Beletsky. Their work opened my eyes to the endless possibilities which over time influenced how I saw and created. Standing out locally in my earlier days was relatively easy; however, I consistently felt that my work was lacking when compared to the international greats. While I haven’t overcome that challenge, I have been actively working on closing that gap by dedicating an average of about 110 days per year over the last 3 years to practice.
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
On the art side of things, I’ve observed that the greats consistently practiced their craft on a very frequent basis. This is a lesson which I’ve taken to heart and have applied over the last 3 years. On the business/project side, fearlessness and experimenting while being willing to “fail fast” are the some of the biggest lessons I’ve come across.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Strangely enough this is a difficult question for me to answer. I think my aim has always been for my work to speak for itself. From a Jamaica specific standpoint, my hope is that my work will inspire people to explore Jamaica and will either show them things that they’ve never seen or may not get to see normally.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The following are a few of the places where I would carry visiting friends to around Kingston: – Fort Charles for a tour of Jamaica’s best maintained fort
– Bob Marley or Wickie Wackie beaches right outside of Kingston for the water and sunset
– Devon House for:
– The best ice cream in Jamaica
– A tour of the mansion that was once home to Jamaica’s first black millionaire.
– Lunch or Dinner at Steak House on the Verandah for the easily the best pasta in Jamaica and some of the best food in the island
– 22 Jerk for live music and food on Thursdays
– Latin Dancing at Ragamuffin Café on Thursday nights or Holy Smokes Grill on Tuesday Nights
– Drive out to Holywell Park through the Blue Mountain Culinary trail with a few food and scenic stops along with way.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out my many supporters who keep me going through feedback in person, on social media or tangibly with the support of my 2021 and 2022 calendars.