According to David, what he sees as his competitive advantage is not talent, it’s an ability to invest with “precision and courage.”
“For me, as an original content person, I don’t warm to the idea of photographing an emperor penguin colony with 200 other people. So we’re taking our own plane to Antarctica, followed by another plane and we will camp. This will cost me $500,000, but it will mean that me and my film crew are on our own and then home within eight days. This is a disruptive business model, because people haven’t been able to do that before.
When asked what sets him apart from the competition, humble in his approach, David suggests “it is for galleries and collectors to decide. I’m never going to criticise my competition. It’s not competition because photography shouldn’t be competitive. In terms of time allocation I’ve been fortunate. Having been single for 12 years and having kids at boarding school allowed me to be self-centred in my time, a lot of people don’t have that choice. I also have a business background, and I think a lot of photographers don’t give enough attention to the business side of their model.”
“In the world of photography now, there are a lot of people I have a huge admiration for and I am honoured to work in a gallery on Palm Beach where three of the photographers are Scottish. Harry Benson for example, who has shot the Beatles and multiple US presidents, is a dear friend who taught me something of photography: “A great picture can never be repeated.” This is something that resonates with David and he tries to learn from. Similarly to Pelorus’ process of delivering a bespoke adventure; no two experiences are the same, each is totally unique.
“You’ve got to make every inch of the frame sweat. If you have a dinner party for 12 people, all those 12 people have got to earn their place at the dinner table. A picture should be like that; every constituent part has got to pay their dues.”
– David Yarrow