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James Popsys

James Popsys is a popular British photography YouTuber, and a travel and adventure photographer.

He has 264K subscribers on his YouTube channel, James Popsys.


James David Popsys was born on 5 May 1989.

He hails from North Wales, U.K. and grew up there.

James got into photography as he found it to be a good creative outlet; he wanted to express his creativity but wasn’t good at drawing, painting or singing so, he chose photography.

For his 18th birthday, Emily gifted him a Pentax Optio A20 camera.

In his early twenties, James did a lot of travelling, carrying his camera; but at the time, he wasn’t very passionate about photography.

Thanks to his love for writing, he wanted to grow up to become a journalist; later, he started a couple of blogs but ultimately became a photographer and YouTuber.

BornJames David Popsys; 5 May 1989
YouTube channelJames Popsys
Years active on YouTube2016-present
PartnerEmily (married)
James Popsys information

Career; quitting his job & becoming a photographer-

James secured a marketing job in London after university.

He worked in this job until he along with Emily moved to Sydney in September 2015; they moved to Sydney as they loved the city and had some friends there.

James started working in a marketing job in Sydney and continued pursuing his hobby of photography; he used to dedicate all his evenings and weekends for photography and used to edit for many hours.

In 2016, his company offered him to work part-time and as he developed itchy feet, he decided to become a full-time photographer; at the time, he was getting many inquiries, and this gave him the confidence that he could make a career in photography.

But James didn’t quit his marketing job to become a full-time photographer, instead he started working part-time at his job and took up professional photography.

Keeping his job allowed him to get regular paychecks and also work as a photographer a couple of days a week.

As James missed his home, in 2017, he quit his job, moved from Australia to Manchester and became a full-time commercial photographer.

He moved back to live with his parents for around nine months; he used to pay a minimum rent and pay minimally for food, this warded off the financial burden on him by which he was able to focus on his photography career.

After working as a professional photographer in London, James became a travel photographer.


Before moving to Manchester from Sydney, he and Emily decided to do a two-month camper trip in New Zealand.

Before embarking on this trip, James bought himself a Lumix DMC-TZ10 camera; he started taking photos of the trip with this camera and got a good understanding of aperture, ISO, etc.; this cemented his love for photography.

Also, he decided to document the trip with video footage; so, he started filming the trip.

During the video editing process, James felt working on the videos to be as much of a creative outlet as photography.

He published the first video on his YouTube channel, James Popsys, “She changed her shirt | New Zealand Ep.1,” on 20 December 2016.

Even though James started his channel way back in 2011, he didn’t publish any videos until the end of 2016.

After publishing his trip videos, he started publishing photography and tutorial videos.

Eventually, James fell in love with YouTubing and later, chose YouTubing over professional photography.

As of March 2024, he has 264K subscribers on his YouTube channel and 106K followers on Instagram.

James earns from a variety of sources like advertisements on YouTube, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships.

Also, he sells prints, presets and books on his website.

Stumbling upon composite photography-

After moving to London, James upgraded to a slightly better camera and as he had free time on the weekends, he tried to shoot original photos by walking around the city.

But to his disappointment, he found that the photos of almost all locations in London were already shot by other photographers which meant that he couldn’t shoot original photos unless he was very proficient.

Even when James used to stumble upon unique places, he would ready his camera only to find some photographers beside him vying with him to capture the same location.

He found this annoying and gave up photography for a little time until he came across the incredible composite works of Erik Johansson; at the same time, James also discovered a tutorial of layer masking in Photoshop.

He was ecstatic upon discovering composite photography as he realised that he could strive for original photos, by stitching photos together to make an original concept, without having much experience with photography.

This started his journey in composite photography; he learnt layering and blending images in Photoshop through YouTube videos.

James created his first surreal Photoshopped photo, “Rough landing,” with photos taken in Richmond Park, Heathrow, and Shoreditch; he combined the elements of plane landing, grass, and an empty billboard.

While working as a commercial photographer, he used to also do composite photography but as he started devoting more time to his YouTube channel, he started feeling impatient for sitting in front of the computer for long hours editing photos for composite photography.

As video editing also was a time-consuming task, and as a few months after working on his YouTube channel, James started loving his channel more than composite photography, he chose YouTubing over composite photography.

He started occasionally doing composite photography but later, switched to conventional photography, especially landscape photography.

In 2023, James worked as a photographer for Switzerland Tourism.

His gear-

He started his photography journey in 2011 with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1.

Then, James upgraded to an Olympus OM-D E-M5; after three years, for full frame photography, he upgraded to a Nikon D750.

Then, he switched to a Panasonic Lumix DC-G9, thanks to this, his career took off; later, he switched to a Sony α7R IV.

Also, James loves the camera of his iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Personal life-

James is married to Emily.

He lives in Wales, United Kingdom.

Some interesting facts about James Popsys-

  • He loves photographing in Wales, the Alps, New Zealand, Greenland and Italy.
  • India is his dream place to travel.
  • James hates working with tripods and filters and hates waiting for light (the golden hour).
  • His favourite book is Wall and Piece by Banksy; reading The 4-Hour Workweek was an eye-opener for him in his professional life.
  • James is a globetrotter and has travelled to more than 40 countries.
  • He loves playing golf.
  • James’s favourite images are the ones which he shot at Petermann Island, Antarctica; Lofoten Islands, Norway; West Greenland.
  • Zone 334” is his favourite composite photo.

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