Steven Jackson is the founder of Moon & Back, a wedding film and photography company that works all over the world. Steve’s beautiful work captures both his passion for what he does and the beauty of each location. It’s inspiring work that really speaks to how travel can inspire and elevate the moments in our lives.
Yet, his business has meant that Steve didn’t take the usual steps to travel for an Australian; not taking his first overseas trip until the business was set-up the way he liked. But it’s been worth the wait, with Steve creating a job that takes him all over the world. We had a quick chat with Steve to get his views on travel and how it has inspired him personally.
Ultimate travel tip | 终极旅行贴士：
Travel alone. Meet people from different cultures, get out of your comfort zone. Also; Travel light, and if you’re ever short of a t shirt or jacket – you’ll find a Zara every where you go.
Places been | 去过的地方：
Australia, London/UK, France (Paris, Nice), Germany (Berlin), Switzerland (Bern), Sweden (Stockholm), Holland (Amsterdam), Spain (Granada / Madrid / Barcelona), Portugal (Lisbon / Lagos / Faro), Greece (Various islands), Italy (Amalfi, Sicily, Milan) ,USA (Palm springs, LA), Bali, Fiji.
You run Moon & Back, which is quite a successful business venture. Can you tell me a little about how it started, and how it has evolved to take you around the world?
Growing up I would create un scripted films & short films with friends and family for fun. From there it progressed to competitive short films & school project videos (instead of power point presentations). At 14 I filmed a wedding for a close cousin, and since then the business naturally grew through word of mouth and referrals. As the team grew, we weren’t always connected to the idea of creating wedding videos, so ventured into the commercial space (corporate videos & TV commercials) as well as creating a full service graphic design agency. The distraction got the better of us, and after 5 years of that we eventually realised what we loved about wedding films: I grew up filming the unscripted, having fun, and capturing real moments.
This is what brought us back to weddings. With the couples we work with and the style of our product; we are given unlimited creative licence to create the type of films we want; those which are completely unscripted and natural. This brought the business back to our core values, resulting in the opportunity to setup a second studio in London 3 years ago to give us access to the many requests for filming we get all over the world.
When starting Moon & Back was travel something that directly inspired it, or something that has come to grow within the business?
Travel was never something that excited me growing up, in fact, running the business since I was a teenager, I put a self-imposed restriction to not travel until I was happy with the business I was creating. My first trip overseas was 2 years ago when I turned 28. As for my team, they have had dreams to travel for work for years, so to evolve and create a business where travel is mandatory was an achievement and something I am proud we created.
What destination has inspired you the most? 哪里让你收益最受？
As I travelled so late in life (relatively to most Australians who travel out University), the first 2 weeks of my travel experience is what inspired me as a whole. It took me a week or two to truly understand what is meant by “the travel bug”. I first landed in London on the Queen’s birthday in 2016 (interestingly they don’t have a public holiday like we do).
My very first weekend was filled with hours of driving to get to 3 separate weddings. On the Jurassic Coast, up to Norfolk, and across again to Manchester (photos). Airbnb life is one thing that has helped me see and do the many things that I have experienced. Staying in a ‘Glamping’ pod on a farm for example showed me a side of the UK country side I may not have seen as a regular tourist. The week later, I was in Granada, Spain. The wedding planner was a local, and took me through the many alleys and hidden bars and restaurants where I first tasted real Spanish Jamon. By the end of my second week, I landed in Santorini, Greece but felt lonely and depressed. I wasn’t sure why I felt this, but after some research it seemed like a common occurrence for some travellers which gave me some sense of belonging again. The wedding was spectacular, and I formed close friendships from that experience.
After a few days, I was sitting at a bar by the beaches of Kamari, editing the wedding I just shot (photo), and in that moment a wave of sensation came over me – and I needed to keep travelling. The travel bug started and I was inspired. Not from one specific location, but from the idea that I can be anywhere in the world and feel like I am home.
Much of modern travel is documented through social media. It almost seems like a necessity now. You yourself don’t use social media, how do you think this changes your travel experience?
I somehow missed the Social media boat so have never experienced what it would be like to use it while travelling. One thing that has helped my immensely is using Airbnb as a platform to find exciting and unique places to stay wherever I am traveling to. Coupled with getting a few local tips from the Airbnb host – I have discovered parts of the world that I would imagine most tourists would never get to see unless they live like I am local.
Do you ever feel pressured to hop onto social media when travelling?
It is quite easy to jump on to Safari or an internet browser and be taken to someone’s public Instagram page. I do admit to checking our public business Instagram page (@moonandbackco) to see who’s commenting or what we are posting. Communication is a big part of our business, and as our team is quite heavily involved in Social media it is quite easy for me to stay in the loop.
跳到Safari或互联网浏览器并被带到某人的Instagram非常容易。我确实承认要查看我们的商业版Instagram（@moonandbackco）, 查看谁的评论或我们发布的内容。沟通是我们业务的重要组成部分，而且我们的团队在社交媒体中的参与程度非常高，所以我很容易保持 平衡。
If you want to see the brilliance that is Moon & Back, you can catch some of the work here.