What would your dream job involve? Travelling the world and being able to surf, ski, SUP or climb whenever you wanted would be up there for many people.
Well, it seems like British couple Bethany Mercer and Jay Haysey have it nailed.
The pair met when they were both teaching windsurfing out in Vassiliki, Greece seven years ago.
They soon discovered their shared love for photography, filming and action sports and decided to start their own business together.
Now they spend their time jet-setting from Greece to Hawaii, California to the French Alps, shooting outdoor adventure films for big companies.
We chatted to Bethany about how they managed to build a dream lifestyle for themselves and whether there are any downsides to travelling the world for a living…
How did setting up your own business come about?
Jay has always been a keen photographer, taking photos of the windsurf action alongside coaching. His shots started to make it into popular windsurfing magazines – and now he’s taking his photography to the next level.
I finished my degree in photography and film at Goldsmiths University in London and worked in the TV and film industry in London for a couple of years.
After lots of creative discussions and late night planning sessions, we decided to set up our own video and photography business.
We called it GlobalShots – the idea is we could merge our passion for action sports and telling a creative story.
What does your average year look like?
We started the year doing a month shoot in the French Alps and Pyrenees filming ski and snowboard action.
I went on to film a women’s road bike race in Belgium and then in Lake Tahoe, California whilst Jay was filming for Franklin & Marshall capturing the surf lifestyle in Maui.
We have then been travelling around Greece and Turkey most of this summer filming sports action for clients. Everything from mountain biking, windsurfing, wakeboarding to sailing and yoga. So most of the year is spent on the road!
What do you love about your job?
Every day is different. You never know where your next project is going to take you. I love the spontaneity of the job’s lifestyle and the lack of routine!
We are both really outdoorsy people, so it’s great to create content that we are passionate about. You get to work with like-minded people and the work tends to be quite physical, which we love!
You can be skiing with no poles and 20kg pelican cases in both hands one week and swimming in waves with water housing, capturing windsurfing action the next!
What are the not-so-great sides to your job?
It’s hard to know when to stop working when you run your own business. Jay and I are so passionate about what we do, we put a lot of time into our work.
We have to tell ourselves to take a break sometimes!
There’s also a lot of time spent living out of a suitcase. You get really good at learning to travel light.
What has been your favourite project this year?
We’ve been working on a massive project for an active holiday company this year, which has meant travelling around a lot of beautiful places in Europe.
We found ourselves in some crazy filming situations – from hanging out of the back of the van, filming road bikers climbing steep narrow streets in Greece to being hoisted up a yacht mast in 40 degree heat.
Every day is an adventure!
What’s it like working with your partner? Do you find you spend get on each other’s nerves – or does it work really well?
It works really well! I would never have thought I would be working with my partner a few years ago. It just happened!
Jay is pretty chilled out and has a great approach to work. I think our personalities and skills combine well.
What do you both like doing in your downtime?
I love to windsurf at my local spots, run along the beach with my dog Moby, mountain bike or SUP. I also love to paint, so I try and keep a sketchbook of all our travels and adventures.
Jay loves exploring the coast and canals on his SUP. He’s also a keen windsurfer and kite surfer, so anytime it’s windy he’ll be on the water.
We both compete in the UK SUP races, which are great fun, and have started taking part in the SUP/Bike/Run events this year which are amazing. It’s a new breed of triathlon.
It must be so refreshing to have a job that’s not tied to a desk. What advice would you give to someone who wants to make a living like yourselves?
I must admit – I was scared of breaking away from the security and the routine of my full time 9 to 5 job in London.
However, my advice for anyone who’s looking to do something a bit different and break away from the norm is just do it.
You only live once and you’ve got to do what makes you happy. You never know what you are missing until you give it a go.
Photos courtesy of Bethany Mercer and Jay Haysey