Written by Stephanie Koathes

My Montserrat: Photographer Ian Gerald


Photographer Ian Gerald is immensely talented.

In 2016, he was selected as one of the 2016 winners of the Commonwealth Photography Competition. That year, the Commonwealth Photography Competition ran for six weeks and received over 300 approved entries. Ian, who has his own photography studio called Hypnotik Frames, gives us a look through the lens at his life in Montserrat.

Describe Montserrat in three words.

Organic, resilient, comely.

How did you get into photography? Was it always a hobby?

I have always been a lover of and interested in visual arts.

Tell me a little about what you do?

I am a professional photographer. Most of my photography includes studio, commercial and events such as weddings, as well as landscapes.. I mainly work out of my studio in St Peters, Montserrat.

Photo credit: Ian Gerald

Photo credit: Ian Gerald

Where would you say is the most beautiful place to photograph in Montserrat?

To this day Montserrat remains one of the least touched islands in the Caribbean. Because of this, the island still holds a beautiful canvas of imagery which makes most places in Montserrat a delight to shoot and work in.

Which area are you from?

I am from the northern part of the island, the village of St. John’s.

What is your favourite traditional dish?

My favourite traditional dish has always been the National Dish of goat water.

What is your favourite childhood memory?

My favourite childhood memory is hiking to the interior of the island to the ghauts and rivers picking mango (my favourite fruit) with my uncle.

What was your favourite subject in high school?

My favourite subject was Food and Nutrition, and I am an avid foodie and also love cooking and trying new dishes.

Did any particular teacher make an impact on you?

My Social Studies teacher at the time did make a significant impact on me, she was always a very passionate teacher, and went out her way to give me advice whether in my studies or for my life.

Photo credit: Ian Gerald

Photo credit: Ian Gerald

Which local activist/personality do you admire the most, and why?

I cannot look further than my own parents, both are hardworking entrepreneurs and I look up to them and also turn to for any needed advice.

What is your favourite restaurant?

This I admittedly, I’m answering with a bit of bias. The Emerald Rose Restaurant is my favourite place to eat on island. Apart from the fact that it’s owned and operated by my mom, it is my favourite place to eat because they serve more traditional home-cooked meals complete with a variety of ground provisions.

Where would you recommend as a ‘must go’ to a first time visitor to Montserrat?

For a first time visitor to Montserrat, I would recommend they visit during our St Patrick’s Festival, which usually falls in the week of the 17 March. This is when we celebrate our African and Irish Heritage. This is the best time to learn about the history of Montserrat.

Where do you go to kick back and relax with family and friends?

We would meet at each other homes now and again, cook meals, have some drinks, talk, laugh, and all in all enjoy each other’s company.

Photo credit: Ian Gerald

Photo credit: Ian Gerald

What’s your favourite local expression/proverb?

“Who can’t tek shot, no drink government wine.” Which is along the lines of “if you can’t take the heat, don’t go in the kitchen.”

You’re planning your perfect day out. Tell me about it.

My perfect day out would be something along the lines of packing a few food items, getting a few of my close friends and hiking over to one of our secluded beaches. Get a grill going, and enjoy the sun, sand and, sea.

What major developments would you like to see happen in Montserrat in the next 20 years?

Before the major disaster that was the volcano, Montserrat had just finished completed the sea port and newly built hospital. These are the two developments I would like to see in place, because it would be a significant help to an improved sustainability plan.

To find out more about Ian Gerald and his photography, check out the Hypnotik Frames Facebook page or have a look at his Instagram @iancreates.


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