Interview: Beth Squire
An interview with British travel photographer Beth Squire who has recently featured on the cover of Lodestars Anthology.
Photography: Beth Squire
Can you tell us more about your background – how did you get into the industry?
Of course. I’m 22, I live in Bath, UK which is where I studied a degree in photography. While at university I wasn’t quite sure what area I wanted to go into, but I did know that I had a passion for travelling and wanted to combine the two. It was only when I travelled around Canada last year for 2 months that I knew I wanted to concentrate on adventure/travel photography and tell stories through my images. So when I got back from Canada I decided to finally pursue my photography career and give it a shot while I was still feeling really inspired.
What influences your photography the most?
A lot of things influence my photography including Instagram, photography books and videos. Instagram is definitely my go to place for influence; I follow some amazing, inspiring photographers that are at the top of their game! Seeing where they get to travel and the stories they tell through their photos really makes me want to push forward and take the best images I can.
What professional work have you completed?
So far I have worked with some lovely people. I have recently worked with Toast, a clothing company to make a story for their online magazine. I’ve also made a story for a watch company and I’m currently working on a campaign for a London based eyewear company called KITE; shooting for their most recent range of glasses. I also got my image on the front cover of Lodestars Anthology magazine and a couple of images inside which was so unexpected and a crazy experience to see my photo on the front of so many magazines! I’m currently in talks with a couple of magazines to take photos for their next issues, which is something I’m really excited about!
What is your favourite travel destination?
This is a very difficult question for me as I have a couple of favourite locations. In Canada I travelled all around British Columbia and Alberta so it has to be my number one. If you have seen any photos of West Canada you will understand why. It is also the only place I have been for a long period of time and really got to know the place and meet some incredible people that have taught me a lot. Canada is a very special place, everywhere you go there is something incredible to see and experience. I went zip lining through the forests just outside of Whistler, which is something I will never forget. I am travelling to Finland soon so this answer could change by the time I get back!
What is your favourite location to shoot?
There have been a number of places that have taken my breath away. Gásadalur waterfall in the Faroe Islands was such a beautiful place and very quiet, which is what I love. Peyto Lake and Moraine Lake in Canada are both locations that are absolutely incredible. I saw photos of them for years before I got to witness them with my own eyes and the photos definitely don’t do them justice. The only things visible for miles are water, trees and mountains, which is my favourite type of scenery. It really does make you feel like you’re the only person in the world. I’d definitely say I work better in colder locations; me and the sun don’t get on very well!
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I have to admit, my answer is a bit of a cop-out. It’s actually someone else’s answer to this question! Alex Strohl in fact, one of my favourite photographers. He was asked what was the best advice he’d been given and he replied; "To keep shooting". Photography is no different than anything else – it takes practice and commitment to improve. Being told to push past low points and creative blocks by taking more photos was huge for me, nothing will help more than continuing to ‘do’. I try to keep this in mind whenever I’m going through a creative block or when I feel uninspired. The best way to get out of it, is to just get out there and keep shooting!
What is your favourite style of photography?
I like telling stories through travel photos. Giving people a real feel for a place they’ve never visited and maybe even inspiring them to go on a journey of their own. Likewise, I love seeing other photographers travel photos, some of which have even inspired my own adventures!
What was it that attracted you to landscape photography in particular?
Well, at first I thought I wanted to work only in fashion but now I don’t think the industry is for me even though it is still a big part of my life. Whereas I think Landscape photography is about being able to show people what’s out there and also showing the beauty in this world and how we should never take it for granted. There’s also something so peaceful about shooting landscapes, where there’s just the world, my camera and me. When I’m shooting I just feel like I belong there, I’m not trying to manipulate anything, but to capture the image in its purist form.
Which images would you say have been the most significant for you in your career so far?
I wouldn’t say any images in particular have been the most significant but I guess my image on the front cover of Lodestars Anthology has been my most seen photo. I always find that I never know exactly what images people will love. I will upload an image that I absolutely love and it won’t be as popular as an image that I wasn’t too crazy about. This is mainly because I know the story behind my images, so that will have a big influence on which photos are my favourite.
What items are in your must have kit?
My Canon 5D Mark iii has been in my kit for years now and I absolutely love it. I only really use one lens and that’s the Tamron 24-70 2.8; it's a beauty and a fantastic alternative to the Canon model. I also have a DJI Phantom, which I have just got back from the repair shop, so I can’t wait to start using that again. I just think it’s a great way to show a whole different perspective of a location.
How would you say social media contributes to your work?
Instagram has contributed so much to my work. Not only have I found incredible inspiration through it and met some amazing photographers but I have also been able to speak to many inspiring people. I’ve also got a lot of my work through Instagram, which I didn’t think I ever would. It has allowed me to share my experiences and thoughts to a lot of likeminded people. I have also been posting every day for quite a while now which definitely helps me get out there and get some new images.
Where would you like to travel to in the future?
As I said earlier, I’m going to Lapland, Finland soon and I can’t wait. It is somewhere I’ve dreamed of going for quite a while now and I think it will be such a different environment. I’ve never shot anywhere like it, so it’ll be fun to try something new! I’m hoping to see the Northern Lights for the first time while I’m there and hopefully see some of the wildlife too!