Hi It’s Roberto from MuseCam, and today we have the privilege of interviewing Callum Snape, one of the world’s premier landscape photographers. With over 700K followers on Instagram, Callum’s work has been celebrated by photography enthusiasts all over the globe. Below he shares thoughts on his passion, and how he approaches his craft.
Callum, thank you so much for agreeing to share some thoughts with us today. Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself? When did you get into photography? Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
Any time Roberto, thanks for the interview. I’m an adventure and outdoor lifestyle photographer from Vancouver, British Columbia. Born in Belgium a British citizen, I grew up all over Europe before spending most of my teenage years at military school. At the age of eighteen I immigrated to Canada on my own to pursue a career in winter sports but fell in love with photography and out of love with winter sports. Over the course of a few years I self-taught myself camera, creative and the business skills to go full time as a freelance photographer.
You’ve traveled all over the globe capturing incredible landscapes. If you had to choose, what is the most spectacular place you’ve photographed?
I’ve has this fascination with Japan for nearly three years now, in October 2016 I took my first trip out there as a passion project and was the most incredible place I’ve ever photographed. The landscapes, the culture, the food, everything is amazing. I was completely out of my comfort zone, where I create my best work. I’m hoping to spend a lot more time out there over the next few years.
What is your editing process like? What steps do you generally take before you post a photograph to social media?
I generally wait a few days after taking a photo, to process it. I like to let the photo sit and marinate, then work on it when I’m in a relaxed mood and environment so I don’t over or under process it. All my images are hand processed trying to replicate how and saw the original scene and how I felt at that time, I don’t use any presets on my work. After processing a photo, I’ll see which social platforms I would like to share that photo and story on then I distribute it across all of them as well as my website.
Gear! We all obsess over it at one point or another. What gear do you shoot with most frequently? What’s an item you have your eye on to buy next?
I have a big collection of lenses and bodies and I switch them up depending on what type of work I’m doing, lighter F/4 lenses for longer backcountry hiking trips and F1.4 – 2.8 lenses for when I don’t need to worry about weight. Most of the time you’ll find this set up in my backpack:
- Canon 5D IV
- Canon 16-35L 2.8
- Canon 24-70L 2.8
- Canon 100-400L 4.5-5.6
- Sigma 20mm Art 1.4
I don’t really have my eye on any new gear at the moment, I’ve been contemplating switching over to Sony for a long time but I’m still unsure at the moment.
We know it’s a tough question, but if you had to choose, what is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken – and what’s the story behind it?
My favourite photo changes pretty frequently but at the moments its a photo I took along the Ōi River in Arishayama, Kyoto, Japan. The morning I took this, I was in a huge creative rut and struggling to find compositions I liked. I began to make my way back to a friend along the banks of the river when this amazing golden light burst over the mountain side and lit up the haze beautifully. Moments later a local passed by in his boat, I knew I wanted to capture him going by but needed a foreground element to lead in to the photo and I was running out of time. I scrambled around and found this beautiful tree with an overhanging branch, I fired off a few photos and instantly realized I’d just captured everything in one photo that drew me to Japan in the first place.
You’ve recently passed 700K followers on Instagram! Congratulations on that incredibly impressive milestone. Can you share a tip on how to grow an audience on Instagram? Also, how has such a large audience changed your approach to photography?
Thank you! I think one of the best tips I can give is to shoot what you’re passionate about and share your best work consistently. Tell a story, share the feelings and emotions of the photo and be social, communicate with the people viewing your photos. Having a large audience is a blessing and a burden. It has given me more drive to be creative and original, to tell stories, inspire people and find new places. The downside is that creativity doesn’t work well under pressure and I find myself frequently under creative pressure, something I’m constantly trying to find balance with.
Speaking of Instagram, who are your top influences on the platform?
I’m driven and inspired by creativity, in my opinion, there are only a few people that push creative boundaries on Instagram. One of those people is Garrett King (@shortstache) his travel / outdoor lifestyle work is incredible. Another person pushing boundaries with his videos is Sam Kolder (@sam_kolder) he constantly blows my mind with his work.
Before we let you go, can you describe your dream shoot to us? Where would it be? What and/or who would you be shooting? What equipment would you use?
My dream shoot would be deep in west China’s mountains exploring places most photographers haven’t been. I would be photographing the mountains, lakes, the people, food and spirituality. I would go minimal on the equipment and would likely just take my Canon 5DIV, the Canon 16-35L 2.8, 24-70L 2.8 and Sigma 20mm Art 1.4.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us Callum! What other platforms are you active on besides Instagram? I’m sure our readers would love to connect with you.
Thanks for the great questions! I can be found on the following platforms:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/callumsnapephoto/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/CalSnape
Youtube (launching soon) – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcYgTJItRdeGl3jw2b3t6DA