“Discover what it is that drives you to take photos and spend every breathing second pursuing it,” says travel and adventure photographer Callum Snape. “Never stop learning.”
Having kindled a passion for photography when hiking in the Canadian Rockies as a child, Callum has done exactly this. His life has since been dedicated to wandering the secluded wilds and endless massifs in search of perfect, untainted vistas. His Instagram account and website are nothing short of awe dropping – I cannot remember ever being so taken hostage by the raw, vivid beauty of landscape photography in this way.
“I see a lot of people photographing a huge variety of things these days,” he continues, “and as a result their work lacks any form of direction. While it’s great to get experience shooting different subjects, to really excel at one particular genre of photography you have to be dedicated to focusing specifically on that.”
After losing an hour one afternoon engulfed in Callum’s website, overcome by a burning urge for wanderlust, I decided I needed to know more about the intrepid and talented traveller behind the lens. Thankfully, he’s as grounded and approachable as his photography is incredible –that’s if you catch him during the three months of the year in which he isn’t venturing off the beaten track for assignments…
What cameras do you shoot with?
I shoot with Canon 5DIII and 6D bodies and Canon 16-35L, 24-70L and 70-200L lenses.
Do you have a favourite place on Earth?
My favourite place on earth is the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada. It’s so wild and untamed there. I had my first experience on a magazine assignment there recently and I’m currently working on making a few passion projects happen out there this year.
What is the biggest danger you’ve faced when travelling?
I wouldn’t say I’ve ever felt in danger travelling but I’ve definitely had to be cautious of wildlife in some of the regions I’ve worked in. I have a huge respect for wildlife but some encounters are inevitable and they’ve resulted in me being bluff charged by a Black Bear and being woken up by a Grizzly sniffing at my tent.
How many months of the year are you on the road?
In 2015 I spent about 9 months on assignments around the world. Things got a little intense at some points and I overworked myself but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. 2016 looks to be fairly similar at this point.
Where’s next on your bucket list?
I want to explore the whole province of British Columbia in Canada. It has everything from temperate rainforests to deserts, wild coastlines and steep mountains. The plan is to relocate myself there for at least the next year or so to be able to see and photograph more of it.
Who is your favourite travel companion?
If I’m honest, I’m my own favourite travel companion. I’ve travelled with lots of different people over the past few years and it’s been incredible, but I’ve found that I really embrace the experience and culture when I travel independently, especially on jobs. I meet new people, locals and other people traveling, I take the journey at my own pace trying different foods, wandering off the beaten path. My work is much stronger and creative when I travel this way.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your travels?
The best lesson I’ve learned from travelling is to let the unexpected happen and embrace it. I used to be a planner and want everything to run like clockwork and while it’s great to have some structure, the best experiences happen when they’re not planned and you’re not expecting it.
If you had one day left on Earth, what would you do?
I would get all my friends and family together at a lake in the mountains and have a huge campfire, go hiking, kayaking, eat incredible food, share wild stories and camp out under the stars together.
If you were to recommend 5 places everyone should visit before they die, what would they be?
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, British Columbia
Yosemite National Park, California
The whole of Iceland
Follow Callum on Instagram: @calsnape
See more of Callum’s work on his website.