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Johanna, how did you come to discover photography? Was it something you knew you always wanted to do or some event or moment that sparked your interest?
always admired photography, but I never really got into it until my dad gave me a camera on my 16th birthday. At first, it was frustrating because I didn't know how the settings worked and I always had a "vision" for the way I wanted the photos to turn out. For most of my life I have been an artist, and able to create scenes using pencil and paper. Using a camera was a whole new way to make art and it took me quite a while to get the hang of it. Now I do both photography and art, and love them both as a way to express myself creatively.
What is one of your favorite places to explore or photograph? This can be two places or one place that really inspires you!
One of my favorite places to explore and to photograph is actually where I grew up on the Olympic Peninsula. Growing up there, I really took the diversity of the landscape for granted. Now, whenever I go back to visit, I immerse myself in the mountains, the rainforest, and the coastline every chance that I get. The North Cascades and the Canadian Rockies are close seconds for me.
You work for a van conversion company and do their photography. How has that job allowed you to explore and experience nature?
My job working for a van conversion company has been amazing because the people I work for understand the need for freedom and traveling more than any other place I could work for. They generously let me have a flexible schedule with 3-day weekends, so I have lots of time for exploring in addition to being at work!
Are there any places you have yet to discover or travel to that you can't wait to experience?
As for places that I haven't traveled to yet but am dying to, I would say Iceland, Patagonia, Switzerland, and Southeast Asia are super high on my list. I absolutely love going to new places though, so anywhere that I haven't been yet sounds just dandy to me!
Do you have a favorite photograph that you are really proud of? Or a few if there's more than one?
I think one of my favorite photographs has to be one I took on my iPhone at the beach near where I grew up, before I was really into photography! I witnessed this INSANE sunset with my friend, and I think it was one of the first times I felt really moved by something in the natural world (I think I was about 17). It's not my favorite photo technically speaking but for what it means to me I think it'll be one of my favorites for a really long time.
You seem to be going on adventures quite frequently. What do you love about exploring? What is one thing you swear by when you are out exploring?
The thing I love best about going exploring is the idea of finding something memorable. You'll never remember a weekend you spent inside watching tv (not that there's anything wrong with that, I like having those kinds of weekends too), but anytime you go out on a hike or a roadtrip you are bound to remember what you saw and experienced for the rest of your life! Things I swear by when I'm out exploring is having PLENTY of warm clothes, snacks (like 3x the amount I think I'll need) and of course my camera.
What's the one thing that you learned that has helped your photography skills that you wish you knew sooner?
I think something that has helped me in my photography skills is just allowing myself to be called a photographer. I spent a lot of time going "oh no, I'm definitely not a real photographer, it's just a hobby" because I felt I wasn't good enough to be called that, and there's too much competition to make a career out of it. The reality is that it's something that I really just enjoy doing! And of course I'm nowhere near where I want to be, skill-wise, but I see my improvements year after year and that is always encouraging.
If you had to give one piece of advice to live by, what would it be?
If I had one piece of advice to live by it would be - seek out the things in life that bring you joy, and try not to worry so much about what other people think. It's cliché, but you've only got one life to live, so you better enjoy it.
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