INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER OF WOMEN TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHERS
BETH MANCUSO @intothewild.wego
Firstly, can you tell me about yourself and your photography journey?
My family and I call Minnesota home. I have three sons, and my husband has three daughters which makes us a modern-day Brady Bunch. When I am not taking pictures, you can find me baking, hiking, camping, or thrift store shopping. I picked up photography as a way to document my children.
Eventually, that grew into a portrait business, I've been in business since 2008. I still do occasional portraits, but my focus has shifted to travel photography and to teach it to others.
You founded Women Travel Photographers can you tell me your vision for this and what drove you to create it?
Yes, I am excited about it! The travel and landscape photography industry is male-dominated. I wanted to create a space where women could connect, learn, and share their passion. I want a space where we can build each other up instead of competing against each other.
I hope to encourage other women to pursue their photography dreams through online courses, tutorials, workshops, and retreats.
How did you make the break into travel photography?
I have always been drawn to both portraits and landscapes, with travel photography, I feel I get the best of both worlds. I also love going on adventures and bringing my camera with adds in the element of creativity that I crave.
Where have you most enjoyed travelling? And where has been the most rewarding for your photography?
I love visiting our National Parks! Glacier National Park is currently at the top of my list. With its waterfalls, mountains, wildflowers, aqua water, and wildlife it is hands down the most beautiful place I have ever been. I have so many images that I took there that I love.
What characteristics do you feel a travel photographer must possess?
You must be flexible and prepared! You never know when an epic shot may present itself. Sometimes you will be taking photos on the fly, other times the landscape requires you to soak it in before photographing.
What advice would you have for anyone wanting to break into the travel photography industry?
Learn your camera and all its functions and then learn how to edit photos in Photoshop. Study marketing, social media, and SEO. Photography is much more than taking pictures; you must learn how to market your work and get your images out there.
What qualities make an image stand out from others?
For me it's an image that makes me feel a sense of awe. I love images that make me pause and reflect on how beautiful our home is.
How do you think Instagram has changed the face of travel photography? And has it impacted your career?
For sure, it has, and Instagram is always changing, which further complicates things. With Instagram, so many people are out there, travelling and sharing images now. I feel this comes with positives and negatives, i.e. it helps others discover new places to travel to, but it also makes these places more crowded. It has impacted my career to some extent; business opportunities are there that weren't before IG.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I would say colourful and dramatic.
Finally, what message do you have for the world when it comes to travelling?
Remember to slow down and be present in the moment. I think it's easy to get caught up in finding and taking the perfect picture.