Editorial, Commercial and Travel Photographer Susan Seubert Gives TEDx Talk at EHC

Editorial, Commercial and Travel Photographer Susan Seubert Gives TEDx Talk at EHC

TEDxEHC1 (1)Last month I was invited to give a TEDx talk at the Emory and Henry College in Virginia and it was a smashing success!  This was my first TED talk and I was asked to address what it’s like to have a DIY career as a travel photographer for big name clients like National Geographic  and the New York Times. It was a challenge to memorize a 12 minute talk because although I’ve done a lot of public speaking, I’m used to the crutch of a podium and my computer for prompting me in the right direction.  The other pressure came from knowing that you have 6 or so video cameras trained on you, recording your every breath.  It took many meetings over Skype with the TEDx committee at the college to settle on the final monologue, which focuses on the importance of other people who help make your career and dreams possible.  The talk offers some encouraging words for young photographers, so feel free to share this with anyone who you feel might benefit.

Enjoy and thanks for visiting!

Portland Oregon Travel Photographer Susan Seubert in South Georgia

It’s been a whirlwind of travel for the last few years.  Now, I’m officially bipolar, meaning that I have visited both extremes of the earth, both by virtue of traveling with National Geographic Expeditions.  The first trip was towards the North Pole in Svalbard, exploring the Norwegian archipelago by icebreaker.  Then, most recently, down to the Southern Ocean to the Antarctic Peninsula and the islands of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.

South Georgia is one of the most incredible, and remote, places on the planet. During the turn of the last century, South Georgia was home to numerous natural resource extraction operations.  Animals were harvested to the point where a number of species, including whales, fur seals and penguins, were hunted to near extinction.  Since these operations were shut down during the 1960’s, a number of species have now recovered. Since South Georgia has a tiny human population, the animals are completely perplexed but not frightened by human presence.  For wildlife photography, it’s difficult to find a more interesting and beautiful place.

One of my images from South Georgia at a landing called Gold Harbour was used on one of the expedition program guide’s covers.  I’ll never forget this morning. We had gotten up before daybreak to catch the morning light and although we only had it for a few moments, we were able to capture a number of gorgeous images of the King penguins in the golden hour of dawn.

The Brochure Cover for National Geographic | Lindblad Expeditions South Georgia and the Falkland Islands

The Brochure Cover for National Geographic | Lindblad Expeditions South Georgia and the Falkland Islands

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Multimedia Journalist Susan Seubert for Smithsonian

A while back, I photographed a story about Haleakala, the volcano located on the island of Maui.  This is a very popular tourist destination where people go to watch the sun rise or go for a hike in the gorgeous volcanic crater.  It is also a sacred place for the native Hawaiian people. I had the good fortune of not only landing the story on the cover of Smithsonian, I also gathered video and audio for a multimedia piece that was subsequently edited by the team at Smithsonian Magazine and published on their web site.  There is now an HD version of the final piece to my web site as well as my Vimeo channel.  I’m very proud of this piece as it was extremely difficult to produce.  I gathered all of the sound in the field. I shot the video footage at the same time I was shooting stills.  It was not an easy task, but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do so for such an amazing publication.

 

Aloha and mahalo nui loa for visiting my blog!

How to Prepare for Photographic Travel, with Susan Seubert

I was invited by B&H to be a guest writer to address the topic of how to prepare for travel assignments, and what equipment I brings with me.

You can check out the full post here:

How to Prepare for Photographic Travel, with Susan Seubert

 

Two girls skipping stones at the edge of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana

Two girls skipping stones at the edge of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana

 

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I hope you find the article useful.

Editorial and Travel Photographer Susan Seubert shoots Central California Missions

A feature story for National Geographic Traveler about the historic missions of Central California as a road trip along Highway 101

A feature story for National Geographic Traveler about the historic missions of Central California as a road trip along Highway 101

Sometimes a road trip is just the ticket for a fun filled adventure.  That’s exactly what my assignment was when I got the call from National Geographic Traveler Magazine.  The magazine needed coverage of central California, specifically the missions, but also other things that tie into a road trip like wine tasting, food and a sense of the landscape.  I set off on the opposite direction that the writer mapped out.  My trip started just outside of LA and his started in San Francisco.  In this case, it was possible to follow the footsteps of the narrative in reverse.  Over the course of this assignment, I visited four missions: San Juan Bautista, San Miguel, San Antonio and La Purisima.  It was wonderful to roam the missions, attend services and learn about the history of this area.  I also had the privilege to stay at the Hacienda Lodge located on an Army Base at Fort Hunter Liggett.  I remember being exhausted when I arrived late at night, but because I had to enter an army facility, I was chosen for the “special” search of my vehicle on my way into the base.  This historic property was once owned by the Hearst Family and is just on the other side of the fence from Mission San Antonio.

To round out the story, I visited some amazing restaurants from the funky steakhouse, Jockos, to the really delicious Artisan in Paso Robles.  I also toured and photographed an amazing olive farm called Kiler Ridge and did a little bit of wine tasting at Foxen vineyards.  My personal highlight was visiting the Work Guest Ranch located in the hills just outside of San Miguel.  I love horses and take every opportunity I have to ride.  Although shooting while riding presents its own set of challenges, it’s supremely fun to ride around with the subject on the rolling hills of Central California at sunset.  There is so much beauty in the world and I feel extremely privileged to have these adventures.

The story is not online, so I’m posting it here.  If you would like to see more pictures from this story, you can find them online here.  Thank you for visiting!

Some of the places I visited for the assignment are featured on this spread

Some of the places I visited for the assignment are featured on this spread

Riding on horses with a mother/daughter ranch team in the hills at sunset

Riding on horses with a mother/daughter ranch team in the hills at sunset

Shooting on horseback at sunset.  I love my job!

Shooting on horseback at sunset. I love my job!

Travel Photographer Susan Seubert photographs Ka’u Coffee in Hawaii for Sunset Magazine

A story about award winning Ka'u Coffee being produced on the Big Island of Hawaii for Sunset Magazine

A story about award winning Ka’u Coffee being produced on the Big Island of Hawaii for Sunset Magazine

I love coffee.  It’s part of my daily, morning ritual, yet until I recently photographed a story entitled, “Big Island Buzz,” for Sunset Magazine, I had never known much about the process of truly hand-harvested coffee.  On the Big Island of Hawaii, in an area that is located on the flanks of Mauna Loa in the Ka’u district, you’ll find one of the best areas to grow coffee in the United States.  The upper elevations of the Ka’u district have the perfect climate for the coffee plants. Those conditions combined with a wonderful group of devoted coffee farmers have landed this remote location on the international coffee map in recent years.  I had previously only been familiar with Kona coffee, the famed Hawaiian coffee grown around the bend on the same island.  The Ka’u area still feels somewhat untouched with it’s beautiful ocean views and sparsely populated villages.  During my assignment, I met two farmers who methodically harvest the ripe “cherry” on land they work by hand.  Willie and Grace Tabios, who produce the award winning “Rising Sun” brand coffee, hand pick the ripe cherry, then dry and process it outdoors at their home in Ka’u.  Lorie Obra does the same, and along with her daughter Joan, produces another award winning coffee from the area called, “Rusty’s.”  Both of these family run coffee farms have won international coffee competitions over the last few years and their beans now command top dollar throughout the world.  There is a wonderful place to see the entire process first hand in the small town of Pahala called the Ka’u Coffee Mill. There, I was walked through the entire process, from picking and processing the raw “cherry” to the roasted bean.  They dry their beans by laying them out on a concrete slab outdoors. The mill processes both their own beans but also roasts for some of the locals.  This facility is open to the public for tours.  It was fascinating to see how the red, plump fruit was methodically turned into the warm cup of jo that I enjoy every morning.  Of course, you can’t have a cup of coffee without something nice and sweet as an accompaniment.  The Hana Hou restaurant, the southernmost restaurant in the US, offers a variety of delicious home-made pies along side a steaming hot cup of the local coffee.  Although the article is not available to read online, I’ve put a copy of the story here for your perusal.  If you would like to look at more photos of the story, you can see them on my stock photography site here.  Mahalo for visiting!

Harvesting ripe "cherry", Ka'u coffee sign, Will and Grace at their Pahala store, and coffee drying in the sun at the Ka'u Coffee Mill

Harvesting ripe “cherry;” Ka’u coffee sign along the side of the road; Will and Grace at their Pahala store; coffee drying in the sun at the Ka’u Coffee Mill

A coffee bus parked on the church lawn during the Wednesday farmers' market in Pahala where tourists and locals alike can enjoy the freshest coffee on the island

A coffee bus parked on the church lawn during the Wednesday farmers’ market in Pahala where tourists and locals alike can enjoy the freshest coffee on the island

Macadamia nut cream pie with a steaming cup of Ka'u coffee at the southernmost restaurant in the United States, Hana Hou, Laurie and Joan Obra hand harvesting their coffee at Cloud Rest on the flanks of the volcano Mauna Loa

Macadamia nut cream pie with a steaming cup of Ka’u coffee at the southernmost restaurant in the United States, Hana Hou; Laurie and Joan Obra hand harvesting their coffee at Cloud Rest on the flanks of the volcano Mauna Loa

Editorial photographer Susan Seubert on cover of final issue of MIX Magazine

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post.  MIX Magazine, a food magazine published by the Oregonian, is publishing its final issue this month and they chose one of my images for the cover.  MIX was so much fun to work for, not only because the assignments always focused on my favorite subject, food, but also because of the great editorial staff with which I had the pleasure of working.  The photo editor I worked with on my projects was the illustrious Mike Davis, now the Alexia Foundation Chair for Documentary Photography at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.  He gave me complete freedom of approach to every story and also followed up with terrific feedback.  The writer I most often worked with was Martha Holmberg, former food editor for The Oregonian, who is now busy writing cookbooks, teaching, giving talks and continuing to pursue all things food.  Martha and I worked on several stories together, including one about Nick’s Italian Cafe in McMinnville, as well as another about how to make your own Nocino with green walnuts from the back yard, (and throw a neighborhood party in the process).  “Hope springs eternal,” I often hear, so my hope is that I not only get to continue to work with Mike and Martha on other projects in the future, but that another food magazine based in my hometown of Portland, Oregon will spring forth in the near future.

I raise a glass to the fine people at the Oregonian and MIX!  May our paths cross again in the very near future.  Cheers!!!

The October 2013 cover of MIX Magazine, image by Susan Seubert

The October 2013 cover of MIX Magazine, image by Susan Seubert