5 Questions with Hills Road Alumna Stephanie Foote
A Barn Owl by Stephanie Foote
Stephanie Foote is an aspiring photographer who specialises in wildlife and nature photography, and has already been highly commended in the British Wildlife Photography awards. She has also been featured in publications from the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park Directorate. She is now in her final year studying Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth University.
Her work has taken her all around the world, from the Galapogos Islands to help with conservation projects, to New Zealand where she photographed the Rotorua Lake and Paradise Springs. She has taken a strong interest in the wildlife in the Aiguilles Rouges mountains in the French Alps, about which she will be publishing a book in the spring featuring the photographs she has taken there. These images will also make up her first solo exhibition in Chamonix. By publishing and sharing her work, Stephanie hopes to inspire others to see the value of nature and it's importance in our lives.
We asked her five questions about her time at Hills Road and her passion for photography:
What first sparked your interest in photography?
I have always had an interest in the natural world and throughout my childhood I spent many hours watching wildlife. I first picked up a camera as a child, an old disposable film camera, like the ones you used to get in Boots. I filled three of these cameras with images of stray dogs in Italy, during my first school trip abroad. I remember coming home and my parents being surprised to see three rolls of film full of dog pictures, with no images of the tourist sites themselves. I guess what you could say is my interest in photography was actually sparked by my connection to the natural world and love for animals. I loved to capture moments, and photographing those unloved animals seemed very important to my eleven year old self and I continue to photograph similar issues today.
How are you enjoying your course at Falmouth, and what do you plan to do after graduation?
I have enjoyed the freedom and independence that university brings. Creating my own project briefs and choosing my subject areas, is of great benefit as it allows me to focus on my favorite subjects. I think the most important thing about university is not the degree you get at the end of it – but the experience. I have met some amazing people, and those connections are what will help me pursue my dream career. I do not have specific plans for graduation, although I do have some solo exhibitions lined up in France for the summer of 2017. I hope to find work helping to conserve the natural world and raising awareness for conservation projects both locally and abroad.
What is your fondest memory of Hills Road?
My fondest memory of Hills Road Sixth Form College was a trip to Northern India with the geography department. I can honestly say this trip was life changing. I was able to experience a culture different from my own, and gain an insight into new ways of thinking. The best memory I have of this trip is riding through the Rajasthan Desert on the back of a camel.
How do you feel Hills Road has helped you achieve your ambitions?
Hills Road is a college that pushes you to excel. I learnt so much from the friendly Photography department and I am ever grateful for the photography staff, especially Tuuli who helped with my CV and Tony Lumb whose tales of working in the photography industry and endless optimism encouraged me to pursue my ambitions.
How does it feel to win awards for your photography?
Having my image of a puffin awarded runner up in the British Wildlife Photography Award this year was a joyous moment. My work has been printed alongside other professional photographers images and this is something I could only dream of a few years ago, I feel extremely happy to have my work acknowledged at this kind of level.
Thank you Steph for taking the time to answer our questions! You can see her work on her website stephaniefoote.com and Instagram @stephiphotography. You can also find her on Facebook at Stephanie Foote Photography.
If you would like to be featured on our website, please contact the Alumni team at firstname.lastname@example.org