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Vancouver Native, photographer and entrepreneur Britney Gill shares her version of Hawaii through what she calls "organized spontaneity," the result — an unfolding narrative of pure Polynesian bliss.
Onia: You’ve described your work as ‘organized spontaneity’ I find this interesting as emotion and mood clearly play a large role in your work. Do you find your connection to your subject is correlated to your outcome?
Brit: I have never been too much of a planner and my best work happens when I least expect it. The paradox is that I go with my flow but I have
literally dreamt of my next steps my whole life; so when opportunities, jobs and inspiration do spark I know it is because I have been putting in the consistent mental work to call them in.
Onia: What excites you most about photo
Brit: That it is ever changing, dynamic, endless, appreciated.
Onia: How does landscape and your surrounding help shape your photo-stories?
Brit: It is really important for me to travel and see new landscapes and new light to stay inspired. Every space I travel has such a different quality of light and that keeps my stories fresh.
Onia: Would you say the constant shifts in the digital landscape influences your work? How has the growing demand for content influenced your work as an artist?
Brit: It totally keeps me busy I will say that! Can't complain about it too much because I truly feel that has been my bread and butter for the past few years. I do find a tired redundancy in digital imagery, especially on social... I am trying to think up new concepts and ideas but that is a bit hard to balance when clients come to you inspired by past projects. That may just be the artists dilemma in general -- your people recognize you for one style and it takes a lot of courage and unknowns to completely pivot to something new. I get bored quite easily so I would like to say that I am constantly evolving at an organic pace.
Onia: Art and culture are more accessible than ever via social media – has this been catalytic for your work? Where do you see the evolution of social’s influence on photo taking us next?
Brit: Instagram hands down is 90% responsible for where I am today. I started photography at the perfect moment in time and I have been riding that wave ever since. I feel so grateful for that community love, support and feedback I get daily. As we all get accustomed to high quality imagery every day I think it will push as collectively to create better and better content. I do worry about how people use social though and really encourage that you curate your feed to ONLY what inspires, expands or teaches you something useful.
Onia: The relationship between travel and photo that you’ve created is truly unique, how do these work in tandem?
Brit: I never did take direction well - I feel the most free in my work, and in life, when I am allowed to dictate the path. there is a certain unknown about travel that keeps my creativity fresh. I think I do best working off the cuff and living deep in a moment especially if it is appreciating something brand new to my eyes. My best work happens unconstrained and in the moment and travel lends itself to that very well so I am happy people resonate.
Onia: How do you define success? Is success as a photographer definitive? What suggestions would you make to get there?
Brit: Doing what makes your soul happy is my definition of success and if photography ain't that than don't do it :) -- I have regular checkins with myself on whether I am on the right path and or if each of the jobs I am currently working on are still serving me and bringing me expansion. That habit helps me pivot when I am not feeling fulfilled in my work. When I know I am doing work that inspires me I feel sooooo successful yet inspired to keep getting better -- the insatiable need to create really never ends for me. My advice would be to be still, be in your body, be in nature -- find a practice where you can connect back to yourself to really hear what next steps you need to take.