We are excited to introduce a series of Q&A’s from some of our fabulous contributors. These blog posts will include 5 questions and showcase some of the artist’s recent work. Are you a contributor (or interested in becoming one) and would love a feature? Contact us here!
Hi Katch! We love that you travel so much. Where do you go for work?
I go wherever the story is! My favorite locations that I've shot in include weddings in Anghiari, Italy, Beilstein, Germany, the forests of Olympic National Park, and any desert in southern CA. Any couple who is up to hike has already won me over. As far as traveling NOT for work, my most recent (and favorite) location is Norway. I took two weeks off in the summer to road trip and backpack around Norway and it was basically the best decision ever. It’s so important to take trips for yourself as well!
Do you have any stories or memories that stand out from these adventures?
I have a fun story from my trip to Norway. We were backpacking along the Besseggen Ridge, and about 4 miles in we ran into a big herd of reindeer. It was absolutely insane. The feeling of being surrounded by these gorgeous and powerful creatures was incredible, and they let us get very close and just wandered around as they fed, not minding our company. Pretty amazing!
What do you always bring with you when your travel?
I always bring my phone with an extra battery pack case (because I often can't charge my phone every day especially if I'm camping), compression socks for the flights, and neck pillow for overnight flights. Blister band-aids, ibuprofen, wool socks and a Cliff bar are also permanently packed in my bag just in case. That's pretty normal right? :)
What are some of your favorite places and why?
I have a few favorite places on earth. One is definitely the Besseggen Ridge, the same ridge where we ran into the reindeers. Our campsite that night was located between a glacial lake at our level on one side and a larger lake that was way below our level on the other side. It was pretty surreal. I included a couple of photos, but describing it or showing the photo doesn't even do it the slightest justice.
One of my other favorite places on earth is Joshua Tree National Park. Some people might not find beauty in the desert but for me it’s one of the few places where anything goes, you can run around, climb over boulders and find new nooks and caves all the time. And camping out there is the best, with no other person around to bother you or distract you. The stars at night are pretty amazing too.
You sell your travel prints online and they are beautiful. What are some tips you have for travelers wanting to capture better images?
Being ready for the shot is the most important, especially when wildlife is involved. Which is why I usually hike with a small mirrorless camera (the Canon EOS M) or my phone instead of my DSLR. I have it out the whole time, so I can be ready quickly without having to put my pack down, take my camera out of it, zip it back up, and put it back on.
There was actually an instance when this came in handy and I was so lucky to have had my camera out. I was hiking on a ridge in Montana and a band of mountain goats came towards us. They didn't look too happy, so we slowly walked down off the trail down the mountain a bit to let them pass. There was very little time to act and as they passed right near us we had to stay still and make no sudden movements. I had my camera out already so I was able to take a shot of one of the goats as he walked by, stopped to look at us, and kept walking. There definitely wouldn't have been enough time for me to scramble for my camera if it had been in my pack. Lesson learned!
When I hike with couples for weddings or engagements I obviously bring my DLSR by the way! In my handy Poler pack that makes it easy to carry :)
Anything else to add?
The goat story has a weird ending, so I'll share it and try to make it brief. One of the more aggressive goats came off the trail towards us and he was looking rather angry so when he got too close (we could have almost reached out and touched him) we were forced to use bear spray to scare him away. Which I guess leads me to another tip, if you're in bear country, carry bear spray. No question. It saved us from a possibly violent encounter. (side note: bear spray doesn't harm the animal permanently!). That was the first and only time I've ever had to use bear spray. Hopefully it stays that way!
Learn more from this inspiring photographer in Volume 1 of AGLOW Magazine, available here.
I’m Katch. I’m a photographer, an artist, a storyteller, and a lover of the outdoors. I spend my free time in the mountains, camping, hiking, climbing and documenting adventures. I live in Southern California and travel often. Storytelling is what I love, and documenting mood is very important to me. I’m constantly inspired by the organic– mountains, rock, wind, rain, and anything found in nature.
To see more of Katch's work, visit her at katchsilva.com.