Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What's your full name?
A: I go by Cal or Callum most of the time and my full name is Callum Snape
Q: You have a funny accent, where are you from?
A: It's a really long story, but I'm British originally. I was born on a US military base in Belgium before moving to Germany then ending up in Canterbury, England where I spent most of my time until the age of 18 before moving to Banff, Alberta where I lived for 7 years. In March 2016 I relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia to further my career and have easier access to a major airport as my travel assignments increased.
Q: Where do you live?
A: I live in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Q: How did you get started as a photographer?
A: I picked up a camera back in 2011 not long after moving to Canada and started taking it out on my hikes to share some photos with family and friends back in England who wouldn't believe that some of these places even exist. The hiked got longer and more extreme and my photography grew with that. Gradually, I picked up clients and started doing assignments for clients such as Canadian Geographic and the US Ski Team. Over the next few years there was an enormous transition in my focus and I went through a huge learning process to get to where I am today.
Q: I'm posting to social media but I'm really having a hard time getting my name out there, what do you suggest?
A: This is probably the most commonly asked question that fills my inbox on a daily basis. Posting to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram won't get you work. Yes, you're marketing your work this way but this isn't the way to get new clients. The most effective way, without a doubt, is introducing yourself to local and regional clients in person, national and international clients via email. A simple "Hello, my name is XXXXX, I'm a photographer and this is a link to my work: XXXXX, if you ever think there' an opportunity to collaborate please let me know. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Have a great day, thank you, XXXXX"
Q: Who inspires you?
A: Most of my creative inspiration comes from photographer Xavier Jamonet, an artist that has such an emotional connection with the mountains it makes me jealous. His interplay of light and composition is faultless. My travel inspiration comes from Luke Gram, his work evokes an emotion in me of wanderlust and travel dreaming. His subtle colour tones and incredible use of blacks draws me in to each photo he takes.
Q: How do you afford to travel so much?
A: For me it's not a case of how I afford to travel so much, travel photography is my job so all expenses are covered on my assignments. I line up back-to-back jobs in most cases leaving me traveling for several months at a time. That being said, I make a very sufficient living as a photographer so personal travel becomes easier from that point onwards.
Q: Who should I follow on Instagram?
Q: What are the most important things you travel with?
A: I used to pack far too much to take with me on my travels, now I carefully assess each trip or assignment and make sure I only take what I need and travel surprisingly light. The most important things I take with me are: Passport, Nexus/Global Entry Card, Multi-Country Plug Adapter, iPhone, Mac, Camera, 2 Lenses plus the usual clothes and toiletries.
Q: Can you give me a photography tip?
A: I tend not to give out much advice over emails or social media, its easier done in person but here's something to consider next time your out taking photos: Composition is the most important thing in a scene. Using foreground as an anchor to a scene to let people’s eyes get drawn into the subject is a great example. Making sure any people in the scene are separated from horizon lines is another key compositional element.
Q: How do I get more social media followers:
A: I hate to say it, but if your asking this question, you're probably using the platforms for the wrong reasons and you or your audience won't see any benefit in it. Having a large following doesn't mean you're successful at what you do and it doesn't make you money, that comes in from your hard work making and maintaining clients.
Q: What music do you listen to?
A: I listen to a huge variety of music on a daily basis, when I'm shooting, processing or just at home relaxing. The Barr Brothers, Tony Anderson and The Chainsmokers are all regulars on my playlists.
Q: Where's your favourite place to visit/travel?
A: My favourite place is to explore is British Columbia. Thats a very vague answer because BC is enormous but it has everything from temperate rainforests to deserts, towering mountains and archipelagos of islands.
Q: What do you do when you're not taking photos?
A: If I'm not photographing anything you'll generally see me snowboarding, kayaking, hiking or answering endless emails in a coffee shop near by.
Q: Do you take interns?
A: At this point in time I'm not offering internships, the main reason for that is because I work from the road a lot so the logistics of working with an intern(s) becomes too challenging.
Q: Can you give me some industry advice?
A: Another popular question both on social platforms and my email. The photo industry is enormous and with such a vague question I can only offer a vague response so if you're after help with something specific be sure to send me all the details and I'll see what I can do. During the months of May - November its unlikely that I will be able to respond to your emails regarding industry advice.
Q: What are some of your favourite day hikes?
A: In the Banff area, Johnston Canyon and Sulphur mountain are some of my favourites. Along the Icefields Parkway, Parker Ridge and Helen Lake shouldn't be missed. Up in Jasper; Sulphur Skyline and Cavell Meadows. You can find all the info you need on these hikes over on the Banff and Jasper Parks Canada website.
Q: Can you help me with my backcountry trip?
A: This one constantly fills my inbox and unfortunately I don't help people with backcountry information primarily because I don't like the liability of my advice should anything go wrong but also because Parks Canada and the US National Parks Service have people specially trained to give you this information. I really value that you're looking for my opinion on backcountry trips but realistically I don't know you, your ability, your experience or any other information so its impossible for me to help effectively.
Q: I'm coming to Banff, lets meet up?
A: Tens of thousands of people visit Banff daily and quite a number of people reach out to meet up with me to catch sunrise or even go on a hike. From May - November I'm rarely able to meet up with anyone because of the high demand of work and generally I'm out in the field shooting or on location with a client. That being said, don't hesitate to throw a comment up on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to see what I'm up to if you're in the area, sometimes I can escape my office for an hour. If you've sent over an email and you were directed here, I apologize but my workload is currently too high to respond to each question individually.
Q: What software do you use to process your images?
A: I primarily use Lightroom CC and I use Photoshop CC frequently as well. I will use the Adobe Photoshop iPhone App and Snapseed App occasionally too.
Q: What Camera gear do you use?
A: I keep my gear list very minimal and shoot with the Canon 17-40L lens on the Canon 5DII for 98% of my work. Here's a breakdown of what I use:
- Canon 5D mkIV
- Canon 6D
- Canon 5D mkII
- Canon 16-35 F/2.8
- Sigma 20mm F/1.4
- Canon 17-40L F/4
- Canon 24-70L F/4
- Canon 70-200L F/4
- Induro Tripod
- Induro Ballhead
- F-Stop Loka + Tilopa BC Backpack
- LEE Big Stopper
- LEE Little Stopper
- LEE 0.9 Soft Grad ND
- NiSi Filters
Q: What are some of your favourite pieces of outdoor equipment?
A: I have a lot of equipment and I've tested so many different products and brands in the industry. These are my favourite products:
- Arc'teryx Cerium LT Down Jacket
- Arc'teryx Gamma Rock Pants
- Forsake Mack Shoes
- LifeProof Nuud iPhone 6 case + LifeActive Accessories
- Oru Kayak Coast + Bay model
- Nemo Sonic Sleeping Bag
- Nemo Dagger 2p Tent
- Nemo Filo Pillow
- Exped UL sleeping mat