Why am I, Kathryn Wagner, a professional food & travel photographer?

 Kathryn Wagner professional food and travel photography of the US and Caribbean

The runway in St. Barthelemy, French West Indies.

On occasion I have been asked “why travel and food photography?”

The short answer: Photographing food and travel images for businesses, brands and magazines allows me to combine three things which I am passionate about: eating, exploring and recording amazing experiences to share with others.

The longer answer: The fact that I do this professionally means that I have followed these interests and passions with a zeal to rival that of a new camera owner out on their first day shooting. I absolutely love what I do and I feel lucky to share that enjoyment with my clients and their customers. Photography is not only the way in which I have navigated the world for the past ten years through Europe, North America and the Caribbean; it is the way in which I want others to share in an experience of the world with my images. My career goals extend far beyond stellar service of clients. Getting others excited about the amazing experiences my clients offer to their customers via visual expression of their story is the career goal which I strive for most.

I feel that the following definition sums up many of my feelings toword photography:

vocation |vōˈkā sh ən| noun

a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation : she felt a strongly about the her love of animals and the veterinary vocation.

• a person’s employment or main occupation, esp. regarded as particularly worthy and requiring great dedication : her vocation as a visual artist.

• a trade or profession.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French, or from Latin vocatio(n-), from vocare ‘to call.’

St. John’s Cinnamon Bay Trail

 (Kathryn Wagner)

As a travel photographer, one of my favorite overlook’s within the Virgin Islands National Park is on the Cinnamon Bay Trail. This vista is well worth the climb, as you are able to take in all of Cinnamon Bay as well as Peter Bay. For a fun full day out one can hike the Cinnamon Bay trail in the morning, and then catch the bus from Centerline road, where the trail ends. You can then go out to Coral Bay for an afternoon of hamburgers at Skinny Legs or head back to Cruz Bay. No matter what you might choose to do, be sure to allow plenty of time to stop to take in the very same view that many of the Danish colonists likely saw back in the 1700’s.

Virgin Gorda Rocks

On a recent trip to Virgin Gorda, I was fortunate to have an entire day to spend within The Baths and Devil’s Bay. I had a great time photographing and studying the unique granite rock formations that dominate this coastal landscape. The granite boulders are attributed to the island’s volcanic origins. I have been to Virgin Gorda before and had a blast photographing everyone interacting with the landscape, though this was the first time I had the luxury of an entire day to explore.  Above is a mini-fine-art study of the fascinating shapes and forms that can be found there. Definitely a unique destination within the British Virgin Islands.

Go to a cay to stay for the day…

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Spending the past year and a half doing travel photography in the Caribbean islands allows one to spend time on Cays.  A cay is a small typically uninhabited offshore island, many of the cays near St. John are perfect for a picnic day trip via kayak.  Cays are formed when when ocean currents transport lose sediment across the surface of a reef. One of my favorite Cays in the Virgin Islands is Whistling Cay, home to many pelicans and a Colonial-era guardhouse. Whistling Cay resembles the islet above.

Island fish in a barrel? Far from it…

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Big game fishing is popular sport in the Virgin Islands and a day’s catch makes for some great cooking, with Mahi-Mahi and Yellowfin Tuna being perennial favorites. Though more difficult than shooting fish in a barrel, visitors often come to the Virgin Islands for the likelihood that they will catch the elusive Blue Marlin. As a food photographer, I feel lucky to have great access to clients with chefs who use fresh ingredients such as seafood that is caught the same day it is cooked.

Often, offshore big game fishing in the Caribbean begins with the tool pictured above, a cast net. This net is typically four to twelve feet in diameter and similar counterparts have been used for thousands of years. Cast nets are used in a skilled fashion (such as seen below) to catch the bait needed for a day out on the water.

Island home: Steele Point, Tortola British Virgin Islands

 (Kathryn Wagner)

This beautiful rental villa on Steele Point takes advantage of the location and the fact that Tortola has incredible views of the water and great boat access. As a photographer I really enjoy making images of island homes, I feel that collaborating with the builder and the client is a rewarding experience.