behind the genius: sarah eshpeter
Meet Sarah - world-traveler, photographer extraordinaire, and subsequent owner of one of the best Instagrams I have ever encountered. She's a resident of beautiful British Columbia and a prime example of someone who has turned their side-gig into a promising small business. Makes me feel like I should be sleeping less and hustling more?! She's a boss without a doubt and humble to boot. Follow her on Instagram and buy one of her goregous one-of-a-kind maps on her MAP&CO site!
TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU DO!
Officially, I work at a university modelling climate change and species distributions, in addition to assessing the development of low-carbon economies. Unofficially (and much more excitingly), I’m a girl with a camera attached to her hip. Those might seem like really disconnected careers/passions, but my love of the outdoors drove my academic background and more meaningfully, prompted me to pick up a camera. I’ve been blessed to live in BC these past couple of years now and have been totally inspired by its natural beauty- it’s hard not to want to capture it.
WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER GOALS / DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE?
As great as it is to plan life out, I find that things never go according to plan and it’s best to just roll with it. But lately I have been wanting to expand my portfolio and photograph things more outside of my comfort zone. Landscape/nature photography is wonderful and will always be a favourite, but it’s easy to make mountain summits and forested paths gorgeous- they don’t need you for that. Although I am frequently out exploring the outdoors, I’m hoping to capture comparatively more mundane moments and bring some beauty to normalcy. I think lately I’ve realized just how much we overlook some of these less-obviously stunning moments in life and am going through a period where I want to stop, take it all in, and challenge myself artistically.
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT LATELY? (WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO / WATCHING / WORKING ON / DAYDREAMING ABOUT?!)
Recently I launched MAP&CO (check it out at mapandcompany.com), where I create city street maps overlaid with nighttime satellite imagery. In short it produces these beautiful, detailed black and white city street prints where the densest cores bloom. This was a great way to combine my academic and artistic interests into one aesthetic project where I am constantly able to incorporate my photography and design into the website and branding. I love that I can produce some unique conversation-pieces for people’s everyday living spaces, and can’t wait to see where it goes.
And of course, I am constantly daydreaming about any future travels. My younger brother will be working in New Mexico this summer, which has given us the perfect excuse to plan a little brother-sister weekend road-trip. While I can’t really complain about the scenery up here, lately these cold Canadian winter days have had me dreaming of photographing the sun-drenched southwest.
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE?
Honestly, too many people to name. I’ve fumbled around with this question for a while in my head now, and can’t think of what to say. I admire a variety of people for very different reasons, and lately have been especially appreciating those in my life who exude confidence and authenticity. I think we could all use a little more of that.
WHAT DOES STYLE MEAN TO YOU?
My absolute favourite thing about photography is that ten people can take a photo of the same thing and none of the final products will be identical. Photography isn’t binary where there is right and wrong, and I think often people don’t consider it as artistic as let’s say painting or sculpting. In my opinion, style is the quintessential aspect of photography that makes it such a creative process, and that allows photos of the exact same real-life subject to turn out so differently. Every photographer has their own style (whether they know it or not) that reflects their outlook or mood- it’s the way we interpret a moment or a scene, and can change just as easily as the subject in front of our lens.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE GO-TO LOOK LATELY?
Easy. Flannel. Blundstones. Camera bag. Rain jacket. Can’t forget the rain jacket. Since moving to Canada it’s all about being prepared for the elements, whether I’m catching the bus to the grocery store or going on a full-fledged adventure. I’ve never been big into fashion so my wardrobe is all about practicality, that way I’m ready for anything.