While we tend to focus on the more typical "artist" type for our features, few people have wooed us more effortlessly than the young Britt Myers of Montana. While she downplays her ability with the camera and avoids pursuing it as an occupation, she has proceeded to explore the art as a means to document her lifestyle and adventures, bringing her growing following along for a whimsical and serene ride. We spoke to her to delve a bit deeper into who this incredible character is...
1. Who are you?
Britt Myers. my favorite color is beluga whale. Native to Oregon, currently residing in NW Montana.
2. You have an incredibly unique lifestyle, please can you elaborate on it?
The work I do for money has nothing to do with animals or art. It's extremely redundant and involves being at a computer for most of the day, but it allows for me to live wherever I choose, so long as I have an internet connection.
I'm home quite a bit because of this, so I try and look for or create opportunities to live in beautiful places where I can be surrounded by animals. This is my second year caretaking two haflingers on a small ranch in NW Montana for the winter months while their owners are out of state. How I even got here is a little beyond me. There's no formula to it. I’ve just been extremely fortunate to meet the right people at the right times that have graciously provided me the platform to experience living and working with/alongside their animals.
These opportunities have ranged from packing mules in the wilderness to assisting in equine therapy to caretaking horses and property.
3. How & why did you get into photography? Describe your medium & process for your photos...
In high school, they offered film photography classes and I took them as a means to get out of the classroom. I learned a few tricks of the trade, but wasn't passionate about developing my skills until a few years later.
The birds, bees, flowers and trees were, literally, what sparked it all. I had just moved out of the city to a little piece of property in Eugene, Oregon and I would take photos of all the flora and fauna so I could keep track of my findings. At the same time, I started volunteering and working with a local rescue/rehab facility that specialized in Raptors. Being a science nerd, I began taking photos of the birds to add them to my ‘checklist’. I hadn't experienced such up close and personal relationships with birds prior to this and when I wasn't able to fully express the feelings they stirred up in me, I started to educate myself on the in's-and-out's of photography.
That said, I don't really have any formal training. I've read a ton of blogs and spent countless hours experimenting. I started with film, but only use digital now. I ended up moving back to the city for a few years and dabbled in weddings / lifestyle / etc... but I wasn't into it. I appreciated getting paid to do something I loved, but it slowly started to lose it's meaning for me. I've gathered that if I don't feel it, or if there is pressure or agenda or expectation, i'm not into it.
So now, I simply shoot what I want, and the connection between animals and nature are what resonate the most. Horses, specifically.
4. Who/what influences your work?
Some of my favorite artists are Georgia O'Keeffe, Rodney Smith, Gregory Colbert, Tim Walker, and Max Wanger. I'm really drawn to whimsical imagery, negative space and the connection between humans and nature.
My work is mostly influenced by the animals I spend time with, what I see in a moment, and how I'm feeling at the time i share it. One image could represent a thousand different things to me.
5. What excites you about your photography, your lifestyle? What do you struggle with?
The most exciting part of photography is when I'm able to translate emotion through an image. I take photos for myself, but what really wakes me up inside is when I share a photo and it inspires a connection or feeling - whether it be to the animal or the land.
This, whatever this is that I do, is my outlet. I consider it to be my own personal form of therapy, my passion, my most vulnerable self. So I can feel pretty self-conscious in that. I am uncomfortable calling myself a photographer. Rather, I take photographs to communicate what I can't with words.
6. What are your goals? Where do you see yourself going?
Producing a body of work that creates an interactive experience between equines and humans is a path I could see myself going.
I would love to learn more about video and incorporate that with photographs to compose an experiential exhibit, much like Gregory Colbert if you've ever seen his "Ashes And Snow" exhibition.
In a way, I feel like I owe it to every individual equine I've ever had the pleasure of knowing to showcase how obtainable and incredibly powerful establishing a connection with them can be. Horses are the mirrors of human emotion, and if you allow yourself to be open to the experience they are capable of bringing you into your most present and authentic self.
You can see more of Britt's life here: