Vantalk with Photographer: Woods Wheatcroft
Being an artist and photographer how has Vanlife expanded opportunities in your creative career?
Vanlife greatly facilitates my creative career and that is the opportunity! I utilize my van in many if not most of my photo endeavors.
It's the quintessential symbol of home on the road and I know that reality resonates with clients and potential clients. Living as far north as I do, I usually drive the van south to warmer climates
and this has resulted in being able to shoot different seasons for clients as well as my own personal work.
What are some of the best jobs you have had whilst living from the van?
I always love taking my van on shoots for KAVU, a Seattle based clothing and apparel company. We have had the van out on the San Juan Islands in the middle of the Puget sound. Pretty rad.
I would say rather than any of the best jobs while living in the van, the use of the van for certain outdoor companies has been fruitful in the sense that we get to amazing locations and the rig speaks for itself and works its way into the scene whether we are shooting stock or camping seen in the Eastern Sierra of California or Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho.
It's clear you are an absolute nature lover! Tell us some of your favourite places to get away from the city life and reconnect with your soul?
Anywhere can work really. Anywhere without people! Ha. How antisocial of me! But really I am actually working on a piece right now about the Pursuit of Space: How to go where everyone else isn't, and like it! It's part and parcel of the van life formula and every individual has their personal formula for solitude. Redwoods and Lost Coast of Northern California. Oregon and Nevada deserts. Death Valley is a gem. Anza Borrego in California also a gem. Baja California is my favorite. When I am down there- surfing, van life, with my kids and girlfriend- tequila and seafood flowing...pinch me! That's the soul food.
We really enjoyed going through the personality shots on your website! Can you tell us a bit more how these type of photos come about?
These portraits are not only a blend and extension of my own personality but a melange of the type of experiences I encounter and a willingness to pause and participate in the process of capturing a portrait. Portraits require an investment of time and self. Sometimes brief. Other times more involved, but always an investment. The collection of "personalities" range from commercial shoot with NFL players to personal project on bike culture to quirky conceptual environmental snaps with friends.
Tell us some highlights and also some challenges of working from the van.
Highlights: Happy hour! Once you're in the van, life is pretty simple. You're there. You can really only trip over yourself at this point. The idea that whatever you have is what you have to work with and that simplicity can work really well when you are remote. Love the look and feel of the van is a highlight too. Anywhere you park it, it's an option to be part of the image or not. Flexibility is also huge. Vanlife offers the option to pull over almost anywhere and be in pretty good shape. You can plan to just get part way there and sometimes that really helps getting out of town and leaving the crab claws in the dust!
Challenges: Storage. Power sometimes. Access other times. Not enough time...but that's a lifestyle choice issue, not a van issue!
New brakes. Tighten up the ship before the snow flies so I can pack up the gear and and roll south To Baja...but that's been the pattern for a while. I have recently had thoughts recently of going to retrieve a surfboard of mine on the East Coast and see a friend and make a trip out of it. Cover some new terrain. Live the road life.