The photographer behind one of Instagram’s most coveted adventure handles

SnowsBest chats with photographer Sarah Hatton, the name behind @ISO100_PHOTOGRAPHY the outdoor loving Instagram account with over 172 000 followers. 

Sarah Hatton grew up in the coastal town of Kiama in New South Wales and spent every winter holidays as a kid at Hotham. Now she travels the world as a photographer specialising in landscape and long exposure and holds workshops for budding photographers.

The results of her mere four years behind the camera are truly stunning.

First memories of the snow?

The first time we drove up to Hotham, never fizzed so hard, driving between Dinner Plain and Hotham and seeing it all unfold for the first time, seeing the slopes for the first time. Then hitting the mountain at Hotham for the first time, so much fun was had those first times learning to slide.

When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?

I’ve always had an interest in it, but back in 2012, I decided to give it a red hot crack, it sucked me right in and it got serious fast and now here I am. I used to be a graphic designer, but that was soul destroying, being a creative whose creativity was ultimately contained by the hopeless opinions of others, so moving into a more creative field that allows me to play outside in the mountains, travel the world and be my own boss is exactly where I want to be at. Life is good.

What was your first photographer gig?

The very first photography gigs I had were shooting weddings. Talk about stressful, the cash was good but it’s something I’ll never EVER do again. Unless I’m a second shooter, or have a team to support me.

Where do you spend your winters and why?

I love spending my winters in the mountains of either Australia or New Zealand. This year i did work in both, and loved every moment. Playing with my camera in the alpine is the best. I’ll be spending my entire winter of 2017 with snow under my feet.

How has photography enhanced and enriched your life?

Photography has absolutely enriched my life, it allows me to pursue my passion my way, I can be creative, I am my own boss, I am free to live the life I dreamed of… I get to travel to all my favourite places, and live life the way I want. I just wish I had gotten into all this sooner.

Do you ski or snowboard?

I snowboard, and have done so since I was 12. I love it, but am not quite as wild as I used to be. I’m 30 and don’t bounce quite as easy as I used to. I wish I knew how to ski, there is just something so graceful about seeing skiers tear it up.

How did you build your social media community?

This is a question i get asked a lot, there is no magic formula. It is a lot of time invested in growth on social. I post only my favourite frames, I keep my standard super high, and always stay active and engage.  People expect the numbers to happen overnight, but they don’t, you need to grow slowly but surely. I have had a lot of photos go viral, that helps.

But consistency and high quality is key.

Describe your typical adventure photographer day?

A typical adventure photography day involves waking up in my tent somewhere, making coffee first and foremost, and hiking, a lot of hiking. Being caught in the weather. No good photo is ever created a few steps from a carpark.

My Patagonia trips are the best example of this. These are the best adventures, the most epic, and spent with the best crew. Good times are a must with me, I love to laugh and have a good time. The day I don’t enjoy picking up my camera is the day I stop being a photographer.

Let’s hope that never happens. This passion burns pretty deep inside.

Who inspires you?

I don’t want to be inspired by others, I want to inspire myself. People watch others too closely, it ends up in jealously, hate and competition – I don’t like that, I’ll be the one over there doing her own thing, dancing around and loving life!

Who is your favourite photographer and why?

There are a few photographers that have inspired me from the start, I’m not about to drop big names trying to suck up like most others. The photographers that inspire me most are my friends, absolute legends such as Clair Norton, Trent Blomfield & Vanessa Farmilo. These are the guys who I have shared many good times and adventures with and will continue to in the future.

What does it take to be an adventure photographer?

Its not really something you can become, it’s like it’s already inside, it’s the way you are, you’re already seeking out that adventure, you can become this way.

This is not just a lifestyle for us, it’s life. People ask me all the time, how do I do what you do?  Truth is you can’t, unless you just are this way already. Being a little bit wild and longing to be free to roam the world with my camera is what has made me the most happy in this life.

Check out Sarah’s website for more of her amazing work www.iso100.com.au

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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