MEET ABI CAMPBELL; TRAVEL WRITER, FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER AND OF COURSE, A MUM!
Abi, it’s so lovely to hear from you again! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview, particularly with your crazy schedule! You’ve recently shot a stunning editorial for the Hooligans Magazine. Where did that shoot take place and what made you choose the location?
Hello! Thank you for having me! The ‘Above the waterline’ editorial was shot at the St Regis Vommuli in the Maldives. I was writing a travel feature on the hotel for Family Traveller magazine.
Many people are not aware that you often travel around with your children and they are your models.How did it begin and do they enjoy the photoshoots? What’s it like working as a family?
Yes, that is correct. I am extremely fortunate to be commissioned to travel the world with my two children to write travel features. I have a completely separate career as a children’s fashion photographer, the journey to both of my careers was a chicken and egg story. I started travelling and photographing my children simultaneously and the photography and writing supported each other. This provided me with a niche ability to shoot self-styled fashion editorials on my own kids in amazing locations around the world, which most children’s fashion photographers just starting out do not get the opportunity to do.
What was your favourite experience as a photographer whilst travelling around the world?
My heart belongs to California. This trip was the first one I took with a view to getting it published and it was also the trip I had to prove myself on as a writer.
I met the editor of Family Traveller magazine and told her I was self-funding a journey with my two children from LA to Monterey, driving highway 1 in a convertible Mustang and that I would be illustrating it with my photography.
After some persuasion, the editor said I could submit 1500 words with images and she would read it and see what she thought. This ended up being the first published feature and I ended up winning the industry travel writing award. The rest is history.
Big Sur, between LA and San Fransisco is my favourite place in the world. It’s been the place I’ve been drawn to during all the pivotal times in my life. Magic happens there.
How do you stay inspired?
Staying inspired is not difficult!! It’s being OVER inspired and trying to stay focused on one thing that is challenging. There are not enough hours in the day or days in the year for me to do all the things I want to do.is
What’s the best part of your job?
I have a very active mind and I think the best thing about my job is that each one is a project and has a beginning, middle and end in a short space of time. I get bored easily and travel writing and children’s fashion shoots are transitory and have a quick turn around. I am not made for a 9-5 job but I do admire people who are.
What does your typical day look like?
It depends what week it is! I share custody of my children 50% of the time. They spend a week with me and a week with their father. I genuinely think that the freedom this arrangement has afforded me has helped me to carve my career/s. When I have my kids I am 100 %, devoted mother. On my weeks off I am a career woman. Writing, researching, shooting or planning my next trip or editorial. The back end of trips and shooting are spent hunched over my laptop at home for hours on end, sorting through files and writing articles.
What’s the one thing you can not live without?
The support and love of my partner has given me confidence and the belief in myself to pursue and fulfil my dreams. Without question, he has been the wind beneath my wings.
What sunny holidays do you have planned this year?
None. I have purposefully chosen holidays closer to home to give the kids a break from long-haul travel. I am currently writing this from Centerparcs and we are going to Normandy for Family Traveller in June and Bordeaux in July with friends.
Travelling to far-flung places can really take it out of you.
If you were stuck on the desert island who would you like to be with and why?
I couldn’t possibly pick one person, so I would say my family. My partner and my children and my best friend. In reality though, I’m not sure I’d ever be ‘stuck’ anywhere for very long. I’m not one accept limits and boundaries. I would probably build myself a boat and set sail, I’m a survivor and a risk taker. You don’t get anywhere by just excepting your lot...... : )