Shortly after Josiah became the youngest ever to be named the Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year in January, 2015, we had an intriguing email arrive in our inbox. Steve Watkins, the editor of Outdoor Photography magazine, a premier nature photography periodical based in the U.K., reached out to us about doing a special feature on our family of photographers.
Steve followed up with us this past winter, and it wasn’t long before they were selecting images to accompany the upcoming article and arranging interview times. It’s such a privilege for me (John) to do stuff like this with my young photographers, and of course we are tremendously honoured and more than a little humbled by the resulting feature (which was released in the April, 2016 issue).
I really enjoyed the interview process with writer Nick Smith, who managed to get some very candid responses from us thanks to his great questions and casual manner on the phone. I was especially intrigued by the responses about the healthy competition between Jenaya, Josiah and myself, although of course there’s never enough room in publications to reflect everything that is said. His question invoked a good discussion, however, and Jenaya and I agreed that we’ve really pushed each other’s vision and abilities behind the lens the past several years by our differing artistic perspectives and skill in executing our vision in the field, and now Josiah is driving us all to greater heights as he nails shot after shot and threatens to show us up if we don’t raise the bar ourselves. It’s one thing when you compare your images to other nature photographs captured under totally different circumstances and settings, but when we’re out in the field together and one of us nails a shot the others either didn’t see or didn’t knock out of the park, it ramps up the challenge to be sure! Marlise humbled us all a few times during our recent owl and waterfowl trip to British Columbia…as the resident artist in the family, her creative eye is inspiring to the rest of us.
Josiah was pretty proud to beat Jenaya and I out in getting an additional half-page placement with his recent “High Country Bighorn” release being chosen as the feature image on their contents page with the lead-in, “A Family Affair: Meet the Canadian Family Making it Big in the World of Wildlife Photography.”
It’s so cool for me to see the growing ease with which Jenaya and even Josiah handles this kind of media attention and the sometimes-tough questions they face. They’ve conducted more interviews by 18 (Jenaya) and 11 (Josiah) than I have in my life! We’re all more comfortable behind the camera, but if stepping out for a bit to shed attention on a conservation cause we are passionate about or telling the story of our shared passion as a family makes a difference or adds a bit of inspiration for someone, especially another young photographer, we’re happy to do it (and of course we are delighted to share our photography with a larger audience).
I asked Outdoor Photography if we could share their article with the readers of our blog and website and they agreed and provided a pdf, so without further ado, here’s “In Conversation with the Launsteins” from Outdoor Photography, Issue 203 (click through to open the full article as a pdf). A heartfelt “Thank you” to Steve Watkins, Editor, and Nick Smith, Author for this honour and the wonderful feature you crafted, Claire Blow, Deputy Editor, for coordinating the image files during our owl and waterfowl trip to BC, and Anna Bonita Evans, Assistant Editor for all your help behind the scenes.