You can smell the fresh pine trees in the air; you can feel the desert sun on your face; you can hear the waves crashing on the rocky shore. Outdoor photographer Stephanie Marchant doesn’t just snap photos of her surroundings; she captivates the senses and paints palpable portraits from her open-air adventures with just one click.
“If you would've told me even just five years ago that I'd be at a place in my life where I was equipped to pack a 65L backpack with food and gear and hike several miles out into the wilderness to spend the night, I probably would've laughed and said you were crazy,” Stephanie says.
Today, the 29-year-old trailblazer considers herself lucky to have stumbled into the outdoor photography world. Although she spent summers at the lake and biked around Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, it wasn’t until 2015 when Stephanie moved to Seattle with her husband that she hit the hiking trails with a camera in tow and began her exploration with photography.
For Stephanie, being outdoors is more than just capturing a moment, it’s an important chance to move your body and clear your mind for optimal wellness.
“A little fresh air and movement can do wonders,” Stephanie shares.
To learn more about this adventurous Bloom Farms CBD ambassador and her photo-snapping journey, we sat down with Stephanie to hear her story.
When did you first get into outdoor photography?
After my husband and I moved to Seattle. He always had more of an interest in photography, and when we moved to Washington and started hiking, it seemed natural that I'd follow suit and join him.Plus it gave me something to do on our hikes! I love that there are so many ways to capture outdoor spaces—how it’s always changing while the main features of the landscape usually don't change; the weather, time of day and season all have an effect on what you see.
Did you grow up an outdoors-woman, or did your passion for exploring nature develop later in life?
Definitely not! I grew up in the Midwest, where we spent summers at the lake and rode bikes around the subdivision. But my love for hiking and exploring the outdoors didn't really develop until we moved to Seattle a few years ago. In a lot of ways, I feel like I'm late to the party but also very grateful to have the chance at all.
What has your experience with outdoor photography taught you about yourself?
To let go of things you can't control and make the best of the situation at hand. My husband and I both work full-time jobs, so our time for outdoor adventuring can be pretty limited. Most of our trips are planned well in advance and can't really be changed on short notice due to weather or other inconveniences. We've learned to make the best out of the conditions we find ourselves in, and sometimes that means we have to get a little creative, which isn't a bad thing.
What is one of your most memorable outdoor adventures so far?
We were lucky enough to score permits to Havasupai last October, around the time of our five-year anniversary, to camp at this little desert oasis for three nights. It's about a 20-mile hike round trip, and you must carry all your gear and food in with you. But it was so worth it to spend a few days exploring the amazing waterfalls and hiking through the canyon. It's a trip I'll never forget.
You also teach yoga. When did you first start doing that?
I began practicing yoga in 2014, mainly to combat the challenges that come with working a desk job for eight hours a day. I started with a home practice and slowly ventured into taking classes at a local studio.
Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher?
After moving to Seattle, I found a pretty consistent practice at a local studio, Seattle Yoga Lounge. I had been practicing there for almost a year when they announced a 200-hour teacher training program over 10 weekends the following spring. I had toyed with the idea of a 200-hour training before, not to teach but just as a way to learn more for my own practice. A lot of teacher training in the yoga world is very intensive, meaning you have to commit to several weeks at a time, all day, every day. That wasn't really feasible for my schedule, so I jumped at the chance presented at Seattle Yoga Lounge. I completed that in the summer of 2017. From there, I taught a few community and donation-based classes and was officially added to the schedule with my own class in 2018. Now I'm up to three classes a week!
What a journey! You mention on your Instagram page that you are also a regular consumer of CBD. When did you begin using CBD?
I first gave CBD a try about a year ago. I was initially curious to try CBD to help me get more restful sleep . I was happy to find that not only did it work wonders for sleep, but also was a big help whenever I needed an extra bit of calm throughout the day.
How did you first discover Bloom Farms CBD?
I began using their products last summer. Bloom Farms CBD reached out to ask if I'd like to try one of their tinctures. After digging a little further into the company, I loved what they stood for—both with their products and with their support to the community—so I agreed to try! I love taking it when I start winding down at night before bed and anytime I need a little extra calm. My favorite products are the tinctures. I love the 600 mg Relieve CBD Tincture for everyday use and the 1200 mg Recover CBD Tincture if I need a little extra boost.
What's on the horizon for you? Any upcoming projects or exciting trips planned?
We are planning to do a big thru-hike of the Enchantments in Washington for the end of summer. This will be our biggest push yet with 4,500-foot elevation gain over 18 miles. The steepest part gains nearly 2,000 feet in just three-quarters of a mile. We were hoping to score camping permits, but luck was not on our side this year. Tens of thousands of people apply each year! Instead of putting it off until next year, we're channeling our effort into training and preparing for a hike this big, so by the end of summer we'll be ready. Stay tuned to see if we achieve our goal!
What message would you like to share with your fans and followers?
I'm a big proponent of the outdoors and of moving your body—not only to stay physically healthy, but mentally healthy as well. A little fresh air and movement can do wonders!
Follow Stephanie Marchant and see more from her outdoor adventures.
Instagram - instagram.com/stephintotheunknown
Website - https://linktr.ee/stephintotheunknown
Born and raised by the beach in Southern California, Valeri Spiwak lives and breathes West Coast culture and its surrounding artistic charm. Valeri, with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a Minor in French, continuously seeks to explore the beautiful and obscure and shares her adventures through captivating wordplay, clever writing and skillful copy.