Introducing Beth Mancuso, the founder of Women Travel Photographers, a Photoshop geek, aspiring baker, explorer, camper, and a thrift store lover. We interviewed Beth with a few questions about her Photography business, what got her started in the NFT world and her newest piece on Portion.
Hi Beth! Can you introduce yourself and explain a bit more about your journey as a photographer for those unfamiliar with your work? What led you to create “Women’s Photography Circle”?
I am a Minnesota based fine art photographer. My background is in portraits, I spent ten years running a portrait business before switching my focus to landscapes. Now I teach photography workshops all over the world. My work is regularly featured by National Geographic YourShot and in 2020 I was on the National Geographic Channel. I was the winner of Sony’s female landscape photography contest and I placed second in Outdoor Photographer’s landscape contest in 2021.
I started Women's Photography Circle as a way for women to have a safe community to explore their love for photography together. Every US state has a Facebook group so there is a local connection. Photography meetups are happening all across the country! It just launched in December and it has over 9,000 members already.
That's such a nice community you've built! Can you tell us a story about one of your favorite portraits you’ve taken thus far in your career? What about the work resonated with you most?
One of my favorite images I have taken so far is a self portrait I shot at a gorgeous waterfall in Oregon. This specific place was one I had dreamed of photographing for years so to finally be there in that moment was exhilarating. I am drawn to water, it is my favorite subject to photograph. I think water has so many healing properties and I believe just looking at an image with water in it can have a soothing effect.
What is the story behind your NFT “The Sky Is Falling” and why did you choose this one to be featured in Portion’s photography collection? How do you envision your audience will interact with and interpret this new piece? What about this piece coincides with identity?
I took that shot at one of my photography workshops in Badlands National Park. We had headed out as a group to photograph sunset and were surprised with an incredibly epic storm instead. If you look close you can see a couple of the women that were with me on the road. It was such a surreal experience for me and the image itself almost looks surreal, but it is 100% real. There was this wild energy in the air when I photographed this storm and I hope that my audience can feel that when they look at this image.
A large part of my identity lives within our National Parks. It is where I feel most alive. I know many people carry that same sentiment. I think one can find themselves in the wild and learn so much about themselves.
This is definitely a memorable moment captured in time. In terms of NFTs, how did you find your way into this world and crypto? What do you see as the next opportunity for creatives such as yourself in the NFT space?
I am new to NFTs and am still learning the ropes, but it is something I hope to do a lot more of this year. I think NFTs will continue to evolve and with it will come more opportunities for creatives, whatever that may be.... I don’t necessarily know at the moment, but I’m buckled in for the ride.
I'm going to ask you a big picture question, but what do you want from the art world? What drives you?
That is a big question! I don’t create my art with the art world in mind. I do it for myself. It is my therapy and my creative outlet. If others appreciate it, well that is just a bonus for me. I’m driven by a desire to see and photograph our landscapes and put my artistic interpretation on it. It feeds my soul.
Doing it for you is the most important thing! If you could only live with one camera for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
I just upgraded to the Sony A7 IV and I am loving it!
Lastly, as an artist who has been working in the photography industry for a while, do you have tips for emerging artists? What advice do you have for people at the beginning of their journey into the world of film, photography or NFTs?
Create art that resonates with you. If it fills your buckets, chances are that it will shine through in your imagery and resonate with the viewer. And don’t let your failures stop you from pursuing your passion. Instead, learn from them and apply that knowledge to future pursuits.