In Conversation

Sophie Goodison

"Galapagos Islands ... by far the most enchanting place I have ever been, the interaction with nature and wildlife is something I will never forget."


Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. 
51.8098° N, 0.2377° W


Where did you grow up & where are you based now ? 

I grew up in the home county of Hertfordshire and moved down to the Cornish coast at the age of 18 to begin my studies at Falmouth University. First completing a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, followed by a degree in Marine and Natural History Photography. It was this move down to Cornwall that shaped who I am today. Now at 21, I am based back in my hometown to begin my career in London. My dream is to eventually move back down to the coast, I imagine it wont be long before I am craving being constantly immersed in nature.


Did your upbringing/childhood influence your connection with nature and the world around you? 

I was massively influenced by the natural world from a very early age, my back garden bordered a large forested woodland, meaning that much of my childhood was spent roaming the forest grounds, admiring the beauty and grandeur of the enormous variety of UK flora and fauna. I have always admired forests, and used to imagine myself living in the middle of a massive alpine forest when I grew up.


What was your professional background before creating Natura Journal?

Natura Journal arose during the last year of my degree. We had the creative freedom to work on a personal project entirely of our choosing. For me the freedom to create whatever I wanted led me to where I am today. It is not often you are gifted with the time to pursue an entirely personal endeavour and for that I am endlessly grateful. Now having just graduated, my professional background comes from the last four years of study, all leading up to this point. I am excited for what the future holds for my journal and hope to continue its journey with more volumes to come.


Can you tell us the story of Natura Journal and the inspiration behind the magazine?

As a trained natural history photographer, the idea of this journal came to me very organically; it is a combination of photography, design, creative writing, and art, four things that have been a major part of my whole life. I wanted to create something long lasting and physical, as well as piece of work that could interact with a wider community. I am in awe of nature everyday and wanted to create a physical representation of my personal experience that I have discovered from the world around me.  


It's quite an accomplishment to have written and photographed all of the content for Natura Journal yourself. Along with getting the journal published and setting up your website. How did you find the process ? 

This whole journey has been a learning curve; I would describe my process as informed improvisation. One of the biggest difficulties that I faced was getting the finished print to a quality that I was happy with. I tested many paper stocks to get it to where I am today. My journal is so much about the physical aspect, this was hugely important for me to get right. Although there has been many challenges along the way, I have enjoyed every second of it, the whole process has been hugely rewarding.


Do you have a favourite photograph that you have taken and why?

I don’t have an individual photograph, but my favourite series of work comes from a shoot I recently completed in the Italian Alps, which will feature in volume two. Snow capped mountains are one of my favourite places to shoot. Over the years, my favourite photographs tend to change, but often I find the most joyous to look at and treasure are the rough around the edges IPhone snaps, detailing a small moment that I would otherwise probably forget. I don’t always carry my professional camera with me so these intricate moments often end up being my most cherished.


What do you treasure most ?

Family, friends and all those who support me.


 Can you share any rituals you maintain in your daily life?

I always make sure to take at least one photo a day, it helps me to keep inspired and appreciate the world around me. I also find so much joy in the little moments in life, and feel a constant need to document these. These are the moments that I will look back on when I’m older and otherwise would have forgotten, so for me this documentation is massively important.


How do you think we can lead a more mindful & conscious lifestyle as individuals and how can this be beneficial especially in the context of the world around us ?

It really is the small differences that make the most change. For me, I like to have a fairly minimal lifestyle, good pieces that will last a long time and not hoarding unnecessary clutter. It is so easy to get caught up in a throwaway society, but having good quality items can bring so much joy. Supporting companies with good ideologies, shopping local or replacing the little things like eco detergent and shampoo seems small, but can make all the difference.


What or where makes you feel most alive?

Anywhere with fresh air, being submerged within the depths of evergreen forests, or swimming in the ocean are my two particular favourite ways to feel alive.


From your photography you look as though you have travelled widely, which places are still on your bucket list and where has been your favourite destination you have visited to date ?

The one place that has been at the top of my bucket list my whole life and has never shifted from first position is New Zealand. To me it seems like the perfect mix of ocean and mountain, and a place where nature is at the forefront.

 My favourite place that I have ever visited has got to be the Galapagos Islands, which I was lucky enough to visit as part of my degree. It is by far the most enchanting place I have ever been, and the interaction with nature and wildlife is something I will never forget. 

What do you define as art?

Everything is art. Art is what keeps me motivated, I’ve wanted to be an artist my whole life and it is so important to me. Art can be found everywhere, from patterns and colour in nature to all of the incredibly talented people out there. The world would be an extremely dull place without it! 


How important is nature to you and how do you connect with it?

The natural world is what drives me, it is the basis of all the work that I do. I connect to it through my photography, trying my best to showcase the beauty of what I see and share it with others.  



What are your favourite sources of inspiration?

Watching and learning from other talented creatives. I was very fortunate at University to have been surrounded by so many creative people, which has hugely inspired me to get to where I am today. Books and journals constantly motivate me, gathering knowledge from interior design and graphic design to architecture and photography.   


What is next on the horizon for you and Natura Journal?

The future of Natura Journal is exciting; I am continuing to work on more volumes, promoting the natural world to create a larger community for all of those interested in the simple details of the world around us. I look forward to continuing to explore, photograph and write on these experiences.


Can you share any photography tips especially when you're shooting wildlife as this is always a challenging subject?


"Know your subject, be patient, and respect the animals."