How Lizzy Gadd combines nature photography and self-portraits

Be your own model.

Self-portraiture often happens inside the walls of a studio The controlled environment offers photographers time to perfect lighting and poses. Lizzy Gadd prefers to make her portraits in the wilderness—a place that she says brings a sense of calm. A new video from SmugMug follows the self-portrait artist as she explores the Scottish Highlands, searching for the perfect backdrop for her ethereal images.

The process usually involves a day of location scouting that begins well before sunrise. She finds her backdrops tromping around these majestic landscapes in outfits that would typically be out of place for a day of hiking.

Lizzy Gadd self-portrait in the Scottish Highlights
Lizzy Gadd poses for a portrait in the Scottish Highlands. Gadd likes to stage her portraits in the wilderness rather than inside the walls of a studio space.Lizzy Gadd

Although the results are beautiful, the process of making them isn’t always so glamorous. “I’m literally sitting in sheep shit, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do,” Gadd jokes in the video.

Gadd says she started taking self-portraits about a decade ago, as part of a year-long self portrait project. Towards the end of that year she began using nature as a backdrop. The more she shot, the farther into nature she wanted to wander.

Learn for about Gadd and her work in the video above.