Lizzy Gadd – Portrait of the Human Experience – Exposed and Wild

Elizabeth Gadd is a self-portrait landscape photographer from Vancouver, Canada. In her words, she’s also a nature dweller, animal lover, peacekeeper, adventure seeker, chocolate eater. For Gadd, being in the wilderness brings a sense of calm that she can’t quite find anywhere else. “It’s where I can allow myself freedom, a time without inhibition to reflect, replenish, heal. To create. It’s a world where beauty is boundless and never fails to leave me awestruck.” She hikes out into nature, set up her camera and takes selfies but with an artistic spin, an ethereal twist. Wearing vibrant colors, Gadd creates contrast against a backdrop of wilderness, becoming the human element within Mother Nature’s playground. She’s also the subject of SmugMug’s film, which sees her exploring Scotland’s beautiful Isle of Skye looking for new worlds in which to place herself. The photographer talks about her motivation and technique, and it’s fascinating to listen to her insights and thought process. Take some time to watch this glorious short movie and be sure to follow Lizzy Gadd on Instagram.

Selfies are probably the most common photographs created today. Most of us shoot them, but how many of us shoot them the way Lizzy Gadd does?


Lizzy photographs herself in the various landscapes of the world and her work truly illustrates the difference between a simple “selfie” and a “self-portrait”.


About ten years ago she took on a year-long self-portrait project. Towards the end of that project, she started using nature as a backdrop.

“I started venturing out further and further into the mountains to take these self-portraits and in doing so something clicked.”


“As much as I love the purity of landscape photos my imaginations really starts to soar when I add that human element.”

This was more than just a project, she realized, this was something she needed to continue doing.


“I certainly find a sense of freedom in the solitude of self-portraiture.”


“I’m most often alone when shooting these photos and I find it to be a therapeutic sort of experience where I can channel my emotions and my mood into my work.”


Photography allows Gadd to feel more alive, to really live wholeheartedly. It’s opened her up to new ideas and new perspectives.

It feels special, almost sacred to notice the things she would have otherwise missed with the wilderness, the world, and herself.