When he’s not photographing the epic local views, Castlegar photographer Steven Wells is riding the mountain bike trails near his house or taking his Great Dane on walks along the Columbia River. We caught up with Steven to ask him some questions as part of our Castlegar artist series that celebrates and showcases local photographers and fine artists. Below is a transcription of that interview as well as examples of his amazing photography.

Hey Steven. You live in Castlegar now. Is that where you grew up? ​

No, I actually grew up between Chilliwack, British Columbia and Pembroke, Ontario. I was in a military family and we got posted around a little bit. I am happy to call Castlegar home now.

What’s your professional background? Have you always been doing photography?

I’ve always been interested in photography and dabbled in and out of it throughout my life. Since moving back out west, I was inspired by the landscapes and re-found my love for photography. It wasn’t until moving to Castlegar though that I purchased a modern camera and made photography a part of my life. I have a full-time job in a position working shift work for FortisBC so the schedule gives me multiple days off to make the most of our area and has helped advance my photography.

We see a lot of mountain biking in your shots. You a fan? What other things do you do when you’re not behind the lens?

I am about as big into mountain biking as you can get. It’s a part of my daily life and the mountain biking in this area is a big reason why I moved here. When I’m not shooting photos, I’m on my bike on our local trails, split-boarding through our winters, walking my Great Dane or just generally spending time outside.

What do you love most about living in Castlegar?

I don’t want to let the secret out, but in my opinion Castlegar really is the best place to live. From my front door I can ride some of the best mountain bike trails around, walk to the Columbia river, take my dog on multiple different hikes or take a short drive to Syringa Park and Arrow Lakes. If you are into recreation, it is here.

What’s a fun moment you’ve had while photographing?

While hiking in the Valhalla Provincial Park, we were eating a snack on a steep hillside with a nice view. Out of nowhere a few mountain goats showed up and slowly grazed by. They weren’t more than a few feet away and the young ones looked playful before the older ones moved them along. My wife was so happy that was she was crying. It was very memorable.

What’s some advice you have for kids interested in getting into this type of work?

Whatever camera you have, get to know it extremely well. All cameras are good if you know them well enough. Also, don’t be discouraged by putting a lot of time and effort into a photo just to have it not turn out. I’ve failed at way more shots than I’ve pulled off and I still do.

Where can people find more information about you and your photography?

The best way to follow along is on my Instagram channel @stevenwellsphoto where I post on a regular basis. I also keep my website stevenwellsphoto.ca updated with recent work.