Sue Flood was an Associate Producer on the award-winning BBC series ‘The Blue Planet’ and is a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Her travel and photography highlights include diving with humpback whales in the South Pacific, face to face encounters with leopard seals in the Antarctic, filming of polar bears in the Arctic and on safari in Zambia. Sue has led many of our photographic wildlife group tours and will be joining our cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands with Monty Halls and Telegraph Tours departing next January.
We asked Sue to share her thoughts on who inspired her to become a photographer, which place she is happiest, her best travel advice and more…
What was your earliest or childhood ambition?
At school I wanted to work on wildlife films with David Attenborough, so to get to do that for 11 years was truly a dream come true!
What ambitions do you still have?
To be a better photographer and get fitter!
Ambition or talent: Which matters more?
They’re both important. And you make your own luck, to some extent. Whenever people tell me I’m lucky, I always reply that the harder I work, the luckier I get!
If your 20-year old self could see you know, what would he/she think?
I think she’d be pleasantly surprised at how happy I am, doing a job that I love, and very happily married to a childhood friend who I met when I was 9! I also think she’d be amazed to find out I was invited to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace as a result of my photography.
If you had to rate your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
It goes up to 11, like the amps in Spinal Tap.
In what place are you happiest?
Home is where the heart is. Though an emperor penguin colony is the place I’m happiest in the field!
Do you consider your carbon footprint?
Of course I do. I wish it were possible to do my job without getting on a plane.
How often do you travel?
Several long-haul trips a year.
The one essential you travel with?
My camera, of course!
Your best piece of travel advice?
Save your airmiles! Saving my points with Virgin Airlines allowed me to get married on the beach on Necker Island last year (and Richard Branson was our witness!).
What advice would you give to young ladies wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Work hard, and don’t ever think of doing this job unless you want to do it more than anything else in the world!
What motivates you to do what you do?
Getting people interested in the natural world, whether through still or moving images.
Who has inspired you to do what you do?
No prizes for guessing it’s David Attenborough!
If you could do it all over again, is there anything you would change?
No – most of my career has been wonderful, and the bits that haven’t have taught me something, so I wouldn’t change a thing.