We had the good fortune of connecting with Beth Galton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Beth, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I was not a great student growing up, but the most important thing I learned in college was how to solve problems. This skill came in very handy when I decided to enter the field of photography. There were few women involved then, which meant I had to work very hard to convince people to hire me as a photo assistant and then later as a photographer. Being able to solve problems and think quickly on my feet allowed me to focus on the many details involved in a photo shoot and be able to follow projects through to completion.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have spent my photographic career focused on the commercial world but have always had my own personal practice bubbling along side it. Being creative whether in the commercial world or my personal work has always been what fuels me. I’m continually inspired by what I see, what I read, and my interactions with other people. It drives me to expand my creative vocabulary, which I find really exciting.
Like most people, I got where I am with a little luck and a lot of sweat. What I’ve learned over the years is to trust in my own vision and talent and not look to others to confirm or deny it. It’s most important that I believe in myself. If I could, I’d like the world to sit down and tell stories with me. I love what I do, and I feel most connected to others and myself when I am telling stories with photographs.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I grew up in New York City, and watched it change a lot over the years. New Yorkers love to complain about this, but I think it gives the city its vitality. I still love it here and there is so much to see and do.
Walking is my first plan for visitors. Walking through the different neighborhoods is such a great experience. We could jump on the subway and go to Brighton Beach to have Russian food or Flushing for Chinese food.
Museums are some of my favorite places in NYC. I’d take people to MOMA, Whitney, MET, Guggenheim- depending on the exhibitions. And I wouldn’t miss the little, peaceful gems like The Noguchi Museum, Rubin Museum and the Asia Society.
My new favorite restaurants are Via Carota in the west village, Shukette in Chelsea, – eating in NY now is like eating in Paris. I love sitting on the sidewalk watching the world go by (and being a bit more safe from COVID).
Of course I have old favorites too, like Veselka. They have served classic Ukrainian food for as long as I’ve lived here. And La Pecora Bianca in NOMAD for their pasta. They have taken over Broadway and you sit in the middle of the street under an umbrella drinking a glass of wine.
After all the eating, we’d take a walk through the parks along the Hudson River to watch the boats float by and enjoy the sunset.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There were three photographers who believed and supported me when I was an assistant: Phil Koenig, Michael O’Neill, and Myron Miller. They saw my determination, focus, and talent and taught me what I needed to know to become a successful photographer.
My family and friends who have always supported my endeavors, and the many creatives that I’ve been so lucky to work with over the years.
portrait of Beth- Nina Subin