Flying the Float Flag: Meet the Ambassadors - Madeleine Penfold

Storyteller, creator, collaborator. Madeleine Penfold is one busy bee. If she’s not in the studio, creating amazing visuals for the likes of Adidas, Garmin, and Parklife Festival, she’ll be teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, or working hard to raise funds for the children of Erenjang nursery School in kotu, The Gambia. In the last year, she has travelled through South East Asia, completed her yoga teacher training in India and raised thousands of pounds for charity, oh and did we mention that she’s taken some amazing photos for Float Festival 2018. We love the ethos and energy behind Madeleine’s work and we’re thrilled to have her as part of our Float fam, flying the float as an ambassador. Ahead of the Float this September, we had a chat with Madeleine to find out what she makes of the current state of the wellness industry, why a photo shoot is an exchange of energy, and what makes her feel content.

What is your company, what do you do and what makes it special?

I am a photographer specialising in anything lifestyle, wellness, music and fashion. I work with individuals, other creatives and brands to help tell their story by creating beautiful visual images that I like to think stand out from the millions of other images out there!

What makes my work special is being part of the story too - the person behind the camera often plays the biggest role even though they’re nowhere to be seen in the finished product. I love fully investing my energy into projects and getting under the skin of what needs to be communicated, then with the help of a team it comes to life.

Why did you want to be a part of Float?

The people behind it and their absolute passion to bring happy living to the forefront of people’s lives.

How do you think the wellness industry is evolving?

I think the main evolution in the last couple of years is the level of awareness. It’s coming into offices, your home, you can’t avoid the word wellness at the moment.

I’ve also recently seen people or influencers speaking about their idea of switching off and being more transparent in the fact they need to take time for self care. I still don’t think it’s talked about enough but I have noticed a change in attitude towards slowing down and taking time away from always being at our phones beckon call.

What do you think people will take away from attending Yolk?

A more open mind in how many there are to live well in a way that works for them.

How does your work help people to feel good?

I’m bringing to life a feeling or lifestyle that people are interested in. I spread messages through my images and get to show people other places in the world, how other people live and what’s available.

In terms of my clients - I like to think I help them communicate something they don’t feel they can do on their own. Anyone can take a picture but it takes real consideration and the right moments to get that final image that works.

Sometimes there’s a whole discovery process before of what we’d like to communicate, a feeling, a message and then a huge exchange of energy and team effort on the shoot day that makes the magic happen. Other times there’s less planning and it comes down to working what what’s available on the day and still having to capture something amazing.

My joy comes in seeing the results reaction of people when they have a brand new set of images ready to use. This sounds cliche but I want people to feel an emotion through my images.

What comes to mind when you hear the word wellness?

Immediately, in my mind - a beach, a calm environment, the outdoors and simplicity! That’s my idea of wellness.

Thinking a little deeper, wellness is broad word relating to anything that has a positive impact on our wellbeing as human beings. This could be mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing and emotional wellbeing.

Do you think brands, businesses and influencers have a role to play in promoting wellness?

YES! These are the people that have a huge impact on us and society. There’s too much emphasis around overworking, being praised for over working. Businesses need to look after the people that put in almost 40 hours a week of their precious lives into their purpose!  Brands need to be pushing out messages of self love. Influencers need to be honest with all sides of how they operate.

But we, as consumers of media, also need to be aware that businesses, brands and influencers are all creating media that is crafted to send out a certain message. We need to be smart enough to realise that everything is curated and isn’t a realistic portrayal of life.

What does happy look like to you?

A balanced life of time with friends & family, being able to create images I love with other creatives, seeing the world, eating and drinking good things, feeling free.  

How do you portray wellness and happiness in your line of work?

I’m starting to learn the importance of taking time out of what I do - photography can be an extremely demanding job. It involves travel, inconsistent schedules, early mornings late nights and can be physically demanding.

I think being firm with your time and making sure you’re not stretching yourself too thin is important otherwise you can’t work to your optimum and everything suffers. It can be an amazing career if you get the balance right!

What does success look like to you?

Creating photography and video that has a positive impact on the world, ultimately changing the landscape of advertising would be the long term goal. Instead of our advertising space being filled with products we don’t need it’d be filled with messages that don’t pressure people to buy, they encourage people to live. Side by side with this, having enough time to switch off and spend time living very simply.

What one thing makes you feel well and content?

Yoga! And the right friends that are on your level.

What pearls of wellness wisdom can you share with us?

Don’t listen to what others are doing and attempt to change your views or actions to match this. You’ll only end up living out of alignment with what you truly want. Take time to switch off and connect with you. Keep asking yourself - what’s going to be the most fun thing right now.

You can grab your ticket for Float here.

Jenna Campbell