How to turn your passion for adventure photography into a career

How to turn your passion for adventure photography into a career

Red Bull is not only at the forefront of stunts, but it’s also exceptionally good at capitalizing on the hype. This has made their brand one of the most recognized in the world and synonymous with outdoor and adventure photography.

table of contents

  • What is adventure photography?
  • What is outdoor photography?
  • What it takes to do adventure/outdoor photography
  • What skills do you need?
  • getting a job
  • Editorial adventure photography
  • On a mission
  • Conclusion and key considerations

Will Saunders Captures the amazing moment a free climber falls off a cliff in Indian Creek, Utah.

their global magazine, Red Bulletin, and the Red Bull Illume Award for Adventure Photography are among the most respected awards in the world. But this major It’s not just about daring, newsworthy stunts. Since the pandemic, business has been booming for overseas brands. Even companies like Apple are trying to get into the offshore trend. Several images have been selected for “Shot on iPhoneThe challenge falls into the categories of travel and adventure photography.

What is adventure photography?

Adventure photography picks up where lifestyle photography stops, Show people involved in extreme sports or other rigorous outdoor activities. Demonstrates the photographer’s ability to handle remote locations and/or adrenaline-fueled work.

What is outdoor photography?

Includes outdoor photography Hunting, fishing, camping and hiking. One could be highly productive or more journalistic in approach.

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Will Saunders expresses the breadth of outdoor photography and adventure in his work.

What it takes to do adventure/outdoor photography

One thing all three photographers interviewed for this article have in common is an obsession with the outdoors. In this major, the ability to get to the location of and keep up with professional athletes is a vital requirement of the job.

Will Saundersthe overall winner of the 2021 Redbull Illume Photography Competition, says you need some grit to be in this industry:

I think the only thing an outdoor adventure photographer needs is a nice gravel feel. What I mean by that is, the outside photographer needs to be nice to get the intimate moments and really penetrate the athletes and have those moments in between, if you’re not nice and you push too hard, you’re not going to get real feedback. At the same time, the photographer needs to have great courage. The kind of pellet that gets you out of the cold tent before the athletes even wake up. The grit that pushes you to be faster than the athletes while having a heavier pack. The kind of grit where you can transcend hunger, sleep, and homesickness.

Adventure photographer based in Philadelphia Steve Boyle He says you need to be part of the lifestyle and be able to get to where the action is:

Reach is 95% of the shot. You should be able to do rock climbing, canoeing, biking, rigging, and hiking to get you and your gear to the sites. The best adventure photographers are integrated into the adventure sports community and are often adventurers themselves.

Steve BoylePhoto of a trail cyclist featured in Bicycling Magazine.

This is why adventure photography is highly specialized. Telford is an adventure photographer based in England Ross Woodhull Says ,

My major is winter sports, so touring the mountain and keeping up with the hot skiers and boarders is key. It’s the same with climbing, if you want to take climbing photography, you’d better become a great climber first.

Ross Woodhull He handles the slopes along with the talent to capture energetic photos like this one for Snow + Rock.

What skills do you need?

Even more than other photography, Adventure photographers and outdoor photographers need to know their cameras inside out. They should be able to use it almost instinctively while hanging from a rope or riding a horse. Ketchum, an Idaho-based action and adventure photographer Hilary Mayberry Says ,

You must know your camera! Adventure photography takes quick reflexes. Sometimes you only get one chance. The only way to achieve this is to practice so it becomes second nature. You also need patience while waiting for the right moment.

Little Hilary MayberryOutdoor and adventure photography covers.

Hilary loves to get in on the action when shooting adventures and outdoor photos.

But it’s not just photography that you have to worry about. Steve says,

You also need to be prepared for changing weather conditions and be able to protect yourself and your equipment. You can add knowledge of meteorology as a technical skill. But if you’re on cellular service, you have radar and weather apps as well as sun-tracking apps to help you out.

His pro tip is to make sure his gear stays dry in the rain:

Always carry a few zip lock bags and an emergency coat in your bag.

getting a job

In a highly specialized field – for example, free climbing or base jumping – it’s often about networking with the community, knowing the athletes, and being able to reach. This can give photographers an advantage because they have an exclusive shot or story to show. However, you still need to be able to build relationships with clients, such as outdoor brands, adventure holiday companies or advertising agencies.

Being proactive also helps. Salt Lake City adventure photographer Keith Fernow I decided to do a self-appointed project with three friends running in the desert. His friends were outdoor brand ambassadors, so he submitted the photos he took to the brand. This prompted the company to commission him for several shots.

Keith Fernow I had to work hard to get this beautiful backdrop for my Trail Runner magazine cover photo.

It will also recommend building a strong relationship with your product:

The first person I hire for a job is a producer. I can’t do without one, they are the most useful part of any photography from pro to post. The producer and I work out building budgets, realistic location options, and building the crew.

Will’s adventurous spirit and active lifestyle help him get the perfect shot for an outdoor adventure and campaign like this one for Meryl.

Editorial adventure photography

Most editorial photographers start by showing editors projects they have already shot. Once established, they may start brainstorming ideas or even be approached by a committee. Creating a name for yourself in your field and building relationships with editors and clients is essential.

Keith Fearnow followed the track’s runner, Chris Fisher, as he completed the world record for altitude gain in one month. The project was featured in Trail Runner Magazine.

On a mission

Of course, there are limitations to what can be done in terms of lighting, camera angles, and settings when it comes to outdoor and adventure photography, given remote locations and often fast-moving athletes. Often, the biggest challenge is getting the equipment to the site. So now there are more and more photographers choosing mirrorless camera equipment. Mirrorless cameras are lighter and more compact than DSLRs. But no matter what your camera equipment is, knowing it like the back of your hand is crucial.

Hillary says,

A good backpack is very important! I only carry two lenses because of the weight and am able to move faster and cover more ground all day long. I use a box pack to keep my camera accessible. When you have all of your stuff in a backpack, it takes time to get your camera out and ready every time you need it.

Take this photo of the iconic outdoor and adventure brand, Arcteryx’s homepage.

Conclusion and key considerations

Photography can be a very competitive field. But being able to access the far outdoors is not only exciting for photographers who are passionate adventurers, it also allows them to build relationships and offer exclusive ideas. Or, as Ross puts it, “Photograph what you love to do, and you can’t go wrong.”

About the author

Sonja Kluge is an inquisitive writer who specializes in writing about digital technology and is fluent in three languages. Other than working as a writer at Great machineShe also contributes to The Independent and many print magazines. You can find out more about Sonia on it website communicate with her via linkedin. This article was originally published over here and share with permission.


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