The past two months have been a whirlwind. I've been dealing with an emotional disruption, my dog having passed away, atop of all the assignments that have been coming through. As the months continued amongst the emotional toils, the greatest news I could've ever received happened just this Halloween weekend. Though it's hard to stay excited in tough times, there's simply no other choice. My path has been laid before me, and every day I charge towards it fanatically. Though I can't share any news on the matter at the moment, trust me when I say, it'll be "amazing" to share my stories through more platforms and brands if it works out.
Near the end of September and early October, I've gotten to work with Daniel Mirsky of Black Diamond, Margo Hayes of PETZL, The Raboutou Family, and Alex Puccio of PETZL and Scarpa in Boulder, CO all while trying to team up with Dave Burleson and Edwin Teran. Articles came out in Rock & Ice for both athletes and a new sponsor was attained. I am pleased to announce that Friction Labs has put me on a monthly contract as a brand ambassador and as a field photographer.
With the remainder of the holiday season still ahead, I'll be leaving Boulder, CO in two days to head to the Yosemite Valley to see if I can't catch Kevin Jorgensen for an impromptu shoot. Afterwards, I'll be working closer with Jon Cardwell (PETZL, Adidas, and 5.10 athlete) to help develop his media and a shoot in the Virgin River Gorge, Bozeman Ice Festival in Montana during the second week of December, a trip to France (Paris, Fontain Bleu, and Mt. Chamonix) with my brother and Amanda during New Year's, and the Hueco Rock Rodeo for 2016.
As my position slowly solidifies in this new industry, I find myself approaching brand ambassador programs and sponsorships with the companies I'm currently working with. Given that this is the most physical a photographer has to be, I find myself training to become not only a stronger climber, but a better mountaineer. The support has been unreal. Whether it's from companies like PETZL and La Sportiva, or non-profits such as the American Alpine Club, or magazines such as Rock & Ice, I've come to embrace what is happening while matching the intensity and speed in physical training.
My hopeful plans are Turkey, Iceland, Norway, and Australia, but there's nothing set in stone. Recently, I've received a barrage of endearing emails from photo enthusiasts who enjoy my work; but the main recurring question is, "How do you afford to do this? How do you get paid?" The answer is easy, but the solution is hard. I value the work that I do, and the companies I work with understand that. Travel is expensive, and doing what you love costs money. It's important that the companies who wish to use your art as marketing tools compensate you properly. As a traveling photographer, I realize that the photo-stories I create due to my lifestyle lend themselves as relatable marketing tools for these brands' target market.
There was a book I once read titled, "The Alchemist," that forever changed my life. My interpretation of it's core message was, "Opportunity cannot and will not come to those who do not put themselves out into the world where opportunity exists. Every person must make a pivotal choice in their life and commit to it." I made the leap in January 2015 when my brother told me he was jumping into his truck & camper for the year. Granted, the money isn't good, the nights get cold, you don't own your own toilet, and you're always dirty... I wouldn't change it for the world. A lifetime of experiences in less than a year leaves me wondering what wonders does life have in store for me?