You should all know buy now I love the snow. I’m a snowboarder however my geographical location prevents me from enjoying the snow on a more consistent basis. You see I live in Perth, Western Australia. If any of you have been to Perth you will know it’s great for surfing but the lack of snow causes a few problems for me. Anyway so people like Andrew Miller and his photos get me through those 40 degree days when I get a pic from a cousin in Switzerland showing me the fresh new powder 🙁 Anyway here is the interview of a great photographer.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was brewed in southern California currently located in SLC, Utah. I have been shooting for about seven years, more seriously the past three. Interestingly enough I continue to hold down a full time position as a Clinical Laboratory Assistant in a hospital working 40 hrs three days a week allowing me to work freelance the other four and take time off for shoots if needed. Coming up as a young photographer in the snow industry right now can be pretty rough and inconsistent so having something solid that pays the bills while still continuing to further pursue what I love is key for me. Still looking for the right opportunity to make the full switch to 100% shooting. I enjoy partaking in every sport I shoot just as much as I enjoy shooting them. I love being as involved and close as I can with the athletes while on a shoot and most of the time that means having to ride or climb the same terrain they do but with a 50lb camera pack!
What made you get into photography?
My mom is super artistic and always encouraged me to find and try different creative outlets. I took a film class in 9th grade which got me hooked on shooting photos and the whole darkroom room process. After shooting with a old canon AE-1 for a few years my parents bought me my first digital SLR for my 18th b-day and that’s when I really started shooting a ton.
How did you get started?
After high school I moved up north to the snowboarding mecca of Mammoth Lakes, California as a sponsored rider trying to make my dream of being a professional snowboarder come true. That was short lived after I severely blew my knee out my second season there. Not being able to ride at the level I was at before I still wanted to be as involved with the snowboarding as much as I could so I grabbed the same camera my parents got me and started shooting my friends everyday on the mountain. Luckily they were all really good and I caught on pretty quick. For awhile it was just a side hobby and I enjoyed doing for fun it but then I slowly starting getting approached by companies and editors who liked my photos and realized I could make some money doing something that was fun. Since then I have just been trying to progress my level of photography and now more importantly getting the whole other “business” side of things dialed in. New clients, new athletes, new places, more knowledge every years keeps getting better and better!
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Mainly snowboarding but I have rapidly started getting into climbing and mountain biking.
What gear are you using?
Canon 1d Mark II & 5D Mark II, canon lenses from 15mm – 200mm and elinchrom lights
Whats your favorite lens and why?
In situations where I can afford to have the extra weight in my pack I’m a fast prime kinda guy. Lovin the crispy shots with a canon 50mm 1.2 or 85mm 1.2. I feel primes help me focus and spend more time finding better and more unique compositions. Although, my 70-200 2.8 L is my most used lens in my pack.
How are you marketing yourself?
Mostly online. My main site is currently under construction but I try to make it a point to frequently update my blog as well as other social media like facebook and flickr. Really not a big fan of twitter but I probably should get one going. I have been working hard on my blog’s SEO and have seen a big difference in my rankings and traffic and have received quite a bit of work from it. I think maintaining a solid, trustworthy and hardworking reputation with athletes, team mangers and editors goes a long way.
Whats your favorite photo you have taken?
That’s a hard one…. Probably the b/w of Chris Coulter surfing some snow spines in haines, Alaska. Pretty surreal looking landscape! Here are a couple more flavor’s of the weeks from action,lifestyle to landscape!
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Shoot, shoot, shoot! Always keep a camera near by and shoot in every possible condition and situation. Ask questions and soak up as much knowledge as you can from other photographers, books and the internet. Be ready to endure some debt and and start putting your dues in. Stay motivated, humble and if you continue working hard and have talent you will get noticed. Set some solid standards and stick to them!! I have a long ways to go in my own path and I’m still learning tons everyday! That’s the one thing I love and is amazing about photography; there is ALWAYS more knowledge to gain!! Good Luck!!