For a long time, and still, my work, commercial, editorial and personal, has been heavily winter focused. While I shoot during the other seasons, my priority is snow. I feel this is okay, but can be very limiting when you hit this time of year and the snow has melted, and winter in South America isn’t quite underway. I miss out on a lot of time to be shooting as I spend time in the warmer months. I have made it a personal goal to branch out and focus on shooting other activities. Some I have regularly participated in, and some which are entirely new to me.
How do you go about getting into shooting something where you have no connections, or true understanding of the sport? In my opinion you need to truly know the ins and outs of a sport to truly represent it and it’s athletes in the best light. I have found that I can do this in two ways. Either directly heavily involve myself, such as what I have done with snowboarding, or surround yourself with people who are heavily involved and are willing to help you learn.
Whitewater kayaking has been something I have wanted to shoot, but haven’t had the opportunity as of yet. I was at the Callaghan campground one day recently for a totally unrelated reason and saw a person with a van and kayak tied to the roof. I went out of my comfort zone, walked up them, introduced myself and mentioned I was interested in shooting. His name was Kiah Schaepe, and he chases summer and travels around the world kayaking, spending most of his summers in British Columbia. After a bit of back and forth we finally linked up to shoot on the Cheakamus River in Whistler.
For me this was totally new, bur for Kiah, and the crew of kayakers we met up with, this was an experience they did all the time. That however didn’t stop them from sharing their knowledge of the water, and kayaking, or from being bother by my barrage of questions. They also happily ran sections of the river over and over again as I tried different angles, and waited in eddies as I moved down the river to the next highlight point.
By being able to combine my knowledge of photography and shooting actions sports, and their shared knowledge of kayaking we were able to walk away with some image I am incredibly happy with. In addition to a desire to get out shoot more kayaking, as well as exploring other sports unknown to me.
Do you have a sport or activity you participate in that I might not be aware of? Let’s collaborate, don’t hesitate to reach out.