Kevin Arnold is a commercial and editorial photographer and filmmaker specializing in outdoor sports and lifestyle. Kevin was a journalist for Men’s Journal and Outside magazine before transitioning to photography eight years ago. His clients inclients include Sperry Top-Sider, The Canadian Tourism Commission, Salomon Sports, JanSport, Smartwool, Four Seasons Resort, Columbia Sportswear, The North Face, National Geographic Traveler, Outside and Men’s Journal.
I met Kevin at LAFotoWorks, introduced by his rep Mollie Jannasch of Agency MJ whom Kevin has been with for two years. I knew and loved his work and had immediately recognized a unique ability to bring together storytelling skills with high production value. His images are beautifully lit and retouched without losing authenticity and have a spark of life and a ring of truth that we see in the best photojournalism.
When we chatted, I was struck by how genuine he was and by how much common sense he brought to building his career. It all seemed so clear. A lot of talent combined with drive, very high standards, a bit of luck and good business sense ensures success. And of course courage, steadfast commitment and a lot of self knowledge and a willingness to take risks. Not traits we always see in one person, but ones that I’m sure translate to leading a crew and talent in the new landscape of image-making which often requires hitting the road and capturing the story as it unfolds.
Kevin agreed to an interview and to share a rare amount of insight and experience with POP. A very big thank you to Kevin for his time and for being so willing to talk in-depth about how he built his career and how he produces his images. I admire so much when people are willing to share what we’ve always protected. Maybe I’m too idealistic, I think we all bring our unique creative viewpoint to our work and by sharing we reinforce this and encourage others to take the same risk and in the end there is more trust and collaboration and we all take the next steps together.
POP: You got your start as a writer and editor for Men’s Journal, Outside and Adbusters. How did you transition to photography?
Even though I was a professional writer and editor for years, I always had a love of photography. In my early twenties I was doing a lot of traveling; going on mountaineering expeditions to South America, The Canadian Rockies and Europe. As an avid climber, I’d always been inspired by the imagery I saw in magazines, especially the works of great landscape and climbing photographers like Galen Rowell, Brad Washburn and Ace Kvale. I wanted to document my own trips and share the scenes and people with my friends and family back home. On my first trip to South America, I took my dad’s Olympus OM-1 and shot thousands of slides. At the time, for whatever reason, I never thought of photography as a viable career path. I was studying philosophy in University and was mostly interested in playing music in my spare time. I had always assumed that I would either work in academia or as a musician.
Eventually I ended up working as a travel writer and an editor at the publications you mentioned plus a few others. It’s a long story, but basically I had injured my hand and couldn’t play music so moved into writing. I saw this as a fantastic career because it allowed me to get paid to travel and go on adventures. What I realized after a while, though, was that my love for photography was only growing stronger. And now that I was travelling and working with professional photographers, I could see that it was a solid career option.
I always shot on my trips, so I started to look for opportunities to improve my skills and learn more of the technical craft, mostly by pestering photographers I knew and taking a few college courses. Once I thought that my images were good enough and I had some decent equipment, I started making the transition. I convinced a few of publications I worked with: Outside, Men’s Journal and The Globe and Mail, to hire me to shoot and write the same story. This was not easy. Back then, when publications actually had money to pay shooters and writers, there was a church and state kind of mentality. The two worlds were separate, and crossing over wasn’t really done. Thankfully, a couple of photo editors took a chance on me – including Rob Haggart, who was at Men’s Journal at the time – and this really gave me the confidence and experience to make the transition into full-time shooting. For many years, I did both, sometimes together and sometimes separate, until eventually I built up enough good work and tear sheets to get on with a couple of big stock agencies and also start to do commercial work. I went full time in 2006.
POP: Did you have an early interest in outdoor sports?
I didn’t grow up with a lot of exposure to outdoor sports. I skied a little when I was younger and went on a few family camping trips. I moved to Vancouver when I graduated from high school to go to university and was immediately taken by the scale and accessibility of the mountains out west. The possibility for adventure was everywhere it seemed. Luckily, one of my best friends who had moved west around the same time, had grown up rock climbing with his father. He showed me the ropes, so to speak, and before long I was spending every weekend either climbing or skiing. During the summers we took our passion to bigger peaks in the Andes and Rockies. I also did a lot of sea kayaking trips, and eventually got into mountain biking, which is currently my go-to outdoor sport.
POP: Early creative pursuits/interests?
I was obsessed with the guitar from a very young age. I started formal lessons when I was eight and spent a lot of my youth either in a basement or garage playing on my own and with various bands. I always assumed that I would be a professional musician because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. After completing my philosophy degree, I went to music college to study jazz performance. My wrist injury meant I had to take a break from playing and teaching, so I started writing for local papers and the rest is history. I still play a lot, but mostly for my kids. I’m always on the hunt for new instruments to learn: banjo is my latest.
POP: How has your personal interest in the subjects you shoot and your background in photojournalism informed your style and how you shoot?
When I first started shooting, I focused mainly on the outdoor sports and activities I was personally involved in: climbing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking. And I was always a stickler for getting the details right because as an athlete myself I hated seeing images that didn’t get things right. They immediately lost all credibility and this is the last thing I wanted to happen with my own images. As someone interested in philosophy and journalism, I’ve always been interested in the pursuit of some kind of truth. I think this informs my photography because I’m always striving for a more emotional image; one that tells a story, that we can relate to on an emotional level because it correlates with something real that we’ve experienced…or want to experience.
I’m still obsessed about getting the details right. It drives my producers nuts, but ultimately I think it’s worth it to spend the extra effort to make sure all the elements of an image – if it’s a produced image – are authentic; are real to the activity in the image. This is why I love working with subjects who actually do the activity I’m shooting. Not only can I tap into their knowledge as a resource to make sure I’m getting things right in the image, but they also bring so much passion and emotion to what they do. You can’t fake that.
Thankfully for me, I think the public is coming around to this point of view more than ever. We live in an image-saturated world and people are savvy. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing a really well shot image of something that is just totally ridiculous – like a bunch of hipsters jumping around the road or some other thing that none of us ever do in real life.
We all know fakery when we see it and I try hard not to create images that smack of anything contrived, even if those images are created in a totally produced environment. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for fantasy and escapism, it’s just not what I want to create.
POP: How do you develop the story and recreate the authentic moment on set?
My goal is for things to unfold organically and naturally on set as much as possible. For me, this often means taking more of a filmmaker’s approach to direction. If I’m on a traditional commercial shoot, where there are set images or scenarios that need to be captured, then I’ll try to create mini scenes for each shot and have the models run through them as if they were acting it out from beginning to end. I may be after only one part of that scene, but I want the models to look comfortable and have room to improvise so that the moment I capture looks as real as possible. I find this also allows me to see how the models or athletes make various movements or interact naturally, and from this often comes an inspiring idea.
If it’s a bigger library shoot, and the goal is to capture a series of images that tell a larger story, rather than a set of specially comped images, then there is usually a bit more breathing room to let the talent drive the shoot. After some initial direction, if things are going well, I can often take a step back and become more of a documentarian. This can be a little disconcerting for clients who are used to working with more heavy-handed photographers. I often hear this after the fact from clients, where they will look at the images from a particular scenario and love them, and say, “Wow, I honestly wasn’t sure exactly what you were up to.” I think a lot of photographers are afraid to give their models too much empty space, but it really has been my experience that if you give people some time, it may be awkward at first but before long they start to take on their own personality again and then you start to get something real.
POP: How important is pre-production to your process?
Good pre-production is probably the single most important thing to me when it comes to commercial work. For a shoot to take on a natural, authentic feel, it’s absolutely crucial that all of the details have been thought through and planned perfectly ahead of time. It’s kind of ironic, really, that meticulous pre-planning is what leads to spontaneity, but it’s true. Good pre-production means things can flow organically on set, and this leaves room for those magic “in-between” moments to be born. And these unplanned shots are often the best ones. Yep, it’s a bit circular.
But, yes, to be more specific, I like to put as much time and resources as the budget will allow into casting, styling, and locations. Casting is kind of the keystone to pre-pro, and we spend a lot of time on getting that right. It has taken some time to figure out the best way to cast real people, but my team is now really good at it. Casting via traditional routes, via model agencies, just doesn’t work for what I do. We’ve had to invent our own ways of finding people.
On lifestyle shoots, the big challenge is often finding the right group of people. The right group of people can bring a shoot up to another level, so it’s worth digging deep to pair the right personalities, or even better, to find a group of people who already know each other. Personality is the most important thing. Far more important then how they look in their headshots, so we often try to video cast. You can be the most gorgeous person, but if you’re not interesting and interested (in the things and places we are shooting) then the cast is not going to gel.
I also add in extra time for detailed location scouting whenever I can, even if I have to eat the cost. I like arriving on set familiar with my surroundings and camera angles, and more often then not, we’ll find some really cool out-of-the way places during scouting that would probably have been overlooked by a professional location scout because they don’t see things the same way I see them through the camera. And, as I mentioned, I’m a stickler for details when it comes to styling. It has to look good, sure, but as important to me is that it fits the surroundings or activity that I’m shooting. I don’t want to shoot a hiker in brand new boots or a fly fisherman wearing a hunting vest, you know.
POP: What do you think is contributing to the interest in shooting stories and do you see this growing?
What I’m really excited about right now is taking shoot production to an even deeper level of authenticity. Because of the nature of digital advertising and the number of platforms that content gets distributed on, people are migrating to creating a library of images and they want motion content to go with it. In my mind, this is the perfect opportunity to create commercial shoots that not only have a story-based feel to them, but are actual stories. The production side of this, then, is no longer about emulating reality, but rather about creating a real experience that is interesting, cool, inspiring. And then you shoot it in a beautiful way. It’s really exciting.
But it’s not easy, because it calls for everyone from client to creative to production crew to be on board with a whole different way of thinking. From an actual shooting point of view it’s not as much of a stretch because I get to go back to my journalism and documentary routes. But now with a commercial eye, if that makes any sense. I’ve had a bit of experience shooting like this thanks to a few clients who have jumped in with two feet. The pre-production becomes even more important, but it starts to be more like planning a trip than planning a photo shoot. What makes it so magical is the unknowns. You plan for everything and make sure all the key pieces are in place (styling, casting, key locations), but you build in enough room to meet people and find unique places along the way. The tough part for clients is that you have to be willing to let go of a little bit of control. And honestly, it’s not for everyone. And it really shouldn’t be. It can work amazingly well for a lifestyle campaign, for example, but it doesn’t work if you’re doing a catalog shoot that has specific image needs.
I do think we’ll see more and more advertising going in the direction of creating stories, though. And I’m really excited about it. It’s what people want to see because it’s far more engaging. They want you to take them on a journey, inspire them, show them something about the world they haven’t seen. Or show them something familiar in a new way.
POP: Are clients and agencies getting on board with this?
DDB Canada has been a great client and I’ve worked with them on a number of shoots for The Canadian Tourism Commission. Last year they came to me with the idea of shooting two real trips. The idea would be to shoot the trip from beginning to end, dawn until after dusk each day, and to use actual friends as the models – people who knew each other and knew me. The shoots were amazingly successful – we had some experiences that just wouldn’t have happened if everything had been scripted.
In fact, one of my favorite portfolio shots is from the first trip we did down the Nahanni River in The Northwest Territories. It’s one of the models with moose antlers on his head. We just happen to find these along the side of the trail on an unplanned hike from camp one day. On that same hike, we also witnessed one of the most amazing rainbows any of us had ever seen. It was arching over this huge set of rapids, and it looked like we were standing right under it. The client loved those shots.
On the second trip, which was a road trip through the British Columbia wine country, visited this amazing lodge that took us most of a day to bike to. While we were there, we just happen to wander out back and discover an absolute treasure trove of antiques in the back barn. I have a shot of it in my book.
POP: What are the challenges of this approach to shooting?
In addition to the Canadian Tourism Shoots, I’ve since shot a few other projects in the same manner – by creating a real story and documenting it – and along the way I’ve learned what the challenges are and some unique ways to solve them. From a production standpoint, the producer has to be willing to let go of many things that are taken for granted on a normal set. Styling, make-up, food, digital: all of these things have to be approached with a fresh perspective. The shoot has to be approached more like a trip that you are organizing.
Obviously, you can’t have a stylist following along with a van full of clothes and jumping in every few minutes to tweak stuff. So, how do you solve this? If you can’t predict where you are going to be exactly by lunch or dinner time, you can’t have catering show up. So, how do you solve this? Or rather, how do you take advantage of this to add to the shoot. Why stop for catering, when eating at a funky taco stand can be part of the shoot.
The other thing is that the talent has to be fully informed and on board because the days get long and you are going to have a camera in their face most of the time. They need to be well compensated and they need to actually be enjoying themselves.
From a shooting standpoint, there are related challenges. You don’t always have control over the lighting as much as you’d like, so I’ve developed some remote lights and other little gems that are quick to set up and easy to move around. Having a great creative director along is so great on these shoots, because as a photographer I become so immersed in the fast pace and what I’m shooting that it’s easy to miss something. Having that second set of creative eyes that knows the brand and the project is vital because they will often point out great shots that I might have missed.
POP: You started shooting eight years ago when the market was moving in this direction. At first there wasn’t an emphasis on production value. But this seems to be shifting. Do you find that clients have become more savvy and have a new appreciation for what goes into creating this type of imagery?
I think it depends on the client. A lot of the direct clients that I work with in the outdoor industry, for example, come from a world where they are used to see amazing images shot on location during real expeditions or athlete-driven trips. What they often don’t realize, is that when you set out to do a photo shoot with specific image requirements in mind, there needs to be a higher level of pre-production if you want to absolutely guarantee that you are going to come back with the content you need. So, I sometimes find myself educating those clients, or at least, encouraging them to consider adding a little to the budget for a good producer because we will get a lot more out of the shoot if the details are being handled by someone outside of the client team or photo crew.
On the other hand, agency clients have always been aware of the important of pre-pro. But with these clients, I’m often faced with the challenge of showing them that there is a fairly high level of production that goes into what I shoot. Because my imagery has a journalistic or “found” feel to it, they assume that it requires less production to achieve, I think. When I first started showing my work to agencies, I would constantly get asked if I had an experience with big production shoots. Now that I have a lot of campaigns and big clients under my belt, I don’t get asked that as often. I think that volume of work has given art buyers and creative the confidence they need to trust me with a big shoot. And more importantly, to trust that you can get very authentic imagery in a produced environment if you have the right team. Just because it looks documentary or unpolished, doesn’t mean that you’re just winging with, fingers crossed.
POP: What was your process for discovering your style and who you are as a photographer?
It would be hard to say that I did A then B then C, etc. For me, it just happened organically over a period of years. I think if you shoot enough you naturally gravitate towards your style – at least I did. The tough part is knowing what that style is and what kinds of images define it.
The turning point for me was finally working with a photo consultant. I’d been shooting for years and putting together my own online and print portfolios. But, like everyone, I was too close to my images. I worked with a few different people and found that having a third party perspective was invaluable. They were able to look at the work and say, “These images, these are what define you and what you do well.” Luckily for me, and I say luckily because I’m not sure this happens to everyone, the images that came out of that process were images that I loved. And what happened was that the process galvanized my style even for me. I was able to look at my work and see what I was really trying for. I then carried this notion around with me and it helped me further hone that style.
That said, you have to be careful also not to pigeon hole yourself. It’s a bit of a balance, because now when I shoot, I don’t think about shooting in my style. Especially, with personal work, I just shoot things how I see them. What’s amazing is that when you come back to the work months later, the standout images always have something that tie them together. I find it fascinating. I also feel incredibly lucky that I was able to develop a unique style. I think it’s something people can struggle with for years, and for me it came pretty easily.
POP: What challenges did you encounter when you were transitioning to shooting? Road bumps along the way? How did you stay focused and overcome doubts and challenges?
I had two major hurdles. I started my career as a writer in the outdoor industry and then transitioned to shooting for many of the companies in that same industry. Many potential clients already knew me as a journalist and changing peoples’ perceptions was sometimes hard. People like to pigeonhole, it’s just our nature, so it was hard to convince people that I could be taken seriously as a photographer after so many years as an editor or writer. I think it would be different if you came from an unrelated industry into photography. I knew what I wanted to do, though, and I knew that my images were good enough, so I tried to use my contacts as a positive and make the most of the fact that I wasn’t just showing up unheard of. In the end, having an industry to focus on and contacts in that industry was a huge advantage to making a quicker transition to shooting commercial jobs.
The second major hurdle was financial, which really isn’t unique to my situation. But since I had no formal photography training, and really didn’t have any idea how that commercial photography world worked, I wasn’t able to jump in and make my living assisting and shooting. I had to pay the bills while I was building up my portfolio, which meant I was pretty much working all the time, either writing or shooting. There were a few years where I did very little else.
POP: What was your first commercial shoot?
My first big commercial shoot was for Mad River Canoes. It was a big shoot, five days, with lots of models and production. Luckily, I had surrounded myself with some great mentors leading up to that and had plenty of great advice on everything from estimating the job to hiring the right crew. It went amazingly well, and the parent company of that brand is still a client: I shoot all of their imagery for the five brands that they own. Even though all of the imagery came out perfectly, it wasn’t by any means a smooth shoot. We had some serious weather challenges, and the locations were pretty rugged. In fact, on the very first shot of the whole shoot I fell into a fast moving river with my camera. My waders filled with water and I was pulled under, but I managed to keep my camera above water. To this day, the creative director still talks about how he knew from that moment he had the right guy. I managed to swim out, swap clothes with my assistant – bless him – and keep shooting before we lost the light. I slipped in a second time and we wrapped that shot!
POP: You must have some good stories from your adventure photography.
When I was shooting the anti-poaching rangers in Tsavo National Park in Kenya, I spent a number of days patrolling the park on foot with the rangers. It was an amazing experience. Usually, the public is only allowed to travel in the park in a safe safari jeep, and while I’d seen all of the animals before – elephants, giraffes, buffalo, crocs – seeing them when you’re on foot rather than ensconced behind a sheet of steel and glass is a whole different experience. It’s very visceral.
We did have one incident where our place in the pecking order became a little too real, though. We were crossing a big expanse and dropped down into a dried up creek bed. What we didn’t see was that we were crossing within feet of a group of three lionesses and their cubs having an afternoon nap. As we crossed to the other side, they all got to their feet and started stalking after us, growing in a way that immediately made me understand what it means to be prey. I looked to the two rangers I was with and they clearly were just as scared as I was. Your first instinct is to run, but that’s is the last thing you want to do. So we slowly kept moving. With nothing to do but walk, my next instinct was to turn and snap a couple photos. I squeezed off a couple shots and then felt a forceful hand grab my shirt and pull me along. They left us alone and it all worked out. The walk back to our Land Rover was a very long hour, though, let me tell you.
POP: What do you shoot with and how much lighting are you doing?
I like to move quickly and shoot with natural light whenever possible. So, I’ll use handheld scrims and reflectors a lot, or when I do use lights it will be to emulate natural light by creating a sun flare or backlight. The new cameras that have come out in the last couple of years are a dream for me because they have such a huge tonal range and you can bring so much out of the shadows in post. This allows me to shoot with less gear, which makes the subjects a lot more comfortable and allows for a lot more spontaneity. I’ve also started to prefer imperfect light. I want things to feel real. The irony is when you have to create that imperfection! In terms of actual details, I shoot stills with Nikon and Leica gear and will use a variety of stuff for motion, depending on the needs of the shoot.
POP: You built your business very strategically and with a lot of dedication, hard work and good business sense. How much marketing do you do beyond what your rep does?
Even though I have a rep who does a lot of marketing herself, I still have a full advertising and marketing program in-house. I’m in WorkBook and Archive magazine, and I do regular mailers and emails. I also like to do special mail out promos every so often. In my studio, we put fair bit of time into researching the creatives behind great campaigns and brands, and we’ll reach out to those people on a personal level with new work, etc. I also visit face to face with potential clients at least four times a year in various cities. This year it was Denver, New York, San Francisco, and LA.
POP: How did you approach learning the business side of photography?
This was really important for me. After being a freelance writer, I knew all too well that being a good creative alone is not enough to survive. You have to be a good marketer and businessperson as well, and this is even more critical in commercial photography. When I was first getting started I asked a lot of questions of photographers I knew. When I decided to make the move from editorial to primarily commercial work, I worked on finding a business mentor. Luckily, one of the best in the business at the time agreed to take me under his wing and gave me access to a world of knowledge through himself and his studio team. It was amazing and truly invaluable. To this day, I feel indebted to his kindness, and I try to give back in turn whenever I can to other up-and-coming photographers.
POP: How important is it to get out and meet with art buyers on your own? You went to NYCFotoWorks. How much more challenging is it to get in to meet with art buyers than it was five years ago?
I love events like Fotoworks. You have to opportunity to meet so many art buyers and creatives in such a short period of time. I see those types of events as the opening of a door to a future relationship with that person. I also try to book meetings with buyers whenever I’m in a town on a shoot or other business, but I do find they are hard to schedule because everyone is just so busy these days.
POP: You’ve said it’s challenging at times to communicate the level of production that goes into your work to art buyers. How so the BTS videos address this?
Well, this is really why I started to create the BTS videos. It is also why I love to meet people in person. When you can sit down and tell a story or explain the way a certain shoot comes together, it provides a lot more depth and allows them to not only see the amount of production that goes into a shoot, but also get my unique take on production. I’ve learned something from every shoot, and I’m always keen to talk about the challenges of production. I like solving puzzles and this is one area where I get to be a problem solver.
POP: What is your process and what are your goals with each video? The bar has been raised in the past few years and it seems, especially with how you shoot, that you have to have a tight brief so you can show the elements of what goes into your shoots?
I take a videographer along who I’ve been working with for a while. He is at the point where he understands what we need to capture for a good BTS piece, so I can pretty much just let him do his thing. That said, I’ve had a lot of clients who want to piggyback on that and create a behind the scenes piece for their own social media channels. When this happens, we’ll create a tighter brief upfront and make sure we are getting everything to meet everyone’s various needs. I also encourage my crew and producers to capture their own footage – even if it’s just on an iPhone – while they can on set and we’ll incorporate this into the BTS edit often.
POP: Do you ever see bringing writing back to your work?
Not really. I love the written word, but while I’m proficient at writing, it is a painstaking process for me. I was happy to let it go.
POP: How much motion are you shooting? How did you approach learning motion and how do you work with your DP? Challenges?
I jumped into shooting motion early on because I could see how it would become a part of my work, and sure enough there is a motion component to almost every project I shoot now. The learning curve has been steep and I’m now in a position where I have a really good understanding of what it takes from a time and production standpoint to achieve various end goals. It’s always different. Sometimes, a client just wants to add a BTS video, other times we are creating a full brand video alongside a still shoot, as we just did for Dagger Kayaks.
The most important thing is to get a very clear understanding up front of what the end goal is and to be very realistic with the client about what it will take to achieve that. I learned early on that just tacking on a video is never as simple as it sounds and it can quickly take away from the main goal of the shoot if it’s primarily a still shoot. I’d much rather have a client decide against adding motion to a project than try to add it on without the right budget in place to do it well.
In terms of the actual shooting, I have a couple of DPs I like to work with and I also love shooting myself as well as directing. It’s certainly different than shooting stills and requires a lot more planning and patience.
POP: With marriage, three kids and a lot of travel for your work, what work-life balance challenges do you face?
It’s really a constant balancing act because I want to be around for my kids as much as possible, but most of my work involves travel. I don’t think I’d be able to do it if I wasn’t married to the perfect partner. My wife loves an adventure as much as I do, and she is also a photographer. As our kids grow up, we have plans to take them on some of the amazing adventures we get to shoot. This year we’ll be taking them to Bali for an extended trip. We’ll both be able to shoot projects from our home base there, and at the same time we’ll have an amazing family experience. In normal life, it can be tough. I miss my kids when I’m away and often I’m somewhere really cool that I would love to share with them.
POP: What do you shoot for personal work?
I love to shoot in exotic places, especially if I can find a unique subject to profile. Stuff like the avalanche patrol project and the Kenyan wildlife rangers. This stuff really inspires me, because the people, the place, and the stories are all really interesting. I also like the physical challenges of this kind of shooting because I have to be able to keep up with these guys and put myself in often hard to get to places to get the shots I want. I get a rush from it.
But I also shoot other stuff. Last year, I shot a lot of film because I wanted that challenge again and I wanted to document some of my kids’ childhood in a more timeless way. Right now, I’m working on body of landscape work. It means a lot of tromping around looking for the perfect angle and waiting for light often, or chasing early light. And it’s very solitary, which is the opposite of my commercial work. But, it is really rewarded when you create an image of the landscape that you love. My goal with that stuff is to create images that my kids will look at and go, “Wow, where is that?”
POP: Photographers whose work you admire?
In the commercial realm, I love the work of Christopher Wilson, Andy Anderson, Tom Nagy, Florian Geiss, and Jim Krantz. But I tend to be more inspired by photojournalists. I love Sebastian Salgado’s work, Antonin Kratochvil, James Nachtwey, and Anton Corbijn.
POP: What’s next?
That’s the beauty of this job, you never know. I have some personal projects in the works that will start to come to light this summer, one of them with Russian climbers.