I enjoy telling stories, ask anyone who has gone on a trip with me. Stories are how I relate to people, they're how I determine what kind of a person you are. They're how I know if we can be compatible friends, and they're how I judge a person's character. You can determine how adventurous people are, how confident, how funny, how sweet or intelligent they are all from the type of stories they tell you. To go even further I believe you can judge a man's character based off his stories, they're a road map to what he's proud of and where he's been.
Stories are my thing. I think it originates from my father telling me stories of when he was a kid growing up. They aren’t very happy stories sometimes, but they’re stories of struggle and triumph, they’re stories that inspire. That’s what a good story does, it inspires you.
Something i’ve enjoyed recently is photography. It has a unique way to capture a moment in time and allows me to look back at and recollect my experiences. I’ve really enjoyed telling stories through my photography, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos from the past 6 months with little stories attached to them. I hope you like em
This is Ian. I took this picture at the base of Mt. Royal in Frisco, CO. The morning was chilly for me, not used to the cool temps, and we had both gotten slightly inadequate sleep in the back of Ian's Subaru the night before. On the hike up to the base we cracked our dry ramen packets and munched down on the dirt bag climber's delicacy. At the base of the wall I can remember not really understanding how tall 1,500 feet was but surely it couldn't be THAT tall. Just so you aren't also ignorant to the scale of 1,500 feet, the Empire State building is 1,250 feet tall. I looked over at Ian, an experienced mountain man, cool and collected he looked forward at our goal. I don't think either of us expected the 9 hour day ahead of us on the wall.
As a climbing photographer I have to anticipate certain things on a climb. A hard move, or a cool technical thing a climber will do at certain points. This was actually the first time I had actually gotten to "shoot" a female climber, and I was lucky enough to get to shoot one as strong as Marisa. This shot was on a Sunday morning. I woke up to Marisa sitting outside my tent going "LETS CLIMMBBBBB!" It's always nice when a women lets you know what she wants. I had scoped out a few different spots for photos on prior trips to Cowell, AR but I liked this spot the best. This morning was especially humid and foggy and we had been inside of a gigantic "Ground Cloud" basically all morning. Needless to say the pictures were fantastic all day. While Marisa was "cleaning" her route, I yelled out to her "Let go and look like a Ballerina!" and this is what I got. I didn't expect how well it turned out, but that makes it all the better for me.
This is CJ, and boy did he have some stories. I met him at the camp site in Hueco Tanks, TX and it just so turned out he was on our tour the next day. At this point in time I was a very brand new photographer, but as most photographers do, I had several photos in my brain I wanted to take. This was one of those. This climb is Animal Acts (V6) and is probably one of my favorite boulders i've touched outside. What's so unique about it from a photographer's point of view is that I can focus on the climber's hand and it makes for a really cool depth with the climber slightly out of focus. On this particular route CJ told us about a climber from way back in the day "Alf" who is infamous at Hueco Tanks for vandalizing the climbs by chipping off holds or creating better holds on routes. If you're not a climber, chipping off holds is like destroying priceless paintings. CJ told us about the routes in the park named after Alf such as "Alf in a Blender". There's always curious little histories to every place you go, if you take the time to listen to the guys who lived thru it.
This was taken on my birthday this year. My 22nd cycle around our sun was spent doing my very first "multi pitch" climb at Quartz Mountain in Oklahoma. Multi pitch climbing has been something I've wanted to do since I started climbing. It's tall and it's badass. I asked my mentor Mario if he would take me to do my first Multi Pitch for my birthday this year and he didn't hesitate in saying yes. This picture is at the summit of "3 Bolts" aptly named because it only has 3 bolts. I had a fairly large fear of multi pitch when I started rock climbing, and it always made me disappointed in myself. When I reached the top of this 200ft climb I was beyond excited for what I had overcome and finally had the courage to do. If you could see behind the camera in this photo, you'd see one hell of a smile on my face.
Photography and stories go hand in hand in my opinion. The saying is that a picture is worth 1,000 words, but they don't mean anything without the tale to go alone with the picture. Stories are what gives our photos meaning and photos are what gives our stories depth, and that's what makes them so special to me.