Who Has Influenced My Photography Work The Most?

My philosophy for capturing visuals has evolved as I have evolved.

What started off as a simple desire to go on ridiculous adventures, explore the world, get to know people, and capture it all, has, over time, dramatically shaped the way I look at all of life.

Through photography, I have learned to look at ordinary things and find the uniqueness in them.

It has refined my ability to leverage my mind’s ability to take in vast amounts of information and look for subtleties and beauty. Aspects that have always been there, but I never noticed.

Over time, it has become about so much more than capturing snapshots in time.

It has become about learning how to look at the world differently and has gone through as many evolutions and iterations as a I have as a human. It has grown and changed with me as I have grown, matured, unraveled, and grown-up again.

And ultimately, it has helped me better understand myself and my relationship with life.

In this evolutionary process, there have been numerous people who have shaped my thinking and the way I look at life through photography. Some of these are photographers, but many are artists, philosophers, thinkers, visionaries, culture creators, and more, all of which I have to thank for helping me shape my understanding of this world.

Below I explore some of the biggest influences on my life and photography and I hope you’re encouraged to explore each for this uniqueness.

In no particular order, the people that have influenced my photography and visuals the most are:

Ps. This is an ever changing list that gets updated as I get inspired and re-inspired by the world around me.

Jimmy Chin

ADVENTURE, LIFESTYLE, AND STORYTELLING

Jimmy Chin has profoundly impacted my journey as a photographer, infusing it with a unique blend of adventure, storytelling, and a deep connection with the natural world. His influence reaches far beyond the technical aspects of photography, focusing much more on the experience of living and the wildness of the adventures he goes on.

Jimmy has taught me the art of pushing boundaries and embracing fear. His fearless pursuit of the extraordinary, even in the world’s most challenging and remote corners, has inspired me to step outside my comfort zone. It’s through his example that I’ve learned to confront fear head-on and to explore uncharted territories in search of that perfect shot. Jimmy’s legacy continually reminds me that growth and the most memorable images often lie just beyond the borders of our comfort.

He has inspired me to tell more of a story through my visuals, a skill that has allowed me to connect much more deeply with my audience. His ability to craft narratives that draw viewers deep into his adventures has opened my eyes to the profound potential of photography as a storytelling medium. It’s no longer just about capturing images; it’s about weaving a compelling tale through visuals. Thanks to Jimmy, I’ve discovered that photography can transcend the surface, capturing the very essence of a moment and transforming it into a captivating story.

Finally, Jimmy’s deep love and respect for nature and the environment shines through in his work and in many ways he has given me permission to allow the same for mine. He doesn’t just capture action; he encapsulates the symbiotic relationship between adventurers and the natural world. His influence has encouraged me to foster a profound appreciation for and connection with the environments in which I shoot. It’s a reminder that our planet isn’t just a picturesque backdrop; it’s a vital character in the stories we aim to convey. Jimmy’s work has instilled in me the belief that photographers are not just observers; we’re guardians of our Earth’s splendor.

Jimmy Chin’s influence on my photography journey is immeasurable. He inspires me to fearlessly embrace challenges, tell stories through my visuals, prepare meticulously, connect deeply with nature, and persist relentlessly in my pursuit of photographic excellence. His legacy embodies the spirit of adventure and the profound power of photography to immortalize life’s most extraordinary moments.

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Alan Watts

How I look at life

Alan Watts has profoundly influenced my understanding of life and how I perceive it. He has played a significant role in shaping my comprehension of the inherent contrasts that exist in everything – the interplay between light and dark, the dance of up and down, and the constant ebb and flow of existence. This perspective has fundamentally transformed my relationship with life, nature, and my purpose on this planet.

In both profound and subtle ways, Watts’ teachings have awakened me to the realization that I am not merely a solitary human being but a part of something far grander than my individual experience. As he eloquently points out, “I am but a fleeting moment of awareness within the vast expanse of cosmological time.”

His influence has encouraged me to delve beneath the surface of what I observe, urging me to explore the deeper connections that lie beneath. Watts’ exploration of the interconnectedness of all things has led me to perceive my subjects as integral parts of a larger whole. This perspective has inspired me to capture not only the primary subject but also the surrounding context and relationships, enabling me to tell a more comprehensive and meaningful story of the moment, transcending the subject itself.

Furthermore, Watts’ contemplation of the impermanence of life and the rhythmic cycles of nature has motivated me to document moments that reflect the transient nature of existence. This may involve capturing the changing seasons, the subtle passage of time etched on people’s faces, or the ephemeral beauty of a sunrise. Photographers who embrace this philosophy have the power to create images that resonate deeply with viewers, evoking a profound sense of nostalgia and contemplation.

Chris Burkard

Visuals, Aesthetics, and Storytelling

I remember first seeing one of Chris Burkard’s images at a Red Bull event in Vancouver, Canada, and it elicited a feeling that there was a whole world out there that is worth exploring.

Since that day, I’ve been influenced by Chris’ seemingly endless desire to chase adventure, head out to remote locations, and capture moments that sometimes only last a few seconds. It’s not just about capturing visually appealing scenes; it’s about harnessing the power of visuals to weave compelling narratives and share stories in ways that are uniquely and strikingly achievable through photography.

His work has been a masterclass in the art of visual storytelling, teaching me that a photograph can be so much more than a pretty picture. It can be a portal to a world of emotions, a conduit for evoking deep and personal connections, and a vessel for narrating tales that resonate with viewers on profound levels. It’s about transcending the surface and delving into the heart of the moment, revealing its essence through the lens.

His work serves as a constant reminder that behind every striking image lies a narrative waiting to be told, a moment waiting to be shared, and a world waiting to be explored. Through his lens, I’ve discovered the magic of photography as a means to transport others into the heart of my experiences, and for that, I am forever grateful.

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Dr. Bruce Hoffman

A deeper understanding of the relationship between consciousness, biology, and my life.

I had the luck and opportunity to work with Dr. Bruce Hoffman for over four years, diving deep into my own biology to better understand how it works and the systems that ultimately sustain life inside of me.

The depth of this work still leaves me at a loss for words and this understanding has shaped how I view the interconnectedness of our world.

Benjamin Everett

His visual aesthetics and shooting style

I can still vividly recall the very first time I encountered a photograph captured by Benjamin Everett. It was a moment that left me in awe, as if I had stumbled upon a portal to another world, one simultaneously alien and strangely familiar.

Benjamin Everett’s distinctive visual aesthetic and artistic style have not only influenced my photography but have significantly pushed the boundaries of the style I typically pursue. His work is a constant source of inspiration, consistently urging me to see beyond the obvious and dig deeper into the visual narratives that unfold before me.

Time and again, I find myself immersed in his images, trying to decipher the secrets behind their captivating allure. There’s a certain magic in his photography that often leaves me with more questions than answers. It’s as if he possesses an enigmatic skill set, an innate ability to breathe life into his compositions that defies easy explanation.

Yet, in this puzzle of wonder, Benjamin Everett serves as a reminder—a reminder that the world of photography is an ever-evolving canvas. His work is a testament to the infinite possibilities that exist within the realm of visual storytelling, a constant encouragement to seek new perspectives, experiment with techniques, and discover beauty in uncharted territories.

To me, Benjamin Everett is not just a photographer whose work I admire; he is a catalyst for my growth and evolution as an artist. He embodies the notion that there are always new and beautiful ways to progress, a philosophy that keeps my passion for photography burning bright, propelling me to explore, experiment, and continually redefine my artistic boundaries.

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Terence McKenna

A deeper understanding and connection to reality

Terence McKenna has profoundly influenced my perspective on life as a human being. He has prompted me to question and reexamine the very essence of my existence and ponder the intricate web of life as a larger organism.

His ideas have led me to explore different realms of consciousness and dimensions, causing me to contemplate the nature of reality itself. This profound shift in my thinking has left a lasting impact on how I view the world through my camera lens.

This transformation has fundamentally altered my relationship with photography. I no longer perceive the world as a collection of mere material objects before me. Instead, I see it as a complex interplay of elements and relationships, all waiting to be captured.

Terence McKenna’s influence is most evident in my heightened appreciation for the natural world. He has encouraged me to reevaluate my connection with nature, drawing me closer to the intricate patterns, vibrant colors, and hidden details that abound in the natural world.

McKenna’s emphasis on novelty and the unknown has been a wellspring of inspiration for me. It has empowered me to break free from creative stagnation and venture into uncharted territory with my photography. By embracing his belief in the transformative power of novelty, I’ve pushed the boundaries of my craft and explored fresh, innovative approaches to photography.

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