Editor’s note: If we’re honest with ourselves, we all want visual proof when we really send it. All the better to brag, share, and marvel at the things we do. We’re celebrating that with In Focus, a series with the pro photographers and videographers that document the off-road world.
How did you get involved in the off-road world?
I was basically born into it. Both sides of my family were involved in off-road racing at one time or another. On my mother’s side, my grandfather owned a motorcycle shop in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, and he had a race team. His team raced Baja and some of the big races such as the Mint 400 and Barstow to Vegas. He also did some race promoting of his own in Southern California and Baja.
My dad and his brothers also ran a Class 5 Unlimited Baja Bug when I was a kid. They raced a lot and had a few championships in SCORE and HDRA. If we weren’t racing, we were helping friends by pitting and chasing. It was something we did as a family, and we still do.
How does one become an off-road photographer? How did you get your start?
Photography started as a hobby for me. I was really into skateboarding in my youth. To many, it’s perceived as a blend of athleticism and art. Photography is a big part of it. At the end of my teenage years, I seriously injured my knee, which took me out of skateboarding entirely, and I was starving for another creative outlet.
During that particular time, no one in my family was racing. I had been taking photos of my friends skateboarding, and one of them was also into desert racing, so we decided to hit a local desert race and I realized how much I had missed it. When I got home I started looking researching off-road and discovered a “help wanted” ad for a part-time photographer for a company called TracksidePhoto. When I contacted them, the owner sent me a brick of film and gave me an opportunity to cover some local races.
Next thing I knew, I was working for them at the Baja 500 and got my first cover shot in approximately 1999. I was hooked. I decided then that this was what I wanted to do. For a few years, it was part-time until I decided I was going to take a shot at it and go full time with that company. In 2009, I launched GetSomePhoto, and it’s been maximum attack ever since.
It’s been my dream job and still is to this day. It’s more work than any 9-to-5 I’ve ever had, but I love it. I’ve been fortunate to do well, and its’ taken me all over the world. I have no complaints whatsoever.
GETSOMEphoto has shot and created a ton of incredible content, with a ton of incredibly talented drivers. Are there any projects, videos, or personalities that really stand out as personal favorites? Or most memorable moments?
GETSOMEphoto is more than just myself. We have an awesome crew of guys who come shoot the big Baja races with us. We’re like an elite strike force. Everyone has an assignment and carries it out with precision. I can’t thank these guys enough for their dedication. To Jay Cruise, Dick Gray, Tom Leigh, Joe Stokes, Xavier Hernandez and Daniel Seeks: thank you. I also need to thank my family for their support while I’m off chasing these events.
It’s been amazing to work with some of my childhood heroes like Rob MacCachren, Walker Evans, Ivan Stewart and Stephane Peterhansel. I’ve also had the privilege of working with new blood like Jason Voss, Bryce Menzies, and some great companies, media outlets and magazines from all over the world.
A few of my personal highlights would be covering every Baja race over the last 20 years. We love Baja! The Dakar Rally was also pure adventure. There are just so many other projects as well. We’ve worked with movie stars, average Joes, racing royalty, and people from all walks of life and professions. It’s been an amazing journey.
What makes for a good photo?
Telling a story with one shot. Emotion. It has to be sharp.
What's your top tip for budding photographers who want to capture this scene? Or for people who just want to take better pictures of their adventures?
Shoot photos every day. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Go further. Always be open to learning something new. See the light, but also see where it isn’t. Your feet are your greatest asset. Learn the rules and break them.