August 17, 2016 by Eric Hanson General 4

Thoughts on Simplicity and Living Well

What would you be doing if you could do anything in the world? Travel the world? Climb five days a week? Write that novel while living in Paris? What is the bare minimum it would take to do the thing you’ve always dreamed of doing? Chances are, doing what you dream about is a lot closer than you’d think. The key is not earning more money or accomplishing more. The key is simplicity, cutting out what is unnecessary (usually comforts), and growing more comfortable living on less. In many cases, the big things you dream about doing could be done much sooner than “someday” by cutting out the extraneous things that hold you back. Your obstacles might be higher than others, but there’s a good chance that doing what you really want is not impossible. In 2015, I spent seven months traveling South America. I lived on a budget. But I also got to do everything I wanted. I climbed glacier covered mountains. I ate fantastic food (steak in Argentina, ceviche in Peru). I rented a truck and spent six weeks driving the Carreterra Austral through Patagonia. I lived my dream year. And it all worked out to about ten thousand […]

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August 9, 2016 by Eric Hanson Photography 1

How to Become an Adventure Photographer

There are two rules on how to become an adventure photographer. First, you must go on adventures. Second, you must take lots of photos. Revolutionary stuff right? Many people want to be Chris Burkard or Jimmy Chin, getting paid mega bucks to travel the world and shoot top athletes. But how do you actually do it? I was recently sitting in on a Q and A with Chris Burkard, who now has close to two million followers on Instagram and shoots huge commercial projects all over the world. He was talking about how he got his start by living in his van and eating hot dogs every day. He was photographing random surfers and trying to make a buck any way he could. He lived the dirtbag lifestyle. He lived off student loans to pay for his camera gear and his hot dogs. It was risky. But it laid the foundation to get a job as a photographer at a surf magazine. He then spent years working under the restrictions of deadlines and editors. But he gained the tools to become a world class photographer. Burkard gave a TedTalk about the key to his success. What set him apart was […]

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August 1, 2016 by Eric Hanson General, Photography 0

Brendan Leonard on Becoming a Writer and Doing What You Love

Becoming a writer, a filmmaker, or a photographer is hard. But there is good news. Most people who consistently work hard tend to make it. Yet let’s not work hard at the wrong things. I decided to reach out to people who have accomplished something unique, interesting, and inspiring in order to glean wisdom. I want to learn from those who have done it in order to help me accomplish my own goals. My intent is that their answers can help others who are working in a creative field. Brendan Leonard is an author, filmmaker, climber, and outdoor adventure guy. He recently released his second book, Sixty Meters to Anywhere. The book is truly wonderful. I highly recommend picking up a copy. I asked Brendan four questions about the path he has taken in his creative pursuits. – What was the most important thing (such as a trait, habit, or action) that helped you reach some sort of tipping point towards positive things, or “success,” in your life? “I think putting my writing online on my website at Semi-Rad.com and making a genuine effort to write something high-quality every single week (even though I wasn’t getting paid for it) did more for my writing […]

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July 29, 2016 by Eric Hanson General, Photography 8

How I Found My Dream Job

I quit my day job two years ago. Since then I traveled the length of the Andes, done river trips in the Grand Canyon, press trips in Canada, went trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash, all for work. I’ve notched some life goal accomplishments, published my first article in National Geographic Adventure, landed multiple magazine cover shots, been hired to create video content for major gear brands. I’m working my dream job. How did I get here? Sometimes people ask me how to become an adventure photographer. I set out to offer some tips and advice on how to do what to many is a dream job. But as I started to write this, it quickly changed into a personal story. I will be writing a more tactical approach to becoming an adventure photographer. But first, here’s my story version. I took a grand total of two photography classes. Both were black and white film classes that required 15 hours in a dark room to produce two or three prints that would be received with little enthusiasm by my photography professor. I learned quickly I was no prodigy.

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December 31, 2015 by Eric Hanson General, Photography, Travel 8

2015 Year in Review

2015 is a year I will cherish. It was chock full of adventure, growth, challenges, and rewards. Personally, it was my most daring year, full of the most unknowns and risks. And in many ways, the year turned out better than I could have hoped for.

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