August 9, 2016 by Eric Hanson Photography 2

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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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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March 10, 2015 by Eric Hanson General, Photography, Travel 5

Tourist vs. Traveler

Here’s a riddle for you. It was midday, the 16th of August, when the bus dropped me off. Five days later, I left on March 9th. The main difference between being a tourist and a traveler is that a tourist is looking for a safe, easily consumable experiences that offers the perception of something genuine. A traveler is looking to delve into more grimy realities, often the experiences are borderline uncomfortable, and usually require a bit more nuance and interpretation. Honestly sometimes I’m still a tourist who is searching for those easily consumable experiences. My recent foray into the Ecuadorean Amazon challenged me to not be a tourist, and to embrace being a traveler in a fairly uncomfortable situation. I left Baños, Ecuador in search of Tawasap, a community of Shuar people in the Amazon. A friend of mine had been there a year prior and recommended that I go. Without being entirely sure of what to expect, I headed into the Amazon. I had directions, and little else. The bus dropped me off at a town called the 16 de Agosto (see riddle above), from here I needed to walk down a dirt road through the jungle until I hopefully arrived […]

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February 28, 2015 by Eric Hanson General, Photography, Travel 8

How I Crapped My Pants 20 Times. Or, Climbing Cotopaxi.

Warning: This gets vulnerable and messy, but it’s an honest account of my climb up Cotopaxi There’s no ifs ands or butts about it, I have woken up this morning with an unfortunately-timed case of the runs. We are heading to climb Cotopaxi, a 19,300 foot beast-of-a-volcano in Ecuador, this is no time for Montezuma’s Revenge. Maybe it will pass, I think as we meet our guide Joaquin and head to Cotopaxi National Park. Climbing Cotopaxi had been a major goal of mine as Eric and I traveled, and I am feeling a little nervous about the climb. I have never experienced climbing anything close to this big. Eric and I have put in our work to acclimatize, recently climbing 15,000+ foot Imbabura and hiking in the National Park the day before at 16,000 feet. I feel ready for the mountain. A burst of hail pelts Joaquin’s vehicle as the three of us sit quietly inside, listening to the steady thump of the hail pounding the vehicle. “Once this passes, we will go up,” Joaquin says. The first task is to get to the Refugio, a climber’s lodge built just below the glacier. We need to ascend to 16,000 feet to […]

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