The Adventure Workshop in Pictures
September 17 – September 22, 2016 | Jackson Hole, WY
At the 2016 Summit Adventure Photography Workshop, a group of students and instructors met in Jackson Hole, WY and put the ‘adventure’ in adventure photography. With location shoots everywhere from on a river to on the top of a mountain, and classroom instruction covering everything from filmmaking to approaching an editor to social media marketing, students were able to gather an insane amount of photographic knowledge, build relationships and their networks, and capture stunning portfolio-ready images. Without Nikon’s generosity, sponsorship and support, this workshop would not be what it is today – the industry-leading adventure photography workshop.
2016 Adventure Workshop Faculty
Learn more about our talented faculty at our Instructor Page.
A Nikon Ambassador, Corey Rich is the co-founder of the Adventure Photography Workshop and is a mainstay at the workshop. He's captured stunning photos and videos on a variety of projects around the world, and his editorial work includes assignments for Nat Geo Adventure, Sports Illustrated, Outside, Apple, and The New York Times Magazine, among many others.
Nikon Ambassador and adventure photography extraordinaire Lucas Gilman is another mainstay at the adventure workshop. His surfing and kayaking photography is next-to-none in the industry, and he is an absolute master of leveraging sponsorships and the business of adventure photography.
A Nikon Ambassador, Dave is an incredible sports photographer and an absolute master of lighting in photography. He's photographed 12 Olympic games and shot the campaign for the new Nikon SB5000 speed lights, in addition to doing work for Newsweek, ESPN, Time, Sports Illustrated and the Wall Street Journal, among others.
Ryan Taylor is a Minnesota-based action and adventure photographer who specializes in shooting wakeboarding and snowboarding. Ryan shoots extensively for Red Bull and is always looking for new ideas and to push the envelope further - like shooting a wakeboarder coast through a cranberry bog or a bmx biker riding through the abandoned Detroit Silverdome.
Jen Edney is a freelance photojournalist and our resident expert on camera housings and photography while in the water. She is a pioneer in sailing photography and has done things that no woman photographer has ever done, and she brings the same determination to the workshop that she has crossing the vast oceans on sailing vessels.
Bo Bridges photographs a wide variety of adventure-style photography, from surfing to snowboarding to lifestyle. His work hangs in his galleries and has taken him all over the world. He's also photographed just about every famous person on Earth, including photographing Tom Cruise on the set of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.
Scott Willson has shot commercially on six continents in over 30 countries, and has worked for both Patagonia and The North Face. He's worked at every level of the adventure photography business and has an incredible holistic view of the industry. No one knows the do's and don'ts of adventure photography better than Scott.
Brad Smith has worked as the photo editor at the White House, sports photo editor at The New York Times, and as the Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated. His illustrious career pales in comparison to his ability as an editor of not just sports, but of all photography. Brad offers great insight into how to approach an editor and is an incredible resource when photographers seek a portfolio review.
Bob Smith is our IT specialist and technical guru, but he is also an incredible photographer. Bob teaches classes about digital workflow, computer hardware, and monitor calibration during the workshop - giving students a well-rounded platform of technical information for them to build upon. Aside from technical info, Bob provides great feedback in portfolio reviews and image critiques.
Ron Taniwaki is our Nikon Professional Services rep camera genius. In addition to loaning out Nikon gear to the students of the workshop, Ron provides technical assistance and teaches a class about ideal camera settings at the onset of the workshop. Any time a student has a question about their camera, Ron is the one who will absolutely be able to answer.
Not only is the faculty an incredibly diverse and talented group of teachers and photographers, the students came into the workshop ready to make great pictures and there was certainly no shortage of talent on there end. Many students chose to camp or van-camp during the workshop, and some brought their own climbing gear and camera housings. In short, the students were already adventure photographers, but they came to Jackson Hole to see just how far they could take their craft, and meet the instructors who can help them get there.
Follow along for Behind-the-Scenes and Student-Taken Photos
from On-Location Shoots and Classroom Activities.
Snow King Mountain
(Zipline, Trail Running, Yoga)
With some time to scout locations, the group heads up Snow King Mountain to check out it’s newest feature, the Treetop Adventure obstacle course. After taking the lift up the mountain, the group looks up into the trees and sees people ziplining from tree to tree, climbing up rope ladders and crossing rope bridges. It immediately feels like an adventure.
After scouting locations and checking out the zipline course, the group breaks into three smaller groups to photograph different situations. One group goes into the nearby woods with instructors Ryan Taylor, Jen Edney and Bob Smith to photography our model Aicacia trail running, Bo Bridges takes a group with Scott Willson and Brad Smith to photograph the zipline and obstacle course, and Lucas Gilman takes a group to base camp to photograph yoga with our model Julia.
Rendezvous Mt. – 10,450 ft.
(Mountain Climbing, Trail Running, Portrait)
The group heads over to Teton Village and takes the famous Jackson Hole Aerial Tram up to 10,450 feet at the top of Rendezvous Mt. where the altitude and weather changes truly make it an adventure. The goal? To photograph trail running near the top of the tram and mountain climbers as they climb up Corbett’s Couloir.
Breaking into groups, students either head down the mountain with Corey Rich and Bo Bridges for climbing photography and portraits, or they stay near the tram with Ryan Taylor and Lucas Gilman to photograph trail running and portraits with Profoto lighting. The trip up the mountain always truly seems to be very indicative of what adventure photography is.
Rafting the Snake River
(Kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboard)
Before the sun is up, the group gathers and heads out to the Snake River where they meet their Jackson Hole White Water guides and their kayaking and stand up paddleboard models. After loading up on life vests and any optional wetsuits or booties, the group gets in the rafts and heads on down the river. Students were able to ask questions all the way down the river as there were at least two instructors in each raft and the instructors switched at the halfway point.
As we float on down the river and the sun begins to rise, rays of sunshine hit the morning mist and create a stunning, almost surreal golden, misty atmosphere for the kayakers to paddle through. As the day goes on, students and the kayakers work together to set up great shots. Instructors who are very familiar with kayaking like Corey Rich, Lucas Gilman, Ryan Taylor and Bob Smith are able to give pointers to students the whole trip. Meanwhile, Jen Edney and Bo Bridges actually hop into the water with students and help them set up their camera housings and great shots from in the river. We stop for lunch near some rapids and students are all able to get off the rafts and photograph from on the shoreline.
Camping – Sunset
(Camping Lifestyle, Trail Running, Fly Fishing, Climbing)
The group heads out to a campground to photograph several different scenarios, have some dinner, and have a good time! After arriving, Lucas Gilman and Corey Rich both talk to the group about the gear that they would bring to these types of location shoots. After some introductory talks, the groups split up. Dave Black and Ryan Taylor take a group to shoot trail running with speed lights, Lucas Gilman takes a group to shoot climbing with strobe lighting, and Corey Rich and Bo Bridges take the remaining students and photograph camping lifestyle and fly fishing.
Some of the students are able to rotate groups and get several shooting situations in, and everyone finishes at the same time and comes back to the campground for dinner, good laughs, and even an opportunity to photograph nighttime and star trails. The camping night also provides student a great opportunity to talk with and network with each other and the instructors.
Camping – Sunrise
(Camping Lifestyle, Portrait, Fly Fishing)
After a fun camping night, the students wake up early and photograph more events around the campground. Dave Black takes a group out to photograph fly fishing at String Lake, Lucas Gilman and Bo Bridges take a group to photograph camping lifestyle, and Corey Rich and Ryan Taylor take a group to photograph portraits and trail running.
As the sun comes up, all of the surroundings Fall colors create a beautiful yellow background for the portrait and trail running sessions. Armed with Profoto lighting and Dave’s lighting prowess, students capture incredible fly fishing images. Meanwhile, Lucas is able to create great moments in a field of wild sage with his camping lifestyle shoot.
Classroom Instruction & Presentations
The Summit Adventure Workshop isn’t just about going out and shooting, there is a great deal of learning involved and talk about the business-side of adventure photography. In the classroom, instructors give formal classes as well as presentations on their own work and careers. Students had the opportunity to learn several different things about adventure photography from the following classes:
How to Approach an Editor w/ Scott Willson and Brad Smith
Marketing Yourself Through Social Media w/ Bo Bridges, Ryan Taylor and Lucas Gilman
Filmmaking Techniques w/ Corey Rich
Computer & Monitor Configuration w/ Bob Smith
Adventure Photography Camera Settings w/ Ron Taniwaki
Additionally, students watch the instructor presentations and learn a great deal about the amount of hard work and dedication that it takes to reach the elite level of adventure photography. While much can be learned about social media, approaching editors, and technology in the class sections, there are many intangible things to be learned during the presentations.
Finally, the instructor roundtable discussion is the last major opportunity for students to ask the entire faculty whatever questions they would like, and in many cases, the student receives several different answers from several different perspectives. What is always interesting to see is how photographers and editors think differently, how there is never a one-size-fits-all route to success in photography, and how a student could legitimately walk away with a whole new understanding of the photography business.
At every Summit Workshop, students have the opportunity for their portfolio to be reviewed by several of the greatest editors and photographers in the industry. This year’s Adventure Workshop was certainly no different, as students were able to get instant feedback from the likes of Brad Smith, Lucas Gilman, Ryan Taylor, Bo Bridges and many more instructors. Through portfolio reviews, students are able to expose their work to some of the nation’s top hirers and top talents — which in many cases leads to new opportunities for students in their careers.
The final banquet is a fun night for everyone. After a long week of classroom instruction and photographing on-location, both students and instructors have a final night to socialize, have dinner, and reflect on the great week. Additionally, instructors pick the students who they believe were the most determined to learn, network and improve their photography — and those students walk away with prizes!
Four different students displayed such a level of enthusiasm and drive to succeed at the workshop and grow as photographers that the instructors chose them to be the recipients of this year’s biggest prizes. Michelle Park, Jen Magnuson and Paolo Sartori all won ThinkTank camera bags, while Quincy Shanks won a free Photoshelter account for a year!
There are a lot of people marketing workshops to photographers, and many of them are social media famous without the professional substance to back up what they're teaching. This workshop was staffed by some of the most talented, successful, experienced, and generous photographers and editors in the adventure industry. It was the single best investment I have made in my photography since going to photo school, and the price cant be beat! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Summit's Adventure Photography Workshop to anyone who wants to improve their photography skills or launch their career in the industry.-Jen Magnuson, Thornton, CO
The Summit Adventure workshop was a truly incredible experience for me. Not only did I have the opportunity to meet and work alongside many of my photography idols, but my fellow students were hard-working, talented, and personable. It's a real pleasure when you can derive so much inspiration from not only the staff but your fellow shooters. The instructors and staff did a wonderful job creating a real sense of community, and by the end of the week it pained me to leave my Summit family. I would recommend that anyone who is interested in either pursuing adventure photography as a career or simply interested in learning more skills attend this class.-Brent Doscher, Dover, NH
This was by-far one of the best education experiences in my photographic career. Working together with the Summit's all-star staff was such a privilege, and I felt inspired to be a better photographer every day. The teachers were so willing and open to invest in us as students, and it was truly amazing to see how available they made themselves to us. I also walked away feel like I had gained a new community with my fellow students and learned so many valuable lessons about the business. Thank you Summit Workshops for such an unforgettable week!-Michelle Park, Chatsworth, CA
I learned in a week what would have taken a year of trial and error. The instructors are so open to sharing all their knowledge that they have learned that it makes the week so exciting to learn everything you can.-Eric James Wood, Dana Point, CA
Was absolutely amazing. Thought it was very well done and would like to come again in the future.-Kyle Aiton, Goldsboro, NC
Thank You Everyone!
Faculty and staff agree that the students from the 2016 Adventure Workshop were a uniquely talented group, and that many of them certainly surpassed our initial expectations.
We’d like to thank the students for seeking a higher level of photography instruction and attending the workshop, and we’d also like to thank our distinguished faculty for continuing to be great educators and great friends.
We’d also like to give a special thanks to Julio Aguilar and Bob Smith for assisting the workshop staff and for capturing great drone footage of the workshop, and to Jabin Botsford for his help doing social media throughout the workshop. Additionally, we’d like to thank Julio Aguilar, Cate Brown, Jabin Botsford, Tyler Rickenbach, Jen Magnuson, Michelle Park, and everyone else who provided behind-the-scenes images and footage.
© 2016 Bob Smith