What is your background?
After taking my first photography class at Austin Community College, I realized how much I enjoyed capturing moments in time and sharing with friends and family.
I took more photography classes and graduated with a degree in advertising and fashion photography. I started out assisting big-time photographers in the Dallas advertising scene while building my own portfolio and client list.
Eventually, I specialized in outdoor, adventure photos with clients in the paddlesports industry.
Through the years, my style has changed. When I first started shooting, the style was to desaturate and wash out the images. I copied the look.
Then, I over saturated my images. When I look back at some of my photos, I wonder what I was thinking. Then I grab the RAW file and edit the image again.
Why kayak fishing?
I used to tag along on fishing trips with my buddy Josh Walker. He would fish and I would paddle around and take pictures. One day, Josh handed me a rod. I felt the tug and I was hooked. The kayak gives me access to great locations. I never know what is coming around the next corner.
During down time in the shoot, I pick up a rod and get in a few minutes fishing. Of course, most of my casts are cut short when someone catches a fish or the light is just right. I think my biggest bass was seven pounds, but I didn’t have time to weigh it because I had to take a picture.
What was your toughest shoot?
Wind and rain, cold and heat are part of the game. I’ve had to deal with unscheduled dam releases. The key is being prepared for the worst. I’ll take rain over wind any day.
On one shoot, I was returning to the landing when the wind kicked up to 30 miles per hour. I tried to keep going, but I was only moving an inch every few strokes. The marina sent someone to rescue us. How embarrassing.
Describe your favorite location.
My next location is always my favorite. I look for three things when scheduling a shoot: lighting, beauty and fishing.
I love exploring new places and learning how the light bounces off the trees, getting a feel for paddling the water and figuring out my position for the next shot.
Share your best photography hack.
Setting the camera to manual mode is always best, but changing light, fast action and uncontrolled circumstances require quick reactions. I often shoot in a priority mode and adjust my exposure.
What’s your favorite camera gear?
I love my 70 to 200mm lens. It’s bulky but fast and sharp as a tack.
Give advice to amateur photographers.
Stop giving away rights to your images. If a company wants to use your photo for promotion, it’s valuable to them. You paid for bait, gas and launch. Value your work.
In the line of fire. | Photo: Dustin Doskocil