Last month I was interviewed by Chris Smith (@theecjsmith), Founder & Host of the Shoot For Thrill Podcast. The podcast is one of the top podcast in iTunes and focuses on successful photographers that are at the top of their craft who desire to spur on inspiration and action in others. There are some great interviews with some fantastic shooters on there, such as Joel Grimes and Delphine Diallo, definitely worth listening to.During our podcast we talked about my personal background as a developing photographer, the path to inspiration through personal work, the need to assist, and the business side of commercial photography.In the interview Chris drew out of me not only my story, but also some struggles I went through, successes I found, and we even talked about some of the gear I use. I would love for you to hear the story of my journey. Take a listen below and let me know what you think. http://shootforthrill.com/kiliiifish
Little Known Fact: Before I was a photographer, I was a wilderness survival guide, running courses on wilderness living on multiple continents. Last fall I was musing over concepts for a new personal campaign with HMUA/Art Director Lindsey Watkins when it hit me– with all the experience in survival, why not tell a realistic survival story? We decided to collaborate on illustrating the story of two Alaskan researchers whose plane crashes while flying over interior Alaska.
March 15th. Two geologic researchers from Fairbanks, AK were flying over the interior when a flock of geese smashed their windshield and forced a crash-landing in the Yukon-Tanana Wilderness. The pilot managed to prevent a catastrophic landing but died from wounds resulting from the crash, leaving a severely injured man and surviving woman alone in the vast wilderness region. With the onset of an late-season cold front and search area of tens of thousands of acres, there is little prospect of finding the crash site.
I don’t want to give away more than that in words. Here’s a story that is realistic about the difficulty and suffering of a survival situation and also illustrates the incredible capacity some human beings have to overcome the insurmountable and even thrive in the wilderness.
Shooting started in late November. My assistant and I hiked off into the Enchantment Lakes Wilderness in the North Cascades of Washington, armed with tons of outdoor gear and camera equipment. After a week of hard snowshoeing up the sides of mountains, I managed to get some terrific plates to setup our survival scenario. In January, we pulled together a fantastic crew in the studio to shoot the talent and the action, which were then composited together with the outdoor scenes to create the story of our tragic survivors.
The result was surprising. Despite having storyboarded and then mocked up each shot with stand-in talent, I think we were all floored when actress Alyssa Kay brought an incredible intensity of emotion and expression to the scenes. While retouching, I found my own mental state to be a bit unbalanced after staring at photographs of her sadness in closeup portraits, as well as the degree of suffering model Andy Gregory exhibited with the help of SFX Artist Shawn Shelton.
Many thanks to our fantastic crew. In addition to Lindsey and Shawn, it took the considerable talents of Deb Tudor with wardrobe, Mandy Kehoe with props, and the assistance of Dalton Green, Casey Nation and Colton Running. What truly made this series come alive were the acting abilities of actors Alyssa Kay and model Andy Gregory, cast by Samara Lerman. Also I’d like to give a special thanks to Tina Yaw for her assistance on our production mockups, and pilot Jeff Chang with Rainier Flight Service who provided aircraft and flight time over the Enchantments.
It’s my sincere hope that everyone who sees this series walks away feeling a little more thankful for all the wonders we have in our lives. I know I am.
Hey all, just returned from Hawaii to discover my interview with Mike Williams of Deadpoint Magazine, or DPM. This issue covers some great climbers (Ashima and Jimmy Webb), as well as four glorious double spreads of my photos from the ROCK series.
If you want a great inside look at how those images were made and don’t mind me rambling about artistic vision, then take a look inside! I talk about technical ability vs vision, production, and compositing adventure images. Oh, and you must excuse the Papyrus font– like adventure, sometimes it just happens.
Hey friends, it’s been a intense few days! My assistant Dalton and I were up at 8500 ft in the Enchantment Lakes shooting a new campaign about wilderness survival. More on that later, but I thought I’d share with you some of the gear preparations it takes to go up and shoot at elevation in the mountains in the winter. Shooting up there can be really challenging but the landscapes are truly mind-blowing and the mountain goats unbelievably persistent. Makes me miss my days running survival courses in Oregon. So what did we pack and how the hell did we get our packs down to 35lbs each while carrying all our camera gear and delicious food? (more…)
ROCK: The Essence of Climbing in Photographs by Kiliii FishHiawatha Studio Grand Opening, 835 Hiawatha Pl S, Seattle, WA 98144Saturday November 9th, 7pm
More information about the Studio and Gallery Opening.
FStoppers interviewed me about my recent series on rock climbing, called ROCK.
It made me think hard about the the vision and production behind my favorite work to date. I also talk about the struggle between the limitations of documentary photography and the necessity of artistic invention.
Photo consultant and former photo editor of such publications as Rolling Stone, Monica Suder, has started a new column for the World Photography Organisation. This month Monica wrote extensively about the necessity of personal work for jumpstarting a photo career and featured my work on the NATIVE series as well as my shot of Amanda Clark climbing at Smith Rock, OR. Check out the article!
Native artist Louie Gong, who runs 8thgen, was featured on the cover of Native Peoples this month. We did this shoot a year ago and Louie still looks good, with his hybrid street art/nw coast/asian style on a skateboard deck. I still don’t have a copy yet so here’s what Louie texted me.
Now that Interview Magazine has officially premiered the video for Chaos Chaos, “My Hands”, I can show it you! I worked with the band in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania and had an absolute blast working my Steadicam backwards (though not in heels like Ginger Rogers). The whip pans you see are all carefully timed and synced, resulting in a video that required almost no time in post-production. Great fun with Asy, Chloe and stylist Maia Saavedra.
This last year I traveled extensively around the North Pacific rim to photograph indigenous people I call ‘modern traditionalists’. Here’s a behind the scenes look at all the amazing people and places and the stories I found along the way.