Had an absolute blast shooting the 2016 membership campaign for REI this last Fall. Proud, honored, and excited don’t even begin to cover how I felt getting to shoot for this company. Not only was the team passionate about the message behind membership, but the concept was thorough and the people I got to meet along the way was inspiring.
In all, I got to photograph 26 members all doing completely different things — hiking, biking, swimming, climbing, camping, surfing, exploring, across 5 different locations in 2 states. All of them joined REI as far back as the 70s and come from ALL walks of life and backgrounds. We incorporated a few instant film shots to help tell the story of each individual member and the year they joined the co-op. One of the most memorable parts of the trip (for me) was shooting a few stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers in San Diego and then looking up and realizing there was a pod of dolphins swimming right past us. Was that real life?! Don’t worry, I was abruptly humbled the moment I tried to make a graceful sand landing in my kayak and ended up tipping completely over (gear and all) into the salt water. Magically my cameras still worked, but there’s nothing like flailing, yelling “oh shit!”, and getting soaked in front of a crowd to suck the cool right outta ya. Overall, it was a whirlwind of a shoot, but absolutely worth every second.
Here are a few outtakes from our time together plus a few places where the images ended up. Thank you to REI for bringing me on and a huge shout out to Quinn, Drancy, Buffy, & the entire REI team for making it happen. Once again, you inspire people to head out and enjoy this amazing planet and that’s what it’s all about.