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How I Fell into Photography as My Profession

It is a full time job, and I do occasionally sit at a desk. But it’s only to scheme up the next big adventure.

By: Quin Schrock + Save to a List

I never aspired to be a photographer. I didn't have some burning desire to create art… what I did have was a fear of sitting at a desk for the rest of my life. So to prolong that ever-approaching day, I schemed a “last hurrah” road trip.

I didn't have a camera, but luckily my road trip partner did. When we took off I had $2000, a 2001 Toyota corolla and some decent camping gear. I remember thinking to myself, “I probably don't have enough money to make it all the way down to Panama, but, lets see how far we get.”

We often found ourselves sleeping in situations like this:

But were always out looking for spots like this:

As the trip went on, I started to photograph more and more. It started to become natural. I remember finishing up each day excited to review the photos in the car or tent. I started posting the highlights of our trip to Instagram, and was blown away by the positive feedback.

We ended up making it down to panama after 5 months on the road. I sold the car down there after running out of money. I started that trip with 1000 followers on Instagram, and ended with 13,000. I found some temporary work as an alarm system technician, worked hard, all the while posting photos from my road trip to IG. About 6 months later, I bought my first real camera, and hit the road again, this time north to Alaska.

On my way north this time, I reached out to some of my favorite photographers to see if they would be up for jumping in on the adventure. I think this was the best move I ever made as an aspiring photographer - reaching out to others. This trip I shadowed @taylormichaelburk and met @jess.wandering. The two of which, have turned into some of the most influential people in my life.

At a certain point, companies saw my photos via social media and became interested in working together. Recently, I was able to land some of my dream clients like Eddie Bauer, who’s motto is “Live Your Adventure.” There’s nothing better than working together with a company that promotes your same message. 

Nowadays I spend half of my days on the road shooting, half editing and communicating with clients. It is a full time job, and I do occasionally sit at a desk. But it’s only to scheme up the next big adventure.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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