This story originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of our print edition.
A few of the world’s best climbing photographers share some of their favorite unpublished images, as well as what it’s like behind the scenes for these professionals and their subjects
Thirty-seven-year-old shooter Ken Etzel says that traveling 200 days a year in pursuit of finding “the next new spot” is a huge perk of his chosen career, but it’s a life he’s used to, saying, “We lived a transient life growing up, and not much has changed!”
A marketing internship with an international adventure travel company led this Salt Lake City–based photographer to his current career path. “I lived and worked with guides who were psyched, all making a decent living, and doing the very things daily I wanted for myself,” he says. “I returned to school in South Dakota, dropped all my classes, and signed up for a black and white photography course.”
“Being passionate about your subject is the most important thing with photography,” 44-year-old shooter Christian Pondella says. “I love to ski and climb, and that’s what my friends and I were doing every day…eventually it evolved into a career.”