I don’t think I remember anything as vividly as the 8 months I lived, worked and fell in love with Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. I was so conflicted on whether or not I should even leave Chicago. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and my career in photography. All of my friends said I should stay in the city to keep up with my internships and make more connections in the industry. But I couldn’t do it. I had to get out of Chicago to see what I could accomplish entirely on my own and in a new place . So I took off and I don’t regret that decision for a second. Exploring the park was one of the most life changing experiences of my life. When I wasn’t working for Xanterra (the hotel company inside the park) I was out backpacking and hiking as much as possible. At first it was hard to get used to bringing the extra 20-30 pounds of camera equipment on top of the camping gear. After a few dozen miles I didn’t even notice anymore. It was all worth it, I learned more about composition, patience, and determination than throughout all my years of college. I know use what I learned in the park in everything I do with photography. It doesn’t matter if I’m working on a portrait, a documentary, or a cityscape. I’m constantly referencing my roots as a landscape photographer.
Here are some of the images from the trip that never made it too far into my professional portfolio.
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