Capturing Her Wild Side - An Interview with Canon Master Krystle Wright

Krystle is a pro adventure photographer and all round adventure hero of ours. We've been lucky enough to pin her down for a few moments to quiz her on where it all started and how we can all turn our passion for beautiful imagery into a dazzling career of modern storytelling.
 

Were you brought up to be adventurous as a child or is it something that grew on you later?

I grew up in the country behind the Sunshine Coast which I consider myself lucky to have that particular upbringing away from the big cities. I’ve always loved the outdoors and as I grew older, my curiosity kept expanding that I became more and more adventurous.

What got you into photography, and were you always passionate about photographing adventure sports?

I loved shooting on the kodak disposable cameras and would religiously take them with me on school camping trips. I really enjoyed the process of planning out how many photos I would take each day so it would last the trip. It was after high school when I stumbled across the work of Adam Pretty and that was my biggest original inspiration to become a sports photographer. Over the years there was some tweaking and instead I became an adventure sports photographer instead.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

To be honest, I could not pin point an exact person these days as I believe so strongly to surround myself with as many good people as possible that create an amazing atmosphere. There are a few friends in particular who through their grounded nature continue to keep influencing and inspiring me as my ultimate goal in life is to be educated and understand the world around me.

You are involved in so many outdoor sports, are you more passionate about one?

I chose to be an adventure photographer rather than just a mountain bike photographer or a surfing photographer. Sometimes too much of a good thing can deteriorate that passion and I knew early on that I wanted to keep things fresh and by shooting so many different sports, I really appreciate each time I get to spend with each sport.

You have been involved in many accidents while away on your trips, was there any point where you almost decided to stop and thought you’d pushed yourself too far?

The paragliding accident I was involved in was definitely the most severe accident I’ve suffered but never once did I think for a moment that I should stop pursuing my career which is also my passion. From each accident I’ve been involved in, I’ve made sure to learn as much as I can to continue trying to minimise the risk and keep myself safe. Accidents will always be apart of this risk taking sport and sometimes, no matter how much planning and consideration has been invested, things can go wrong instantly as mother nature will always reign supreme. Regret will always remain my biggest fear in life and so whilst the drive and curiosity remain, I’ll continue to explore that until my heart changes and leads me down a different path.

Where’s your favourite place to photograph or visit in Australia?

That’s an extremely tough question as Australia is such an incredibly diverse continent. I’d say Tasmania and the Kimberley’s have extra special meaning to me as I’m absolute fascinated by their landscapes.

When you’re not hanging from trees and scaling mountains, what do you like to do in your down time?

To be honest, I’m still learning how to have down time. As a freelancer, its easy to fall into the trap of feeling guilty if we take time off for ourselves. But when I do learn how to stop, I love playing in the ocean or going rock climbing for myself.

What tips would you give someone who is trying to get into the industry?

It takes an incredible amount of patience and persistence. A friend advised me a long time ago that it would take 10 years before anyone would know my name and I think that is an incredible lesson to just enjoy the journey and take it one small step at a time. By chipping away at it bit by bit, over time it’ll be incredible to look back on and see the progression. To chase a passionate career, it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice but the rewards are absolutely worth it.

For beginners what would you say are the most important things to consider to get the right photograph?

In the early days, its all about shoot shoot shoot. Shooting as much as you can to develop your eye and establishing a strong folio. Though when it comes to adventure sports, its not just about developing skills as a photographer but also as an athlete as you need skills to put yourself into unique positions such as hanging from a rope to shoot climbing. It’s incredibly important to be competent in your own skills and not relying on others all the time otherwise if you become the burden, then athletes won’t want to work with you.

When you arrive on a shoot/location, what are the first things you consider to help you decide how to capture the images that you want?

I make sure to read the whole situation and do a risk assessment as safety is paramount. Depending on the sport and the athlete, we’ll talk about a bit of a game plan and once I know what they want to do, I make a plan around that. Typically a lot of my work is landscape based with small figurines as I believe the landscape plays just as important of a role in capturing the essence of that place and the adventure.

What equipment do you like using, and what would you recommend someone starting to purchase?

Before I made my first big investment, I went and asked as many photographers as possible on who should I invest into and every photographer at that time told me Canon and I’ve never looked back. Photographers all have their own preferences and tastes so it comes down to personal choice and what works for you but I certainly recommend in investing into beautiful glass (in other words, quality lenses) as that will last a long time. And when possible, try to buy a body that will be a good investment for a few years or longer and sometimes that will mean going a bit above your budget. 

If you'd like to learn more about Krystle's work, you should visit her website at http://www.wrightfoto.com.au/