1. Could you share a little bit about yourself and how you got started in photography?
My name is Krystle Wright and I am an Adventure Photographer sponsored by Canon Australia, F-Stop Gear, AquaTech and KEEN. Its been a wild ride and quite the journey the past 7-8 years in getting to this position.
I’ve always been a sports fanatic and would play anything I could get access to whether it was rock climbing, soccer, athletics etc etc. When it came time to finishing highschool, I knew I wanted to be outdoors and it was my Mum who suggested photography to study at university since I was always trying to take a good photo on camping trips. I was hopeless in the degree as I couldn’t stand theory but through finding mentors, I was able to really pursue photography. I began my work experience at the local paper, The Sunshine Coast Daily, during my second year at university and that in turn lead to occasional shifts and from there I began to build contacts, a folio and the rest is history.
2. There’s lots of ways to market your-self as a photographer these days. Do you use different strategies to reach your audience with each platform?
There’s only so much I can handle when it comes to an online presence. I am currently re-launching my website and the four networks I primarily use are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. I tend to have all the accounts linked together so that I only need to update one page. I am not a big expert on this and I know that there are other photographers who are much more savvy at having an online presence. I post a mixture of work and personal stuff and let people follow me naturally if they enjoy my work. An online presence I feel has not secured me a whole lot of extra work and so I put my energy elsewhere that does secure me work. I’d say its definitely important to have an online presence but be careful not to expend too much energy if its not rewarding you in the right way.
3. As an adventure photographer, you get to go on some pretty awesome trips. How do you manage planning, exploring, taking photos, editing, and business inquiries while on the road?
Its a big challenge! Some expeditions I do, I am completely offline with no connection whatsoever except a satellite phone for emergency. To be honest, I look forward to these trips and putting the auto response on as its great to be solely focused on the task at hand and deal with all the other daily distractions when the trip is finished. With other trips where I can access email as that is my primary source of communication, it’s a tricky balance but it all comes down to time management.
No doubt I am guilty of being sidetracked whether its checking out videos on Vimeo or chatting to friends on Facebook but if I am strict with my time on the computer, I try to choose the right time such as being stuck indoors when a storm rages outside or in airports. I’m certainly still learning and always trying to improve my time management skills so that I can spend more time doing what I love most which is taking photos on adventure.
The key is being self proactive. As a freelancer, you create your own hours and you create a lot of your own opportunities. I was taught to never expect an editor to come knocking at my door, instead I continually knock on theirs with new ideas and new images which ultimately leads to more work.
4. What one thing has made the biggest impact on you as a photographer?
Perhaps it would have to be the moment I came across Adam Pretty’s work in a magazine. I had enrolled into a University course and successfully made it through the entry process and I remember one day in town picking up photography magazines as I really had no idea (I didn’t even know what a shutter or aperture was). I saw the folio of Adam Pretty and immediately I knew that was what I wanted to do. I began my career chasing sports photography in the main stream media and sure things have changed slightly as I now focus on adventure sports but even so, that was a defining moment in figuring out what path I wanted to go down in life.
5. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a career out of photography?
I love to encourage others to get into photography and as for making a career, its tough to give a straight answer as so many of us take different paths in etching out a career. I’d say be patient and persistent as it takes time. But rather than become overwhelmed in focusing on the end goal, more so focus on the present tense… always take time on the side to pursue personal projects to keep the creative juices flowing. Make sure you do have something stable to help pay the bills which might be anything from assisting other photographers, working at a newspaper etc. Photography is a journey and just take it one step at a time. Eventually you can enjoy looking back on where you’ve come from.
6. If you were going on a 3 month trip around the world, what countries and/or experiences would you be sure to include?
That’s a tough one but funny that you ask as the other night, our group here in Colombia was staring at a giant world map asking each other where do we want to go next. The problem is, your list never ends as the curiosity is far too great. We then tried a challenge of listing which next 5 countries do we want to visit most. If I were to do a 3 month trip… Maybe I take this question too serious but rather than trying to cram in as many countries as possible, instead I love visiting places and spending at least 4 weeks there minimum if I can afford that luxury of time. I love experiencing the local culture through meeting people and that takes time. So I know at this moment that I would return to Mongolia for another expedition as its a country that I’ve fallen in love with. I would start there on a 4 week expedition. Next I would spend a month exploring Bhutan and then the final 4 weeks I would spend getting lost in Iceland. 3 months isn’t a very long time as I consistently done 3 month stints in the west coast states and I keep returning because there is so much to explore. I love the expeditions but in general travel, I love the places that are often off the beaten trail and take effort to get to as its always worth the reward.