I have a lot to be thankful for in 2011. It was a great year for making photographs as well as sharing them but of all the great accomplishments and memories, being the recipient of the Sierra Club’s prestigious 2011 Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography takes the cake.
I’m also incredibly proud of my photography and motion clip stock agency, Tandem Stills + Motion, which grew into it’s own by the end of year. As of December 31st, the company was churning dozens of licenses a month as well as a healthy profit, no small feat in today’s economy. I was proud to represent the work of many colleagues whom for many years I’ve looked up to, people like Justin Bailie, Karine Aigner and Jeff Yonover. I’m also proud of all the new, amazing talent on the scene that have trusted us to represent their unique vision, photographers Ben Herndon, Patrick Brandenburg, Brett Holman and Ethan Welty. January is already set to be a record month for the agency and our images are proudly running in nearly every major publication in the country from National Geographic to Backpacker, Men’s Journal, Outside, Mountain Living and more. 2012 will be epic.
2011 was also a major year for my own images showing up in print. From a major tourism advertising campaign for the state of Montana to the Autumn 2011 cover of The Nature Conservancy magazine, an organization that is truly a force for nature. It also heralded in the beginning of my mainstream multimedia reportage on TNC’s iPad App.
This of course was also another big year for my dialogue-building program in Afghanistan known as Wilderness Diplomacy. This effort uses America’s greatest environmental resources – and my photographs of them – as a way to open dialogue. The initiative found new life as the cover story of Sierra Magazine’s May/June issue. To date, many different divisions of our government use my book on our national parks as a diplomatic tool, including the Department of Defense, State Department, Department of the Interior and National Park Service.
We of course can’t forget my celebrity debut with the guys of hit television show One Tree Hill in our own, outdoor mantastic voyage, Wild Life: A New Generation of Wild, a 15-minute multimedia experience that followed me and the team through the wilds of Florida’s back country bringing the outdoors to literally millions of viewers around the world. Within a week, we amassed over 750,000 views on Facebook, 10,000 twitter followers and a following in over 120 countries. I realized then the power of having a voice and a viewership and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the amazing words our fans shared with us.
Of course I’m incredibly excited about the publication of book 2 (sort of), the paperback edition of The National Parks: Our American Landscape. This companion to the hardcover book of the same name was released in April 2011 (the hardcover in August 2009) by Earth Aware Editions. The sales have been strong and it’s already in dozens of National Parks across the country. The new book wasn’t just a reprint and redesign in a smaller format, but I also managed to add over 40 new images and parks that weren’t in the first one.
And last but not least and certainly most recent, the beginning of my first feature documentary film Healing Waters began principal photography in India in October/November. We’ve already assembled a rough cut and I can’t tell you how excited I am about where this beautifully rich film will go. I hope that this project will enlighten and engage people on the importance of our planets 2nd largest river, it’s dwindling health and the incredible effort to save it. This may possibly be the largest restoration effort ever undertaken.
I’m excited for 2012! I’m excited to share footage and a first look at Healing Waters as well as some other stories I shot, including a beautiful feature on Yosemite National Park’s lesser known places, which is scheduled for the Spring 2012 issue of National Parks magazine.
Thank you to everyone for a great year and I’m excited about the one ahead!