Logan Robertson

Studio Updates —

Studio updates.

Every opportunity you don't take.

 This lighting was gorgeous, and I wasn't supposed to be here. Shot on GoPro Hero 6

This lighting was gorgeous, and I wasn't supposed to be here. Shot on GoPro Hero 6

It is 11:18pm MST, and I have been up since 3:00am EST, rapidly approaching 24 hrs without sleep. I need to be awake in approximately 5 hrs. And you know what? I wouldn't change a god damn thing. 

 

Let's rewind, about six years ago, nearly to the day. I am on my way out to the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado. Why? Because I saw a photo on a CD sleeve. Not even kidding. See, I had a problem. I had an affinity for adventure photography and action sports, but I grew up in Ohio. Not to take away from the Die Hard group of Ohians who pursue such adventures, but the place wasn't exactly built for scenic vistas. I needed a way to build a portfolio and after seeing a photo on the inside of a CD sleeve, I figured a multi-sport event in Colorado would be a great start. Little did I know.....

 Throwback to the 2014 Mountain games, Slopestyle MTB. In two hours I captured my first images to be used both by Redbull and Sports Illustrated. How? I stayed longer than I was supposed to, put off easting lunch, and hiked up the course to see what was there. Shot on GoPro Hero 3 Black

Throwback to the 2014 Mountain games, Slopestyle MTB. In two hours I captured my first images to be used both by Redbull and Sports Illustrated. How? I stayed longer than I was supposed to, put off easting lunch, and hiked up the course to see what was there. Shot on GoPro Hero 3 Black

 

What the Teva Mountain Games gave me then (now the GoPro Mountain Games) was a level playing field. Because the action sports community is not nearly as into regulation as say, the olympics or the NFL, I, as a freelancing kid from Ohio, had nearly as much opportunity to create images as anyone else who was there. It was the perfect opportunity to truly put myself to the test and see what I could do. 

The Mountain Games are a truly unique competition in that professionals and amateurs have the opportunity to compete side by side. With the exception of a few safety related qualifiers for white water and climbing, you have the ability to run, bike, or kayak right alongside some of the world’s top athletes. What better way to push yourself?

 Did I mention there are dogs? Lot's of dogs. So many dogs in fact, that an entire village in the valley is dedicated exclusively to the dog events now. This over/under shot was accomplished with a GoPro Hero 6 and a $20 water housing off of amazon. 

Did I mention there are dogs? Lot's of dogs. So many dogs in fact, that an entire village in the valley is dedicated exclusively to the dog events now. This over/under shot was accomplished with a GoPro Hero 6 and a $20 water housing off of amazon. 

So there I was, $700 in the hole, in this beautiful town with the world of action sports finally open in front of me. It’s funny to think about now. At 20 years old, I wasn’t even able to get into most of the restaurants after 9 pm. I had to get escorted to the bar in Vendetta’s so I could order a slice for dinner after a long day of shooting. 

People often ask me how I ended up working on the official photo team. Truth be told, I kind of love that because it is a great reminder for me  not only of how far I’ve come, but it also reminds me of how many people out there would love to do what I get to do everyday. I think about it often - it’s a great motivator. 

So how did I do it? I saw an opportunity and I took it like it was already my job. See, I had already spoken to the marketing director several times before the event. At one point, he had mentioned that their limited team can’t be everywhere at once, and though he wasn’t in a position to bring an extra guy onto the team, he would love to see any photos I might have in case something was missed. If you are an aspiring photographer, spoiler alert: I’m about to give you a straight up play on how to eye for someone’s job...

 This is Shauna Coxsey, one of the world's top female climbers. I've had the opportunity to photograph her progress (including several world titles) since 2012. The IFSC Bouldering World cup is one of my favorite events at the Gopro Mountain Games. Bonus points if you're a climber as it is wicked fun to try and learn from watching their technique and problem solving!

This is Shauna Coxsey, one of the world's top female climbers. I've had the opportunity to photograph her progress (including several world titles) since 2012. The IFSC Bouldering World cup is one of my favorite events at the Gopro Mountain Games. Bonus points if you're a climber as it is wicked fun to try and learn from watching their technique and problem solving!

I spent the first day finding my way around, but I also was looking for who was around. Who were the faces I saw bouncing from event to event, likely on the official photo team. Where did they go? Where did they shoot from? My reaction: Go the opposite way. 

If I saw the official photographer leaving kayaking to head somewhere else, I would keep shooting the kayaking a little longer. If I didn’t see anyone shooting rafting at that moment, I shot rafting. I found myself hiking higher up the mountain than I saw their photo team go.  Sometimes I found myself shooting things that I wouldn’t normally be into, strictly because I didn’t see them there. At the end of the 2012 Mountain Games, I not only had my portfolio, I had something to offer a potential client. 

 Remote camera rigging is one of my favorite aspects of working with GoPro Cameras to capture the mountain games. Nothing really grabs the energy of the event like a POV look at a 6ft kayaking charging you at full force.... 8-ball. 'Gotta Love it! GoPro Hero 6

Remote camera rigging is one of my favorite aspects of working with GoPro Cameras to capture the mountain games. Nothing really grabs the energy of the event like a POV look at a 6ft kayaking charging you at full force.... 8-ball. 'Gotta Love it! GoPro Hero 6

After the event we reconnected and sure enough, I had a few shots they needed. There was some back and forth between us for two years. Some things changed, GoPro took over. It just wasn’t the right time for them to bring in the new guy. But I was persistent. Someone once said that “maybes” are just “babies” waiting to grow up into “yes”. Too true. In 2014, I got the email that I had not just been waiting for, but had been working for since 2012. I would be joining the official Mountain Games photo team.

Fast forward to present and this doesn’t seem too out of place for the Mountain Games at all. Over the years, I have watched people push their way from 30th to 15th. Just this past weekend, I saw Colorado locals competing against Olympians. I saw some of my favorite white water athletes take their strength to the hills for running and climbing events. The GoPro Mountain Games are the perfect stage for athletes, artists, and even photographers to push things to the next level. 

 Want to feel like a non-acclimated sack of potatoes? Watch these guys run a 10k trail run up Vail Mountain on a Sunday Morning. Oh, and the first place winner? Yeah he went ahead and competed in another running race a few hours later- and won. Shot on GoPro Hero 6

Want to feel like a non-acclimated sack of potatoes? Watch these guys run a 10k trail run up Vail Mountain on a Sunday Morning. Oh, and the first place winner? Yeah he went ahead and competed in another running race a few hours later- and won. Shot on GoPro Hero 6

So if you feel that burning inside you that there could be more, the question is far beyond whether or not it’s possible. The question is: will you take the opportunity?

I hope to see you at the GoPro Mountain Games in 2019! 

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