My journey towards becoming a nature photographer began in high school. I visited Colorado on a ski trip, and fell in love with the Rocky Mountains on the drive from the airport to the ski resort. I will never forget how amazed I was watching the snow fall on the mountains out the window of our rental car. It was a defining moment in my life. Spending a few days on top of a snow covered mountain was all it took for me to know I must find a career spent outdoors.
Photography invites you to observe your subject on a deeper level. It can take your appreciation for the subject matter to a whole new place. As nature photographers, we spend much time and effort placing ourselves in the most beautiful locations at the most awe inspiring moments. I have memories of time spent at a few locations that are very special to me for this reason.
In 1999 I purchased my first SLR camera, and was immediately hooked. After 2 years of experimenting with my new camera, I had an epiphany. One evening I realized how much opportunity I had yet to explore in the photographic process. Up until that point I had only taken photos casually, without really creating art by manipulating what is in front of the camera, or coming up with my own artistic ideas for photos. I was so excited at the idea, I decided on the spot to pursue photography as a career. A few days later I purchased the very first DSLR canon ever made, several years before digital photography became the industry standard.
In 2002 I attended the Hallmark Institute of Photography. After Hallmark I set out on a career in sports photography. I photographed sporting events all over the country, focusing on extreme sports, automotive, and motorcycle racing. I ended up working as a staff photographer for Stunt Riders Magazine, and had a full time contract with the World Offroad Championship Series, a motorcycle racing series spanning 15 states. I had my work published in numerous magazines, newspapers, and web pages.
Throughout the 2000’s, my health slowly declined. By 2006, I was no longer well enough to continue my career. By 2008, I had lost every passion in my life to my health.
After spending 7 years visiting countless doctors, I began to find answers to why I felt so poor. As a result of diagnosing my conditions, I was able to improve my health. I am now 90% well, and have taken back all of my passions.
The worst part of watching the years slip by during my illness was missing out on my greatest passion. I had lost photography. In 2015 I decided to pursue nature photography. At the time I was not able to do much at all. Fortunately my health improved significantly soon after, and I began working full time towards my second career.
I am drawn to surreal locations. I try to photograph places that are so unique they seem other worldly. I love dramatic light. Visiting places so majestic have made for some spectacular experiences. I try to create images that really show what is was like to be there, while capturing moments so fantastic it’s hard to believe they really happen.
Photo by David Hassis