This week’s conversation is with Corey Rich, a director and photographer.

Corey has built a life and career around his passions for travel, adventure, and telling stories with his camera.

With a background in rock climbing and photojournalism, Corey’s work spans a range of genres, from iconic still imagery for leading editorial publications, to television spots and films, to directing high-production-value commercial projects for Fortune 100 companies.

Corey recently released “Stories Behind the Images,” a photo essay book about his reflections on becoming a master photographer, working with high profile subjects including Tommy Caldwell, Bear Grylls, Kelly Slater, Ashima Shiraishi, and Alex Honnold.

He was the official photographer for Tommy Caldwell’s The Dawn Wall film and his image of Tommy on the cover of his Stories book was a Time Magazine cover image.

This conversation though, isn’t just about what makes a great photo – it’s about Corey’s process for making the most of opportunities – and – his presence of mind, his ability to string together moments.

And while Corey loves what he does, it doesn’t come without a cost. There are serious risks associated with his craft.

In Corey’s words: The irony of the mountains, of climbing and adventure sports, is that it can give us so much. The greatest joys in my life have been in the mountains, have been in these rad, wild adventures but those same mountains can take it all away instantly.

There is much to learn from people who push right up against that edge.

“When I’m standing on a mountain top and staring at snow-capped peaks or looking at the lake, it allows me to tap into the best version of myself. I’m the most creative and most productive when I’m in a beautiful place and physically engaged.”

In This Episode:

  • Why being immersed in nature is so important to him
  • What makes a great photo?
  • Seizing the moment: opportunities are fleeting, how does he prepare himself for those moments?
  • What he’s searching for: Moving people by way of his photography
  • How he balances art vs. commerce
  • His practice for spending more time in the present moment
  • What he’s learned about relationships and intimacy
  • His experiences with risk and what he’s learned from putting himself in those environments
  • What it’s like shooting athletes where one the cost of a mistake could be fatal
  • Dealing with the grieving process… losing close friends from accidents and how that’s shaped his outlook on life
  • What he suggests people do to live more fulfilling lives


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS



“I’m seeking genuine, fulfilling experiences with people that I love and care about in the most epic places on the planet. By default, when I have those experiences, I do my job well and I’m going to bring back amazing pictures.”

“As soon as I start trying to just deliver for a client, the creativity drops off. Ideally, I’m pushing myself creatively, and then everything else falls into place. That’s been my philosophy.”

“Life goes by really fast. I just want to make every day count.”


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Director & Photographer |

Corey Rich is one of the most recognized adventure and outdoor lifestyle visual storytellers. He has captured stunning still photos and video on a wide array of assignments, including rock climbing in India, surfing in South Africa, freight-train hopping in the American West, ultra-marathon racing in the Sahara Desert of Morocco, and snowboarding in Papua New Guinea.