About Taos New Mexico Travel Adventure Photographer DeYoung
Michael DeYoung is a Taos, New Mexico based adventure lifestyle and travel photographer, photography guide and mentor, animal lover and dark chocolate addict who started life as a pro photographer in Alaska. He has transformed his Air Force meteorological and weather forecasting expertise into mastery of finding the best light anywhere outdoors.
My first catalog shoot was almost a bust. On the shot list was an action ski jumping shot with a specific jacket. It started off story-book perfect. A big spring storm dumped 18” of new snow on the last weekend of the season at Brian Head in southern Utah. I envisioned many jumping shots crashing through fresh powder. Unfortunately, the potential for action ski shots at Brian Head quickly went downhill.
The day before, our talent got lost in the snowstorm while backcountry skiing and ended up spending the night in the wilderness in a snow cave and thus never made it to Brian Head. Finding a substitute wasn’t in the cards. But what a trooper she was. After the ordeal, we tried all day on a warm April Monday to make a ski jumping shot work in heavy spring snow without the aid of chairlifts. It wasn’t happening. Now I’m sweating bullets. It’s not about camera technique anymore. It’s about thinking outside the box and getting the shot. We had to think on our feet and on the fly.
Aha! Their neighbor had a trampoline. Our talent had a big truck that we filled with snow. Donning skis and bouncing on the trampoline, with her husband shoveling snow at her feet and Lauri working lighting, we got the shot. No need to spend 2K more in production going to northern Utah resorts that were still open.
Never told them how we did it, just submitted it. It ran it inside front cover. Just do what it takes to get the shot.
To understand my photography you need to understand me. We decided a long time ago that life was too short to be doing something we don’t love. Today, our office is the great outdoors. Our life is outside the ordinary, with no regrets or compromises. This philosophy is at the heart of the images I make. I aim to wake up a spirit in people - that voice they hear that tells them to get out and live. Even if your life is traditional most days, when you are in front of my camera, the adventure begins. Walking into any situation from summer to winter, water to mountains, my goal is to find a way to visualize my love for the outdoors. The connection humankind has to nature is magical. If I have done my job well, I have not only captured the physical benefits but also the mental, emotional and spiritual rewards from an inspiring experience. At the end of the day, there are no short cuts to authenticity and quality.
Bottom line is: if it’s outside, we’re in!
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