Alex Honnold, a professional climber (and real life Spiderman), completed the historic El Capitan climb without any safety gear or even ropes.
Considered the most dangerous free-solo ascent ever, it was amazing talking to him about how he pre-visualized each step, each rock, each hand hold, and each breath.
If you haven’t seen the film, the trailer is here. Both are worth a watch!
I also created this video for my client, Lexington Wealth, who sponsored Alex for their event.
“Hey Alex, what other hobbies do you have”
I climb, and that’s pretty much it.”
How to create a photo that was distinctly different than the others
There were several other photographers that the rock gym had hired to photograph him. The competitive side of me wanted to create something different. They had triple the amount of cameras, lenses, lights, and bags. However, these chubbier photographers also had double the amount of body weight.
I’ve been a rock climber for the last decade. It’s a hobby I picked up when I lived in Burlington with my then boyfriend, now husband. We used to go three times a week.
My answer to creating a photo that was different: Climb with Alex Honnold.
Back in my event photography days, to create a unique photo, it was always…
Shoot high. Shoot low. Shoot wide. Shoot tight.
I love these photos that I was able to photograph of him from a different vantage point. I asked Alex if he’d give me a few minutes to climb, and he said, “Sure. I’ll be a minute, anyway.”
Everyone was watching me climb. I strapped on my harness, prayed that my cameras wouldn’t fall, and hoped that I didn’t look lke a complete noob.
Behind the scenes
I’ve photographed a lot of famous people: dozens of athletes, politicians, and actors.
Getting star stuck doesn’t phase me very much because most of the time, I don’t know who they are. I had a conversation with Tom Brady about how his wife yells about him for leaving laundry around. I sat next to Gronk at the airport after hanging with him for the last 4 days at the Playboy mansion, and we talked about burgers.
However, I did know Alex.
and I was a little nervous.
but he was the coolest, and I would love to photograph him again.
He talked about he makes more money now in one day of speaking than his sister does in an entire year. His sister is a school teacher.
I love that he created a foundation – Honnold Foundation. Its mission is to promote solar energy and renewable energy.
I love everything about this day. I learned so much from such a disciplined human, and I think I created some pretty cool photos along the way.