Developing a career as a photographer — following your interests
Kevin O is a Hawaii-based adventure photographer who travels much of the year. He started his career photographing models, and now shoots mainly adventures, while also keeping a diverse set of commercial clients happy. He uses Seagate and LaCie storage solutions.
While Kevin appreciates being able to share his images with a wider and wider audience, he’s at least as much an adventurer as a photographer.
As he wryly notes, “I do love to be in front of the lens too, usually because I get to more dangerous things.” And he’s been known to cite his own truism: “Better to have the experience, than to share it.”
Kevin’s been shooting for five years, building expertise and exploring varied subjects from skating, surfing, and hiking, to weddings, engagements, and portraits — and he expertly shoots commercial work featuring luxury cars, real estate, and products. You can sample some of his amazing work at his website.
Travel, nature, adventure — the photographer at home
But his “home,” as he calls it, is travel, because “it keeps me outside, enjoying experiences and nature.” Kevin travels up to eight months out of the year, so he values staying adaptable; his regular adventures help him maintain an open-minded outlook, and strengthen traits he values — he says he’s an outdoorsman who’s a “daredevil, reckless, full-of-life, a free spirit and a dreamer,” while at the same time aiming to stay grounded as a thinker who’s both blunt and philosophical.
Advice for other young artists? Kevin says he hopes sharing his work and his story can “inspire you to also chase your dreams, even if that means sleeping on the floor and eating cold cans of soup.”
“I actually love that, it tends to mean that I am doing something right.”
Enjoy this personal collection of a few of Kevin’s own adventures below, then learn more about his work here.
Image 1: “While sick and partially delusional, some friends and I made the relatively long hike to this freezing waterfall up in the Pacific Northwest.”
Image 2: “This photo means a lot to me; I have never shared it for the reason I don’t believe that my followers would understand. My best friend and I were sick of the rainstorms; we needed to get outside. So against our better judgement, we ascended a ridge we had never been up before. The tent was rushed to be put up as the rain poured down. Between the showers, we made a fire and warmed our cans of beans. We got our butts kicked for the first time, we were hooked.”
Image 3: “This is one of the few shoots I planned before I was even at the location. I told my best friend and my model that I wanted a girl, laying in grass or flowers looking down the coast at sunset on a Mexican blanket. While I waited for the sun to set, the model and I sat on the blanket speechless of the view laid before us.”
Image 4: “Personally, I don’t think I have been more scared in my life. About a 1/4 of a mile behind us, our friend Scotty was climbing up a steeper section when 6 or 7 rocks the size of me fell from below his right side down the 3,000-foot cliff.”
Image 5: “Normally this would be an easy climb, easy if the roots were thick, solid and alive. This was far from true — they were about half the size they look, and dead with very little strength left in them. I climbed up to the fallen tree across the ravine and teetered on the edge of the crumbling cliff. This is what makes me feel alive.”