Invest your time and money into shooting everything

Our interview with photographer Sam Brockway

Sam with a beard others can only dream of

We were recently captivated by firework photography and shortly after we published that article we received a tip on another great firework photo taken by today’s guest, Sam Brockway.

Sam is a photographer from the USA currently residing in Idaho. He has collaborated with brands and focuses on telling a human story throughout his photos. His dog, Poppy, features regularly in photos. And in his own word’s he’s just waiting for the moose emoji. I guess until then his life is not complete and so we’ll be treated to more photography.

You can find Sam on Instagram here, and see more of his photos over on his 500px site. All photos shown were taken by Sam.

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The firework photo we mentioned

Your firework photo is incredible, we imagine it took a while to set up to get it perfect, how many trial runs did you have? (don’t lie)

This photo started as a concept for something that I wanted to accomplish on a long camping trip I was on for Fourth of July Weekend. The moon was bright, and up late in the nights for the whole trip.

We did the first trail run on the first night, but I seriously underestimated how far back I needed to be in order to get the full firework (which was shooting over 80 feet in the air).

By the time I figured out the composition, the sun was coming up, and the milky way was gone.

The second campsite was far too confined to try to pull off this shot. Finally, on the third night, the moon went down with enough time to try to nail the shot for a couple hours, and we had a wide open campsite.

Side story: there were over 500 sheep next to our campsite, and we were worried about spooking them, but all we spooked were the coyotes so the rancher wasn’t too mad at us.

Even with the open area to shoot on, it took another three iterations to nail the settings and composition.

It has definitely paid off to take the time to nail the settings and make sure that the conditions are just right.

Scanning your Instagram, all your photos do a great job of integrating human experience with nature. Has this always been a passion of yours? When did you know you wanted to jump outdoors like this?

I grew up in a rural mountain town, am an eagle scout, and have always been drawn to the outdoors. Photography is the much more recent hobby, actually. It has always served as my preferred medium to share the beautiful places that I pursue.

Where is your favourite place you’ve ever taken photos?

That is tough to narrow down, but my favorite experience shooting was last summer seeing the Perseid Meteor Shower in Grand Teton National Park.

How important is a dog in a successful instagram feed like yours? :P

Haha, not necessary at all, but dogs make everything more fun, and I love the levity that Poppy photos bring to my page.

Sam’s dog, Poppy

What advice would you pass on to young photographers just getting into photography?

Invest your time and money into shooting everything. — TWEET THIS

Learning how to edit without presets, and prioritise glass over body investments. This will help you develop your own style and gain an understanding of the fundamentals of photography.

This will eventually inform you on the camera system that you want to go with, long term, and what genre of photography you find yourself gravitating towards. One of the best bangs for your buck, while learning, is to start shooting on a 35mm film camera.

What’s next for you and your story, more adventures with Poppy your dog?

We’ve got a lot on the books, but we’re leaving for a 5-day stay on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, this week. We’re going straight from that to a backpacking trip in the Sawtooth Wilderness, in Idaho, where we live.

ps. we’re still waiting for a moose emoji as well

Thanks for the solidarity on the moose emoji!

Check out our last interview here and also another article you may like if you enjoyed this.

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If you’d like to chat or get in touch the best way is probably through Twitter @FieldworkUK.