Red Bull Rising Talent USA, 2018

On September 21, I received a surprising invitation to attend the Red Bull Rising Talent workshop in Los Angeles, California. I was 1 of 8 lucky photographers from all over the U.S. invited to participate in a week full of surprises, networking, learning and obviously… fun! I packed up my gear and headed up to Venice Beach on October 15, 2018.

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I won’t go into too much detail about the day-to-day schedule because I don’t want to reveal the experience to future contestants, but I will say each day was jam-packed with workshops, meet and greets with pro photographers, shoots, and delicious food.

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Here’s me awkwardly listening to critiques while presenting my portfolio

One of the things I liked most about the workshop was that each photographer had a different style and genre. There was a lot to learn just by looking at everyone’s unique portfolios. The majority of us also had never used fancy flashes like the Profoto B1x, which photographer Carlo Cruz got us accustomed to. We also gained a lot of professional insight from the pros, Lucas Gillman and Robert Snow that I will for sure take into account from here on out.

Some things I learned were:

Be memorable, relationships are key, set weekly/monthly/yearly high-standard goals, and it always just starts with an ‘idea'. Make it happen.

On our challenge day, we were paired off into groups of two and ran around Venice Beach like hooligans shooting various Red Bull athletes, each getting specific instructions for shots with only 30 minutes of shooting time. It was low-key stressful at times, but I loved every second of it.

Overall, I can genuinely say this workshop and competition have been a life changing experience. Not only was it amazing to meet and learn from successful photographers in the business and shoot pro athletes, it was also cool to learn more about myself and see my potential in a new light.

Now it’s time to come back to reality… Whats next?