Caught Up W/ Photographer: Kyle Ohlson
Words: Troy Ball
Sponsors: BlackStrap, GoPro, Oberto Beef Jerky, SANDMARC
Hometown/Mtn: Bend, Or (Mt. Bachelor)
Years w/ BlackStrap: 4
Go-To Piece: BS Camo DT
First, how long have you been shooting photos and why did you start?
-My Dad had a Canon camera and I would take it from his closet when he was at work to shoot photos of our animals and stuff. And then he would come home and see all these photos that he didn’t take, so after that, he got me a camera for Christmas. It was a little Panasonic point and shoot and from there I have just been upgrading and have really enjoyed taking photos and filming.
Gotta ask, how did you become so involved with GoPro?
-I was a photographer for this behind the scenes shoot in Tahoe with Andy Finch, and his wife’s brother is a production artist at GoPro. So he gave me an original HD Hero camera, before they had 1080p on them. It was pretty scratched up and stuff but I was able to get a few “photo of the day’s” on their Facebook and from there I was able to get even more involved for them. I actually just finished an edit for them of their GoPro stunt pilot Kirby Chambliss. It’s been really fun.
So, you were kinda’ around with them from the OG days then?
-Yeah I guess so, I just found a photo on my phone of their Instagram page from when they had like 23 followers. And now they have millions, it’s pretty crazy.
Out of all the action sports/outdoor activities you are involved in, what’s your favorite?
-Surfing. For sure.
Which is your favorite to film?
-Skiing is pretty fun because there are so many different elements to be able to film. And it’s the same with snowboarding. I would say anything with snow, in general.
Where do you see yourself in a few years after acquiring a fresh degree?
-Hopefully working for GoPro in either San Diego or San Francisco. It would be really fun to work and travel with those guys.
Are you any good at flying those crazy drones for filming?
-I have one that I have crashed a few times. But yeah I can fly them. Mine is kinda out of commission right now from a crash recently. I put some heavier equipment on it then it is meant to handle, but yeah, they’re pretty fun to fly.
How has the weather, or should I say lack of weather in the Pacific Northwest, affected your work this year?
-It hasn’t. Honestly I would say it’s been a positive. I have been able to catch up on work because I haven’t been as stoked to go skiing, since we haven’t gotten any fresh snow in awhile. I think I went up to Bachy twice in January because I have been doing so much photo and video work at home.
Out of all the photos you have taken, which is your favorite?
-During spring break last year a couple of my friends and I went on a surf trip to the Oregon Coast; The weather was windy and rainy like always so we left the town and tried to escape the weather, but had no luck, when we got back to town we saw lots of emergency vehicles on the beach, so out of curiosity we asked what was going on and supposedly a teenager was playing on a bluff too close to the water and fell in. My buddy Randy and I grabbed our cameras and our big lenses, we thought maybe we could use our cameras and lenses to see something in the water. While we were hiking and looking around a Coast Guard helicopter came over to search, they circled the area for a few hours. As the sun was slowly going down the clouds broke up and the rain stopped. The sun was turning yellow and getting closer to the horizon, just before it went down the helicopter flew right in front of the sunset and lined up perfect with it, It was one of the most incredible sunsets I have seen. Once the sun went down the helicopter left and we hiked back to our cabin, sadly they didn't find the missing person.
-My Mom and Dad for supporting me from day one; from my first camera to now.
Well, I believe I speak for the entire BlackStrap Family when I say how much of a privilege it has been working with you. Your consistent positive attitude towards life is directly portrayed in your photography. Having as much success as you, at such a young age, is a deliberate example of how hard you work day to day. We are very proud to have you on board and look forward to all the great things you will accomplish in the future.