Soul Food

Creative Inspiration

A mixed media collection—words, images and films that motivated and moved me.

short films:

There are three production houses to which I owe a great deal of my interest in adventure film and photography: Camp 4 Collective, Duct Tape then Beer, and Reel Water Productions.

I was a junior in college, studying abroad in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, and I felt a little lost. I had been studying journalism with an emphasis in sports reporting, but all my experiences in the field had diminished my previously ardent fandom. I was questioning what I really wanted to do with my journalism degree. I felt rather lost.

I had a pretty minimal knowledge of adventure film and photography. Sure, I knew the name Jimmy Chin, but had no insight into the businesses and the people who created the cinematic masterpieces most of the non-outdoor industry relegated to “good advertising.”

These three short films inspired me, each in their own right:
Silence — Duct Tape then Beer, Reel Water Productions
The Joy of Air — Duct Tape then Beer, Reel Water Productions
The Other Way — Camp 4 Collective

I heard their messages. But more importantly, I felt them. A few weeks later I was backpacking in a remote corner of Brazil with a point and shoot. A month later, I booked a ticket to Patagonia. I didn’t know what I was doing or how I ought to do it better; but damnit, I knew I’d be doing it for the rest of my life.

digital reporting

During my time in J-school at the University of Southern California, I cut my teeth covering collegiate and professional sports in Los Angeles. I followed box scores, wrote recaps and previews, made “expert predictions” (they were awful) and added my own voice to the shit-storm of talking heads in the world of sports commentary.

But at some point along the way, I discovered the work of Rick Reilly, Outside the Lines and Bob Costas (today’s equivalent might be Scott Van Pelt’s “One Big Thing”). I read this masterpiece, “Deadly Games” from Wright Thompson as I was studying Portuguese in hopes of working in Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

It changed the way I looked at writing on sports and culture.

For the past several years I’ve felt inundated with click bait, blatant marketing and streams of “content for the sake of content.” I wasn’t unprepared for that—I’d worked with a handful of publications that rely on it (I’d been one of those unpaid interns churning out copy). But I was feeling disappointed. It seemed as though editorial had been overtaken by advertising.

A couple years back I stumbled across this Powder article: “The Legendary Story of a Mysterious Solo Ski Mountaineer.” It changed the way I viewed editorial writing in adventure sport magazines.

Page’s profile of the prolific and reclusive skier, Dan Helmstadter, is a beautifully woven tale covering years of investigative work, plenty of luck and expertly written prose. This was the work I aspired toward. This was the adventure writing pinnacle.

Recent reads:


OTL: Deadly Games

IO DE JANEIRO -- A white cross rising above the Macacos slum marks the spot where people are burned alive. A starving horse, his ribs poking out, is hitched close by with a thin rope. A nearby soccer field is dotted with pieces of melted rubber. No games are played here.

The Legendary Story of a Mysterious Solo Ski Mountaineer

Tracking down a silent sender in the Pacific Northwest PHOTO: Jay Beyer On a sunny day in May 2011, photographer Zach Clanton sat on his splitboard eating lunch above the closed Mount Baker Ski Area. Scanning the face of Mount Shuksan through his zoom lens, he saw a fresh skin track.


Favorite Book. Ever.

Timeless. Thrilling. Poignant. Funny. Vulnerable.

Born to Run.jpeg

…Other Favorite Book Ever.

A testament to journalism and human performance. Finished it in two days. Could’ve been one. It’s that good.