This is a guest post written by my friend Tamsin who is trying to get into climbing photography. She writes about her first experience of photographing climbers in action at our latest trad climbing trip. You can read more about that adventure here.
I find myself hanging 30 metres up a wall, with the trees below me and the breeze in my hair.
A question I often ask myself to assess how I’m doing in life is: “Would my 13 year old self be impressed by this?” It might seem like a weird way to assess your life, but I have a strong belief that you should approach life with a childish mind-set if you want to enjoy yourself.
The answer to my question is YES. Thirteen year old me would think I was the coolest person in the world for that precise moment alone!
Climbing became a huge part of my life back in 2011 and since then I have striven to work out a way to make a living out of it. It is hard though: when you know you will never go pro and you just don’t have the balls to train up as an instructor, your options become very limited.
I studied film production at university and in my final year I wrote my entire dissertation on extreme sports film making, but I never truly believed that I could do the kind of stuff the camera men from Sender Films were doing.
My answer to anyone now who may think that is: You are capable.
I learnt that the rope work involved in suspended photography is very different to that of climbing, no matter what discipline. Though climbing is relevant still, the way in which you secure yourself to the wall is something completely new to me. And on top of that, it feels so much safer!
While my friends were trad climbing up towards me feeling quite uncertain of themselves and the route ahead, I was quite happy dangling over the ledge using my legs as leverage to reposition myself to get the perfect shot.
There is still a certain amount of trust you have to gain in yourself when it comes to climbing to that height with a camera on your back. I lost my lens cap on the first day, which was a lesson hard learned.
But what surprised me most of all was that once you are up there, it is really quite easy to sit and shoot like you would anywhere else. And in fact the angle options which are opened up to you make your photographs a hundred times better.
I am still yet to fully commit, and I need to take a rope access course to ensure my own safety. But I am happy after my first proper trip out and I can’t wait to work on my portfolio!
If you are interested in Tamsin photographing your trip, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org