How Photography Gives a Voice to Our Shared Humanity

Every once in a while a photographer’s story comes along that is truly inspiring—not merely because of their fantastic photography, but also because of their own personal transformation. Photographer and climber Cory Richards had just such a transformation:

Through following his passion for adventure and remaining willing to capture startling moments of rawness and real emotion, Richards catapulted himself from high school dropout to world-class photographer and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. His work has since appeared in National Geographic, Outside, and The New York Times. The image below is what set it all off:

Richards Avalanche

This image, taken moments after Richards and his team survived a near-fatal avalanche in the Himalayas, would transform his life. It made the cover of National Geographic and from then on Richards would travel the world seeking ways to give voice through images that show us, in his own words,

“…what it means to hurt, what it means to triumph, what it means to be human.”

Corey Richards photography

Richards’s journey began with the need to communicate the depths of his own, individual experience.

“I was always looking for a way to translate what I was seeing around me, and photography became my voice in this big, very confusing world.”

It’s since transformed into a journey to capture not only the soul of adventure, but also the beauty of what it means to be human.

portrait of a man by cory richards

It’s a story of someone learning that they are not alone in the world, but are rather part of a larger humanity—a humanity that not only suffers through amazingly traumatic experiences, but that loves and plays as well. He set out to capture the soul of adventure, what he found was the beauty of what it means to be human.

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