Photographing Environmental Portraits of a Rock Climber

How do you create contextual portraits when your subject’s environment is precarious positions at the top of high places? Watch as Michael Muller takes us on a behind the scenes tour of a photo shoot with climber, Alex Honnold. The shoot was for a feature on Honnold for the December 2013 issue of Outside magazine. Along with the help of his assistants and wardrobe, Muller pulled the shoot off without a hitch:

Honnold, a well known rock climber who frequently undertakes death-defying climbs, appears to be enjoying the photo shoot, as the photographer puts him on a multitude of creative props. Aside from tackling a 1,500 foot climb up a vertical rock wall with no safety equipment, he also enjoys urban climbing—or free climbing—up building fronts.


As reflected in the finished portraits, which are rich in context, Muller played on Honnold’s urban climbing adventures for the photo shoot.

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever