We had the opportunity to speak with pro photographer, Hillary Maybery. Her work revolves around a diverse subject group; fly fishing, skiing, and many other sports. After being one of the first females to compete in the X – Games, her athletic and competitive spirit influenced her to capture jaw-dropping shots of sport and lifestyle settings. She was also called the BEST PHOTOGRAPHER in Sun Valley 10 years running! There is absolutely nothing this woman can’t do! We are very honored to share her talented work, continue on to get the rundown from Hillary herself.
Flylords: Who is Hillary Maybery?
Hillary: An athlete my whole life, a mom to a rad 13-year daughter, dating her dad for 15 years, an easy-going person, and a very hard worker.
Flylords: What lead you to go from a pro snowboarder to a pro photographer?
Hillary: After 10 years of competing, traveling for photo-shoots, and coaching camps in the summer, I saved enough money to pursue my true passion, photography. Took a year off to go to a photography school, shot every day, spent all my free time in the darkroom, and learning as much as I could about photography – I became obsessed with my goals.
Flylords: What was learning photography growing up like?
Hillary: My parents moved around a lot, I went to 5 elementary schools, and 4 high schools. Growing up made me a great observer and made me the photographer I have become. Photographing people always felt natural and effortless, but the technical side took a lot more time for me to learn. How to manually control light and business/marketing skills to this day are my weakest part of my business. Working on it 😉
Flylords: What was it like working under David Stoecklein? Did you gain the right experience?
Hillary: I assisted Dave and he was my mentor for 5 years. He taught me everything! Such a talented, ambitious, passionate and generous photographer. I learned about light, but mostly how to work with my subjects. He taught me to be confident, strong at directing a photo shoot and at the same time make the experience always fun and be professional. He lived life to the fullest, he cared so much about his craft and the cowboy way of life. Never met anyone as passionate than Dave – to this day I still try to have his work ethics!
Flylords: What are the hardest and easiest things to shoot?
Hillary: The hardest was when I had my studio and trying to please my women clients to all look like super-models for their personal branding headshots. Ugh, the retouching just took its toll on my soul. I also was a family and wedding photographer, which I needed to do to live and survive in this profession. Now, I can focus on what I love to photograph working outdoors with healthy, talented, and passionate clients who love what they do! I’m always fortunate because of the positive energy we all bring to the photoshoot.
Flylords: Share with us the all-time favorite photo you’ve taken.
Hillary: No way! Incredible adventures with so many talented friends and clients, but my most favorite images are the early morning light or last light of the day.
Flylords: Do different sports call for different camera setups? What is the “go-to” setup you like to use?
Hillary: I always shoot with my Canon EOS-1D X. Never miss a moment and water/dust resistant is very important. Attached with my 70-200 2.8 or 35 1.4 are my most used lenses. Portrait’s 5D mark IV with the 85 1.2 – such a gorgeous buttery lens. I’m so hard on my gear, all of it is insured.
Flylords: What’s the number one challenge as a photographer and how do you overcome it?
Hillary: Not working. When this happens, I’ll work on portfolio shoots. Skiing/snowboarding in the backcountry or powder days on Baldy, fishing, bird hunting, or some type of sport to keep me creative and new work to share with Ad Agencies I like to work for.
Flylords: Do you think it’s important to have a positive relationship with the individual you shoot?
Hillary: Most people feel uncomfortable having a camera always pointed at them. I have an instinct on how to connect with all types of people and engaging with them. Brings out more authenticity while shooting making a client feel comfortable. Number one trait that helps – always smile. Never be negative on a shoot, even when I’m panicking inside about the things that might be going wrong on a shoot! They don’t need to know.
Flylords: Wanna share a few words of wisdom for upcoming female photographers?
Hillary: *The gear you can’t afford isn’t the barrier keeping you from your success. Gear has very little to do with photography. So much more about producing a great photograph, connection, light, timing, editing and more.
*Keep images simple! The number one reason that most photos fail is that there is no clear subject. Remove clutter, remove distraction. Tell one story, and tell it well.
*Make mistakes, learn quickly. Get out there and do stuff. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t work, change it. Quickly.
*Seems like everyone I come across wants to be a photographer, especially high school teens and young adult women. Some are lazy, have so many excuses or they want it to happen quickly. I read a great book awhile back, the Outliers. The author talks about it takes 10 years or 10,000-hour rule as the key to achieve success and master a skill!
*Hustle and keep at it! Always shoot. Creative Live is affordable for online classes and assists photogs you admire. There’s only ONE YOU that can create an image because of your life experiences. Find your goals, be consistent and work hard on it!
Article Courtesy of Flylords team member Collin Terchanik.