She’s probably one of the ballsiest photographers I’ve ever interviewed. When starting out as sports photographer she was said to never amount to much, boy were they wrong! Krystle Wright is an award-winning photographer with adventure in her blood.
Dedicated to adventure and photography
On her journey of finding the perfect shot, she’s broken teeth falling into a 6-foot ditch while mountain biking and quite a few ski-related accidents. During a bad paragliding take-off in Pakistan, she hit boulders and had to endure a 7-hour journey to a military hospital. Ending up with a whole list of injuries, from 10 stitches on her forehead, a red eyeball and internal bleeding. She’s also competed in the World Elephant Polo championships in Nepal. This is what we call crazy dedication!
Bachelors in Photojournalism
Krystle Wright grew up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and has always been a very driven person. She’s always wanted to become a photographer but didn’t know how to go about it, and since all her friends went to university, she decided to do the same. Having a Bachelors in Photojournalism helps a lot when it comes to applying for visas, but she goes on to say that that piece of paper has never helped score her photographic work. Your photography work has to be good, unique and interesting.
Advice from Krystle
The best advice Krystle can give any photographer approaching a scene is to grab the safe shots first, so that there’s something for the client and then, branch out and try something new. She also believes that the best thing someone starting out in photography can do, is to shoot as much as you can. Urging that you make as many mistakes as possible and develop your own specific style, which takes time.
How she established a career
Besides being an award-winning photographer, assigned projects by Canon, Red Bull and National Geographic, she’s still very much grounded. “I don’t believe in a big break.” Rather insisting that each and every project she’s worked on has helped establish her career. In addition to putting a lot of hard work into establishing a strong portfolio, it’s about who you know. Networking is crucial! She has gone to extremes like flying to the other side of the world to meet clients and insists that the gambles have paid off.
A list of gear and 10 seconds of post-processing
- Canon 1DX Mk II
- Canon 5DsR
Then a range of Canon lenses, which include:
- 70-200mm f/2.8 L II USM
- 24-70mm f/2.8 L II
- 14mm f/2.8 L
- 24mm f/1.4 L
- 35mm f/1.4 L
- 50mm f/1.2 L
- 85mm f/1.2 L
- 100mm macro
- 24 Cine lens
- 2x 600 EX Flashes
- STE 3
- 2x extender
- AquaTech Housing for her 5DsR body
Her photographic equipment list may be long but her post-production procedure sure is anything but! She does as much as she can, in-camera, so there’s less editing to do later. Although she may spend a bit more time on certain images, for the most part, she doesn’t spend more than 10 seconds on an image, just fixing sharpness and maybe add some contrast.
Natural fear, gut instinct and complacency
The toughest lesson she’s learnt over the years is the difference between natural fear and gut instinct. “It’s only natural to be scared when I stand on the edge of a cliff. Fear is what keeps humans alive and safe.” Over the years she’s built the right skill-set, which helps her access unique positions which she knows many other people find downright scary. Other times, that natural fear gets replaced by gut instinct, you’ll just know that something doesn’t feel right. Those times you have to listen and try again some other time. She also warns against complacency, as it is the cause of so many accidents.
Downtime for Krystle
Krystle believes in travelling with a purpose, so when she wants a holiday, she goes home. “It’s the only place I can truly relax and take a lazy day or two, going down to my local beach.” By recharging, she comes up with fresh ideas and has a new found energy to take off again.
Sports she likes to do herself
Being exposed to such a wide variety of activities, I was curious to know which of them she likes to do herself. At the moment she’s absolutely fanatical about downhill/back country skiing, “always trying to chase dreamy powder conditions.” Besides skiing, she also loves rock climbing and free diving although she doesn’t get enough time to do it often.
This self-confessed stubborn adrenaline junkie also enjoys good music and art; and describes her style of photography as adventurous, emotive and contrasting. She’s absolutely itching to come over to Africa and start exploring our beautiful continent, and if she makes it to South Africa, swing by for a cold one.
Her photographs evoke passion and makes you sit on the edge of your seat, in absolute awe of what both photographer and athlete created in perfect synchronisation.