As a college sophomore, I had no idea what I was doing other than I had a real passion for photography and telling stories. Taking the recommendation of my college advisor, Jim McNay, I applied and got accepted to the Eddie Adams Workshop. The memory that stands out most to me was showing up at “the farm” in New York, and very quickly realizing just how little I actually knew about anything! Watching presenters from Eddie Adams, to Gordon Parks, to Joe McNally—seeing what they were doing, hearing the way they were thinking, and understanding what was possible—it was like a bomb had gone off in my brain.
My. Mind. Was. Blown.
I was amazed by their work ... but I was also insecure. I felt way out of my league. I felt like I had shown up at the workshop two or three years too early. In retrospect, it was the perfect time. Learning how little you know can truly be one of the most important lessons of your life. It’s something that I’ve carried with me throughout my career. Surrounding yourself with folks who inspire you creatively is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Ironically, now that I’m an alumni and a presenter myself, I find it so incredible that I can return to the Eddie Adams Workshop and receive that same gift all over again, only this time from the talented, high-energy, creative students. That’s what makes this workshop so special. The gift of inspiration goes both ways.
Be a sponge. Your job here is only to soak up as much information, learning and inspiration as possible. When I first attended the workshop, I felt like I was too young and inexperienced to have deserved the coveted spot, and those kind of self-defeating thoughts can prevent you from being a good sponge—from soaking it all in. Don’t doubt yourself, and all the sacrifices that you’ve made and will continue to make, as you pursue this career in visual storytelling. For me, it’s provided some of the richest experiences of my life. Relax. Be a sponge. Soak it all in.
Corey Rich is a director and photographer based in South Lake Tahoe, California, specializing in still, motion, and virtual reality. Some of today’s biggest brands look to Corey to help them create authentic storytelling in the commercial and advertising world. That authentic voice speaks to Corey’s background as a photojournalist who spent decades cutting his teeth in the high-stakes worlds of adventure sports. Corey has traveled around the world and accessed some of its most remote corners in search of granite big-walls, perfect single-track, bottomless powder, and pure passion alongside some of the most recognizable athletes in climbing, skiing, biking, kayaking, and ultra-running. Recently, Corey helped launch the Nikon KeyMission 360 camera, and he recently directed a six-part series of VR films for NBC’s Olympic Channel. Corey is a Nikon Ambassador, and a creative partner at Novus Select, a unique and leading production company and assignment agency based in South Lake Tahoe, California. With a passion for teaching and learning, Rich is a co-founder and lead instructor of the Summit Series Adventure Photography Workshop.
Nikon D5, D850, KeyMission 360, KeyMission 170, and many Nikon lenses