Excerpt from Krystle Wright’s Facebook page:
Conversation with a random in the gondola,
‘You know when you play that game, what’s your dream job?’
‘No, I don’t think I’ve ever played that game’
‘Well what do you do for a living then?’
‘I’m an adventure photographer’
Twenty-seven year old adventure photographer Krystle Wright has followed her passion for the craft to the ends of the earth. Her love of storytelling coupled with a desire to explore led her to study photography in college but she says “I was never a good student. I had a low attention span.” While she worked as a photojournalist for several newspapers in Sydney, Australia, documenting mainly sports, she discovered that she didn’t feel she belonged there either. “Now a days you’re battling 80,000 people on the internet.” So she went after something that would last longer than a tic tac.. Soon enough a job led her to Baffin Island to shoot BASE jumping, she realized her true calling and decided to pursue adventure photography full time.
This has become more than her occupation or even lifestyle, she describes her work as “a mixture of passion and obsession” in a video sponsored by Canon Australia. Her photos are marked by powerful imagery and the ability to convey a story and is known for her striking photo essays. Wright’s work has been featured in Outside, The Red Bulletin, Inside Sport, Sidetracked, Australian Outdoor, Women’s Adventure Magazine, The Times London and National Geographic.
She finds inspiration in the nature of the trade, trying to capture a fleeting moment and embody the soul of a place and time. Her obvious determination to be in the midst of a story enriches her work as well as her experience, as she grows close to the fellow adventurers and athletes.
Wright is truly a nomad whose home is on the road, traveling and shooting for eleven months out of the year. Her belongings are stored in shipping containers on four continents to facilitate her travels across the globe on each trip. Most recently, she adventured to the Palisades in the Sierra Mountain range to photograph alpine high lines. She hasn’t decided on where she’d like to settle down but mentions, “the ideal situation is to have a home where you can leave and go on a trip and be able to come back and have it be your place.” For now, Wright seems to be doing just fine playing the intrepid traveler, noting that “my friends say I’m a child of the universe.”
An obvious expert in light packing, Wright always bring two cameras, one dedicated to photography and one for video, though both can perform either task and they serve as backups for each other. A koala on her key chain serves as a token of her homeland Australia.
Many of Wright’s jobs require her to participate in order to get the shot– anything from skiing, free diving, dodging 10 ft waves in Indo, paragliding, mountaineering or rock climbing, making her no stranger to accidents and injuries. She chipped her front teeth in China during a bicycling accident. She’s survived avalanches and extreme temperatures. Once, she completely lost feeling in her hands while waiting for skydivers to jump off a distant mountain taking pictures with frozen solid hands. Then she climbed back down alone because she’d made the journey by herself to get the shot. We asked her where her mind goes in these moments and what gets her through it. “I got a lot of griff from friends for doing that alone. I did think about polar bears, like, what the hell do I do if I run into a polar bear? You become really focused on the task at hand. Putting one foot in front of the other and continue the pace. I try to give myself small goals, like, okay that’s my next point. When you’re hiking there’s something about hearing your own heart rate”
In 2011, Wright was commissioned to capture Red Bull paragliders’ attempt to break the world altitude record. She traveled to the Karakoram mountain range in Northern Pakistan and prepped to ascend to 18,000 feet, where oxygen support is necessary. She was riding tandem with a paraglider when they had a bad takeoff and hit a boulder. She blacked out. She describes her 7 hour trip to the hospital as the most painful experience jolting her injured body over rough terrain. She received ten stitches on her forehead, had internal and bone bruising, two fractures, a torn ligament and a red eyeball for five weeks. Now fully recovered, she still has a scar to remind her of that day and is making plans to return to Pakistan.
This chick’s so busy we had to let her go but she left us with something she’s learned from each adventure she’s gone on.
“Everything is a general appreciation for life. You always learn something about yourself. There’s no luxury, there’s no one waiting around the corner to help you. It’s just you in nature.”
Wright’s stories run deep, her adventures are like dream sequences that we only hope to have and she’s inspirational in that she changed her lifestyle to fit her dream. Krystle Wright is our dream girl. You can find more of her work on her website WrightFoto.com.au OR on instagram