It’s not often that someone gets to interview a photographer as talented as Patrick Gensel. That’s why I was extremely excited when he agreed to answer some questions for me. Patrick was born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania and primarily shoots landscape, action sports and active lifestyle photography. If you’re interested in following Patrick, you can find him on his website, at Twitter or at Adventure Travel Buzz.
1. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?
My name is Patrick Gensel and I am a 30 year old photographer from Northeast Pennsylvania. I’ve been serious about my photography for about 6 years when I decided I needed a way to share my adventures with anyone who would pay attention. I also enjoy craft beer.
2. Where do you call home?
3. After browsing through your website, I see that you’re truly immersed in the field of photography. What is it that led you towards photography and how long have you been working in it?
I have always been in love with visual things and photography, of course, is a natural extension of that. What really drew me into photography as an art form was my need to document my adventures. I began with simple local hikes and eventually blossomed into global travel.
4. Are you self taught or formally taught? Where have you found the majority of valuable information along your journey?
I consider myself self taught. All of my photography knowledge was gained either by self discovery or by browsing the internet extensively.
5. Are you satisfied with your choice of getting involved with this industry? Is there anything else you would rather be doing?
To be honest, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. Photography compliments all the things I love so well. Photography currently is very technology-centric, which I love, and I get to photograph the physical pursuits I love so much, so it’s pretty great.
6. From looking through the galleries on your site, I can see that you’ve been to some far away places. Of the locations you visited, which was your favorite and why?
I’ve been a lot of really cool places, from Colorado to Norway, but the one place I keep going back to is Iceland. There is something very raw about the beauty of that place that draws me in. Being so close to the arctic circle makes it, in a lot of ways, feel like the edge of the earth. That’s really appealing. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the landscapes are absolutely stunning.
7. Regarding your styles of photography, which do you prefer the most?
I like to call myself an “Active Lifestyle” photographer. I loosely define that as photographing people who are out being active. Climbing, hiking, yoga, etc. Since I love to travel, and love beautiful places, I’ve found that this style of photography has been a great blend of landscape, action sports, and travel. For me that’s pretty perfect.
8. What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a photographer?
My favorite part is telling a story through images. There is nothing better than conveying the way you feel through a series of images. My least favorite part is that I have to do business type stuff, but in reality, that is a big part of it.
9. What is the easiest part of your job?
It’s all pretty easy when you love what you do.
10. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Sourcing clients can be tough. Just being a photographer isn’t always enough, so it’s really smart to diversify your income streams.
11. What do you do to keep your photography fresh and how do you stay motivated?
I often check out what my peers are doing. They are a super creative bunch, so it’s inspiring to see what they are doing, but mainly I just keep going to new places, trying to get a new look at things. I think that helps a lot.
12. Who or what inspires you in your personal life and work?
I think a lot of the people creating great adventure travel photography is a big part of what inspires me, as well as the images in publication like Nat Geo (National Geographic). There are some really talented folks taking photos in beautiful places.
13. Who is your favorite photographer?
Right now, I’d have to say I’m pretty stuck on Chris Burkard. What he is doing is pretty close to where I’d like to be.
14. What’s the best part of being a photographer?
Getting to show people how you perceive the world.
15. What industry sites and blogs do you read regularly? Would any stand out as particularly motivational or inspirational for someone who might be interested in learning about photography?
I spend a lot of time on Nat Geo’s website, but Fstoppers has been a treasure trove of photo knowledge that has been a great help.
16. What type of cameras do you shoot with? What’s your favorite lens?
I currently shoot with a Canon 6D and a Canon 60D, but I intend to transition into the Sony line of mirrorless cameras by fall. Right now, my favorite “do everything” lens is definitely the Canon 24-105L. It is super versatile. If I could only choose one lens to take on a trip, that would be the one.
17. What is your favorite photography accessory?
I’d be truly lost without my Fstop Gear Laptop ICU. They are designed to fit into an Fstop gear backpack, but as of right now, it has been working great on its own to organize my gear and keep my laptop protected too. It’s really great.
18. What piece of equipment would you most like to acquire that you don’t have yet?
Probably an actual Fstop bag to put my ICU in. It’s really not crucial, but it sure would be nice.
19. Was their a point in your journey when you started to feel really good about your work? If so, what did it feel like to get past that “tipping point?”
I have always tried to stay confident about the work I do, but I think I really solidified that after getting back from Norway when a shot I took of my girlfriend doing yoga on Trolltunga went viral on a few social media networks. It really drove me to keep at it and keep pursuing the dream.
20. Are there any areas of photography that you have yet to pick up on that you’d like to learn?
I’d love to get into unique travel and adventure related weddings. There may not be a huge market for it, but I think it would be really rewarding.
21. What do you think the future holds for you? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
The future remains to be seen of course, but I would like to see myself traveling for big clients around the world getting them the shots that perfectly represent their brands.