We had the good fortune of connecting with Ron Niebrugge and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ron, how do you think about risk?

When it comes to risk, observers of my career might immediately think of my photos up close with bears in Alaska, or camping in a remote canyon in Arizona or trying to get to shore in rough weather in Antarctica. However, for me, I don’t think of those activities as risky. Not that something couldn’t go wrong, but I believe my decades of experience allow me to photograph these places with a reasonable amount of safety. Most of us think nothing of driving on a busy highway even though it might be one of the riskiest activities we may do in any given day because we feel in control. I feel the same way when photographing in nature.

What was my scariest risk? It was when my wife and I left wonderful corporate jobs some 20 plus years ago to pursue my dream of being a photographer. That was scary! I think it was good to be scared as that is one powerful motivator.

I read an article many years ago where numerous folks in a retirement home were asked about their biggest regrets in life. Usually the biggest regret was a dream never pursued, not taking that risk. Rarely was an actual failure mentioned. In other words, it is way better to try and fail, then to not try at all. Fortunately, my “risk” paid off in a dream career, and I won’t have to wonder “what if” That was the best risk of my life!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I have been a full-time professional stock and assignment photographer for over 20 years. I have provided photography for major brands such as Sony and Ford. I have images in and on the cover of most major magazines including Sunset, National Geographic and Newsweek. I now spend a good portion of the year guiding photography tours in Alaska and Arizona.

I believe my pursuit of bright colors and wonderful light has helped set me apart. It sounds cliche, but the light makes all the difference, and I have worked very hard over the years pursuing great light. I don’t think people realize how much work goes into quality photography as they don’t see all the early mornings, or late evenings where conditions didn’t work out. They only see the successes, and that can be misleading.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Since I enjoy nature so much, the first places that come to mind are nature orientated. Papago Park is a great gem in the heart of Phoenix with fun running and hiking trails and great photo opportunities especially for waterfowl on the numerous lakes.

McDowell Mountain Regional Park is a must visit place for the camping and mountain biking. We have spent many days riding and photographing the numerous trails in this park – the short little Sport Loop is my favorite. It is hard to wipe the smile off my face while riding that one.

For eating and drinking, it is hard to beat Scottsdale as there are so many fun bars and restaurants. The Old Town area with places like The Mission are hard to beat, as is the area around Whiskey Row.

Finally, don’t miss out on Major League baseball spring training. Relaxed atmosphere and great weather, it is hard to beat.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

My wife definitely deserves a shout out! I had talked about pursuing photography for years, but never took the necessary step.

That changed on a long drive home from an auto dealership. My wife said if we buy a new car, we just have more debt, and are in a continuous never ending cycle. If we are going to pursue this dream, we had to buckle down, reduce expenses and attack any debt. When we got home from that drive, we wrote out an actual plan with specific goals, and it was this that provided a roadmap to success. I couldn’t have done it without her! As a side note, she (Janine) doesn’t photograph, but enjoys traveling with me and has been instrumental in running the business.

Website: https://www.wildnatureimages.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/niebrugge/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-niebrugge-76138829/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/niebrugge

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NiebruggeImages

Image Credits
Ron Niebrugge / www.WildNatureimages.com

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