Pro Spotlight

JOBY #SchoolPridePOV Spotlight featuring Trevor Mahlmann

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This month we’re featuring our #SchoolPridePOV Ambassador, Trevor Mahlmann. Trevor creates wondrous long exposure shots of the stars and beyond when he’s not in class at Purdue. Listen to what he has to say about his gear and check out his channels for more!

Don’t forget to get your entries into our #SchoolPridePOV Sweepstakes, for a chance to win $1,500 worth of camera gear! Details here:

What’s your favorite JOBY gear and why?

My GorillaPod Focus w/ BallHead X is my favorite because I use it the most.  It is a very sturdy and easy way to set up a shot quickly without getting out a bulky tripod, allowing you to get in lower situations you couldn’t reach without it.

What gear do you use?

I use a Canon 7D MKII, Canon Rebel T5i, GoPro Hero 4 Black, and a DJI Phantom 4 as my primary capture devices!

What is your favorite image you’ve posted and why?

My favorite image has to be the one below because of the craziness of it all. I still wonder to this day what made me think of that when I sat down on my flight.

What drives you to create?

Sharing awesome scenes I can be a part of with anyone and everyone I can so they can enjoy it too!

What’s the next piece of gear on your wish list?

5D Mk IV, definitely a full-frame body.

What’s your life outside of photography?

Student at Purdue, busy engineering student! During my summertime, I chase the photography projects I dream up during the school year.

What’s your dream job?

Astronaut. Flying in space, maybe step foot on Mars one day.

Any advice to those starting out?

Shoot everything, find what you like to shoot and hone in on it, perfecting your skills. Share those beautiful scenes with as many people as possible!

Pro Spotlight – Aurora Lampson

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JOBY Pro Spotlight | 13 Questions for a Pro Photographer |Aurora Lampson

This month we’re featuring professional photographer Aurora Lampson. Sometimes photography finds us. With Aurora photography found her and flourished as she documented the daily joy of being a new mother. Soon photography became her passion. It would be hard to find a day, yet a moment when her camera isn’t hanging from a strap on her shoulder ready to go. More and more she began to receive request for photo sessions and before she knew it she was working as a full time photographer. Sometimes photography finds us and never lets go.

Aurora Lampson |  Age: 37   |  California, USA




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Pro Spotlight – Chris Higgins

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JOBY Pro Spotlight | 13 Questions for a Pro Photographer |Chris Higgins

This month we’re featuring professional photographer Chris Higgins. You might remember Chris from our video “What Does It Take To Get The Shot – Caving” where Chris took us hundreds of feet below the surface and scared the @##@! out of us. Since we meet up with Chris a year ago he has been summiting peak after peak across the world. Follow Chris’s social sites and you’ll be in store for a view of places 99.9% of us never see.


Chris Higgins |  Age: 27   |  Tennessee, USA




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Pro Spotlight – Dale Mears

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JOBY Pro Spotlight | 13 Questions for a Pro Photographer |Dale Mears

This month we’re featuring professional photographer Dale Mears. If you’re into kayaking, you’ve probably seen one of Dale Mear’s photos or read one of his articles and reviews. Dale is a regular contributor to The Paddler UK magazine and has contributed works in N-photo and UK’s independent Nikon Magazine. It’s always great to work with someone you can count on to get the shot; but even more important is working with an overall positive and energetic person. Over the last two years, Dale has become more than a JOBY advocate, he has become part of the JOBY family. He always delivers the shot (even with little notice) that make us smile and wish we’d taken that image.


Dale Mears  |  Age: 30   |  United Kingdom






What type of professional photographer are you?

Mostly white water kayaking and other action sports. I like to try a bit of everything, though!



Your Gear ­ What gear do you use regularly?

In my go to gear bag: Nikon D7000, 50mm f/1.8, 70-200mm, sb700 flash, 2 GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X, Action Grip, Action Jib kit, Contour Roam 3 and Plus 2, Lowepro bags/cases and JOBY Action Suction cups are the essentials.



What would be your dream photography job?

One traveling around the world earning lots of money! I’d like to see lots of places, maybe on luxury yachts in far off destinations!




Why did you become a professional photographer and when did you know you wanted to be one?

Technically I earn a living teaching in the UK, but pick up photography work in my own time. I guess I knew I wanted to be a photographer around 8 years ago, I was on a trip kayaking in Norway with friends and was first introduced to a DSLR. I was amazed by the quality and images that it would take and decided I couldn’t miss out on all the photo opportunities I have had over the years. First thing I did when I returned was buy a DSLR and read as much as I could and practice all the time. The buzz has grown and I still can’t put down my camera.



Did you study photography?

No, I am self-taught, but photography runs in the family. My granddad was a photographer and my dad always had a passion which he started again when I started photography. Most of my experience comes from working most weekends at the National White Water Sports Centre and coaching from my boss at the time.



Do you carry a camera with you daily when not working?

I always carry a camera. I’m scared if I leave it at home I will miss something!



When you’re not shooting photos ­ you are?

Teaching Design and Technology at secondary school, spending time with my fiancé and friends. Kayaking (when its hot)



If you couldn’t be a professional photographer, you would be a?

I quite like the idea of digital marketing, I would enjoy working for a good brand, I have a real passion for promoting good gear.



Have you ever dropped a lens? ­ Come on be honest!

During my time spent photographing at the UK’s National White Water sports centre I was stood taking photos of the white water rafts one day when I blacked out, I guess the night before had been a heavy night! I stepped forwards and went straight into the water, I remember it happening in slow motion, I tried to throw the camera onto the bank and it just dropped in. It was a Canon 7D with a L series 28­-300mm attached. They had to shut off the course at night and drain the water! But luckily my boss went in with a wet-suit and Snorkeling goggles to find it for insurance. Fortunately, that’s the only one that I’ve dropped. I always use a JOBY wrist strap or Pro Sling Strap to stop it happening again!



If you could only have only one lens for a year what would it be?

I think it would have to be a 50mm f/1.8; It’s a good lens to carry around. It’s small, light, fast, easy to use and gets amazing shots.



Name a famous person living or dead whose photo you would wish you could take.

Wow… this is a hard question, maybe the Queen, a proper royal photo shoot though, not just from a distance. As to be asked by the Queen would be an honor!




The next piece of gear you’re going to buy is?

A Nikon 70­-200mm f/2.8 would be nice, but I have a wedding this summer to pay for first!



And finally what is the one thing you wish a professional photographer had told you before you became a professional photographer?

How addictive and expensive it can be!







Pro Spotlight – Petr Jan Juračka

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JOBY Pro Spotlight | 13 Questions for a Pro Photographer |Petr Jan Juračka

This month we’re featuring professional photographer Petr Jan Juračka. Petr is based near Prague and works as a scientist and photographer for Charles University. Over the last few years Petr has shared his images and love for JOBY products with us. Petr is a photographer that other photographers look up to. His work is awe inspiring and we’ve never received an image from Petr that didn’t have the whole office gathered around the screen to see it. Petr is also an avid GoPro and drone enthusiast. He was big into drones before they became the latest craze. When Petr post a YouTube video the footage looks on par with the promo videos GoPro produces. It’s safe to say we think Petr is an awesome photographer but even more so he’s become a great friend to several of the staff at JOBY.


Petr Jan Juračka  |  Age: 29, soon 30 ;­)  |  Prague, Czech Republic


Google Plus:čka




What type of professional photographer are you?

I have to ask myself, as I am not sure, what type I might be. It is quite complicated, as I am 3 days a week considered to be a scientist (Ecology: Hydrobiology) at Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic). Rest of the week I work as a photographer on the same place ­ I take pictures of the scientists, scientific experiments, animals… Most often I am using very special gear including various both light and electron microscopes, or radio controlled drones. During the weekends and free days I am leading landscape photography workshops, as well special macro & microphotography lectures. However, a major part of my work is free, and consists of personal photography and video projects…


Your Gear ­ What gear do you use regularly?

Yes, this is crucial for me. I cannot take an image of my gear, as these things are sputtered on multiple places over our country, and it is not possible to photo all these subjects in one room ­ some microscopes are too large ;­) So, maybe it is easiest to have a look in my bag, which is completely differently packed for every event ­ this is my favorite setup for a short walk with my daughter… ;­)

The most important parts of my gear are Nikon DSLRs (Nikon D610, Nikon D800, Nikon D300 and others), then lenses (the most favorite are 10.5/2.8, 14/2.8, 28/1.8, 50/1.8, 105/2.8, 180/2.8 and 300/2.8), tripods, camera slider, drones (FR1200, DJI F550), action cameras (GoPro 4), microscopes and tons of various accessories (external recording, grips, power supplies, cables, cards, bags etc.). Among those, Joby products are really the most favorite ones, as are quit handy and steady at the same time. I take into account to my photography gear also some climbing stuff, as this enables me to shoot from interesting perspectives. I love my work… ;­)


What would be your dream photography job?

I would like to make a really beautiful and extensive gallery of the nature as seen from above ­ from the drone. It would consist of the landscape structure shots, taken on various places of our planet. Just to show, how different the places of our Earth are. But this is whole­life project with a need of some really liberal financing ;­)


Why did you become a professional photographer and when did you know you wanted to be one?

Since my 11 I was trying to found, what is better: photography or the science? That is why I am still something between. I love photography and started as a pro in 2009. However, the scientific environment is somehow still around me.


Did you study photography?

Yes and no. I have never attended any photography school or courses. But…, my father is a professional artist and used to take me to the nature quite often when I was young. It was a hard school of life, as he is really hairsplitter and the differences between his profession (graphics) and mine are substantial. However, I think this gave me a lot.


Do you carry a camera with you daily when not working?

My gear weights about 70kg, so I have to choose very carefully what to give in the bag. When travelling to a job, I am used to have a pocket camera with me, my favorite Nikon Coolpix A. However, right now I am sitting in the train from my job and have any camera with me. So sad ;­)


When you’re not shooting photos ­ you are?

Probably editing shots, sleeping or typing my Ph.D. thesis ;­)


If you couldn’t be a professional photographer you would be a?

Professional painter, but I would die of hunger soon, as I cannot paint.


Have you ever dropped a lens? ­ Come on be honest!

So many! But all of them survived, even washing in the Caribbean, falling many meters in the Czech caves or dropping to the fine sand in Mongolia.


If you could only have only one lens for a year what would it be?

WOOOOW, this is a hard question! Probably 28/1.8, as I love the perspective, it is possible to use for landscape as well as human portrait with very shallow depth of field.


Name a famous person living or dead whose photo you would wish you could take.

This is easy ­ Michael Jackson. When young, I wanted to be his personal photographer! ;­)


The next piece of gear you’re going to buy is?

Today I bought TASCAM external recorder, tomorrow we are going to build a new DIY thing. I am going to love it ­ RC cable­cam! Yes, as I am going to Egypt, where the drones are forbidden, I am trying to bring some alternative ;­)


And finally what is the one thing you wish a professional photographer had told you before you became a professional photographer?








Pro Spotlight – John Rathwell

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JOBY Pro Spotlight | 13 Questions for a Pro Photographer | John Rathwell

This month we’re featuring John Rathwell an action adventure photographer from Ontario. John consistently produces some amazing images. We’re fans of his work here at JOBY but also have grown to love the positive attitude John has. He’s a top level photographer who humbly calls himself a “pro button pusher”. At JOBY we’re proud to have John as an Advocate.


John Rathwell  |  Age: 27  |  Ottawa Ontario


Facebook: (John Rathwell Photography)

Instagram: (@JohnRathwell)

Twitter: (@JohnRathwell)


What type of professional photographer are you?

I like to consider myself as more of a professional button pusher than photographer, but to answer your question, I shoot action and adventure sports for commercial and editorial use.


Your Gear – What do you use regularly?

I use a variety of gear depending on the shoot but my go to is; Canon 5D mk III, Canon 8-15mm, 16-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm. Lately I have also been using primes like the 50mm and 135mm a lot more. In terms of accessories I typically carry LumoPro Flashes, Pocket Wizard Plus III’s, GorillaPod Focus and ND filters. I love ND filters!



What would be your dream photography job?

Any job that keeps me traveling to beautiful places and working with amazing people and athletes. It doesn’t get much better than that! My bags are already packed…where in the World should we go?


Why did you become a professional photographer and when did you know you wanted to be one?

To be honest, I became a professional photographer by accident. I was kayaking full time when a chronic shoulder injury put me on the sidelines. I found myself in a situation where I was sitting on the banks of some of the greatest rivers in the world with the top paddlers in front of me. I had the thought “Gee…someone should take photos of this” and it all began. From that time on (about 2009) I have slowly grown and expanded my photography business to a place it sustains a living for me. I don’t believe I ever woke up one morning and said “today is the day I am going to be a professional photographer”. It just kind of happened…and I hope it keeps happening!


Did you study photography?

I did not go through a traditional college photography course. That being said, I did put my time in reading books, watching tutorials and learning off of local photographers that inspired me. I also spent a lot of time just shooting, editing and learning by trial and error.  Side note: The book the stands out the most to me, in terms of teaching crux skills for my career is Syl Arena’s Speedliters Handbook (I still have it…and if you want to learn to light you should get it to).



Do you carry a camera with you daily when not working?

Don’t we all these days (holds up phone)? I pretty much always have my iPhone on me, which for most situations on the fly, can capture the shot I am after…even if I have to work it a little more (but thats all part of the fun). I recently started carrying the Canon G1 X mk II around with me in certain situations, which has has been fun. I have been known to through a GoPro in my pocket as well when going on adventures with friends as a quick and easy way to shoot photos.


When you’re not shooting photos – you are?

Any of my friends can tell you, that at any moment I can be torn off the path we are headed down to start working any sort of photo that I think might have potential. Kind of like a dog and squirrel situations you could say. When we are on road trips, everyone knows if I am in the car it is going to take longer than average! Actually, I try to drive as much as possible so I can choose to pull over, as my friends have started ignoring me when I ask if we can stop for a photo.


If you couldn’t be a professional photographer you would be a?

Good question. I would be doing something else that I love and that makes me happy. My theory has never been to do a specific job because it pays well. It has always been to simply just be happy. So whatever it is, I can bet it will be doing something outside.



Have you ever dropped a lens? – Come on be honest!

A lens? As in just one? I wish I had a short answer for this question…but unfortunately I have dropped a lot of gear. To keep it down to my 2 scariest stories, last fall I was shooting sea kayaking on the rugged shores of northern Nova Scotia. I had climbed high onto a rocky shore line and   went to grab my camera to start shooting when the body came of the lens. The body dropped and tumbled off the edge of the rock and feel about 20 feet. After that it continued to tumble down the sloped rock towards the sea about another 40 feet. It stopped right before it hit the water. Luckily the camera still works great. I also had my entire bag fall off a rock and end up in the river once. I had to jump in in my clothes to fetch it out of the cold spring water. I ended up loosing one flash which is pretty lucky considering that my entire kit was in the bag at the time. When it comes down to it, gear is a tool to get the job done. I do my best to protect and take care of it, but in the end its about getting the shot, not making sure my gear stays in mint condition for ever.


If you could only have only one lens for a year what would it be?

My 24-70 is my workhorse, go to lens and has been for awhile. I think that catches a lot of people off guard, as sports photographers always go to their trusty old 70-200. I prefer showing more of the environment the athlete is in and is trying to conquer, which is why I prefer the wider lenses.


Name a famous person living or dead whose photo you would wish you could take.

There are several amazing action sports athletes on my list, past and present that I would love to work with, but I am actually going to say my father, who passed away last summer. As a photographer, it is sometimes hard to make the time to create a really good portrait of someone in your family, but it is something that is very much worth doing.

Dane Jackson - Action


The next piece of gear you’re going to buy is?

I have been eyeing up the 24mm tilt shift lens or the new Canon 100-400mm. I try not to focus on all the fancy stuff to much though. I find to be at your creative peak you need to have a few restrictions, which is why I think I have been loving the use of primes lately.


And finally what is the one thing you wish a professional photographer had told you before you became a professional photographer?

I feel like for myself, I misunderstand the need to always be learning. When I started getting into it I tried to learn all these techniques and thought “once I know all these things, every photo will be amazing”, but the fact is you always need to learn and push yourself. Photography gets boring if you keep making the same photos and using the same techniques. I have discovered that my “personal photography” has become experimental in terms of trying to do something new or different then mastering it. Once I master it, I bring that technique to my professional work.




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