Each of the past two summers I’ve created an end of the year monsoon season film. In 2012, I created a film titled “In Motion.” It highlighted a collection of time lapses that I had captured over the year mainly from the 2012 monsoon season. While I was very proud of this film at the time, it still had something missing.
In 2013, I thought I found the solution I needed to make a film that I was going to be really proud of. I thought that I needed to chase even harder, more aggressively, and more miles. In fact in 2013, I travelled over 10,000 miles across Arizona capturing some of the best weather images and time lapses I had ever taken. Yet, as I came into 2014, I still felt like my final product was missing something.
It wasn’t until about a month before the 2014 monsoon season that I felt like the little light bulb was lit up above my head and I had that “Eureka! I’ve got it!” moment. Simply capturing time lapses and pasting them into a film didn’t seem right anymore. I had to do something completely different. The film needed to be personal, and it needed to tell a story. But, most importantly it needed to show the world that we do have some of the most fascinating weather one could ever observe.
Its really amazing how things begin to “click” at times. As a storm chaser it really clicked for me this year. For the first time since I started chasing Arizona storms, I really felt confident as a chaser, and photographer. I felt that I finally had a good grasp on how to successfully chase Arizona storms. Chasing out here is no easy task. In fact ask any veteran storm chasers, like Mike Olbinski, and you’ll quickly learn that I’m not the only one who understands how difficult it is to chase here.
However, I truly believe that confidence in yourself is one of the biggest keys to successfully chasing Arizona storms. Trusting your gut, and learning from your prior experiences can exponentially increase your success rate. In fact I truly believe that one of the biggest reasons I had an extremely successful season is that I learned to value myself as a chaser and photographer. Valuing myself allowed me to focus on my mission this year. A mission to show the world “The Incredible Weather of Arizona.”
The Incredible Weather of Arizona Facts
- Cameras: Nikon D610, Nikon D7000, GoPro Hero 3+ Black, and iPhone 5s
- Lenses: Nikon 20mm F4, Nikon 50mm F1.4, Nikon 70-300mm F3.5/F5.6, Rokinon 14mm F2.8
- Images: Over 40,000 individual images created the time lapses and photographs you saw in the film.
- Miles: I traveled well over 15,000 miles chasing storms in Arizona. 13,384 of those miles were chasing in my Prius. The other remaining miles were chasing in the vehicles of other chasers including Kerry Hutchings, Bryan Hellman, and Mike Olbinski.
- Places: I traveled to several amazing places this year including the Grand Canyon National Park, the Painted Desert, Meteor Crater, Winslow, Sunset Crater National Monument, Phoenix Metro, Tucson Metro, Sedona, Cottonwood, Yuma, Quartzsite, Safford, Benson, Willcox, Sierra Vista, and many more.
- People: I got to chase with many people this year including Kerry Hutchings, Chris Frailey, Larry Reeves, Mike Olbinski, Jon Stolarski, Scott Wood, Bryan Hellman, Christian Cleary, Jerrod Harris, Pete Miramontes, Rebecca Thomas of CBS 5, and of course my entire TVN Audience :)
- More Monsoon Resources: National Weather Service Monsoon Stats, and Monsoon Safety.
- God: While it may seem cliche, I have to thank the big man upstairs. Without him and his love, none of this would have been possible for me.
- My Wife: Monika has been the biggest support of my photography and passion for chasing storms here in Arizona. During this summer, she has sacrificed so much, which ultimately has allowed me to make all this possible.
- My family: I want to thank my family and especially my brother who is also a photographer. My brother is one of the biggest reasons I got into still photography.
- Larry Reeves: While I didn’t get to chase with Larry as much as I would have liked, he’s been a great mentor and friend.
- Scott Wood: Scott no longer lives in AZ, but we still keep in contact. He’s mentored me over the years and has helped me become a much better photographer.
- Jon Stolarski: Not only did Jon create my logo for Bryan Snider Photography, he also created the amazing poster image for this film.
- Kelly Galarneau: This past year Kelly has become a good friend of mine. She inspired me to chase with a purpose and helped me learn to truly value my work.
- Mike Olbinski: Mike has encouraged me over the years to focus on my strengths as a photographer and story teller. Mike’s work has also been a big inspiration for my work.
- Kerry Hutchings: I spent most of my summer chasing with Kerry and mentoring him. By mentoring Kerry, I truly believe he made me a more confident chaser.
- Christian Cleary: Christian’s vision of AZ ChaserCon became a reality this year. I truly believe AZ ChaserCon is a big reason I was so successful this year.
- April Warnecke, Royal Norman, Kim Quintero and the rest of AZFamily (3TV): 3TV has been one of the biggest supporters of my photography throughout the years. Their continued support is a big reason why I am where I am today.
- I would also like to thank Dustin Farrell, Rebecca Thomas (reporter), CBS5, KTAR, Mac and Gaydos Show, 12 News, Dr. Matt Pace, Williams Pitts, Amber Sullins, ABC 15, Fox 10, Andy Hoeland, Char Dewey, Jeff Beamish, KVOA News 4 Tucson, Pete Miramontes, Jerrod Harris, TVN Weather, Brett Adair, Will Wilkens, Bryan Hellman and so many more! I know I probably left somebody off this list that deserves credit, but you know who you are and thank you!