Dawn Kish doesn't spend much time indoors, preferring to travel the globe in pursuit of great photography. Born in Arizona and given her first camera at age 17, Kish has an enviable list of clients from National Geographic to Sports Illustrated and MTV.
The winner of the Close Up category at the 2007 Red Bull Illume Image Quest, Kish has more recently been involved in documenting archeological expeditions as well as pursuing her own book project about climbing, Dirtbags.
So, what have you been up to since winning the Close Up category at the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2007?
I still work for National Geographic and Patagonia. I also, picked up a new client called Title Nine and they are great to work with. I'm still working as a photographer and thankful for that. Yippie!
Did winning the prize change anything for you or your career?
I think so. Every chance you get like this just shows that you’re on the right path.
It was funny: every once I a while, there would be random folks saying how they saw this cool Illume exhibit and remember my photo.
Are you still shooting action and adventure sports?
Yep, I'm still shooting my lifestyle.
What have been your most memorable shoots in the past couple of years?
Well, unfortunately, I broke my wrist whilst on assignment last year. I can definitely tell you it was unforgettable. I guess it is part of being an adventure photographer and putting yourself at risk in the elements.
I was down climbing an eight-foot overhang and both handholds broke. I flew back and hit wrist first. I was trying to get a better angle for the shot.
Will you be submitting to Red Bull Illume this time round?
I would love to.
What interesting shoots do you have coming up?
I was just at the Ute reservation in Colorado; it was an assignment for National Geo Adventure and writer David Roberts. It's a story on what is left for us to explore of ancient cultures from over a thousand years ago.
From your blog, it looks like you've been active in archeology - is this something you've always been interested in?
What an amazing opportunity. I was contracted to shoot five out of nine excavations along the river corridor of the Grand Canyon National Park. The park has not allowed excavations for over 40 years. Archaeology is a new story to tell. I have always loved science and this was a great way to learn.
What is your role on these projects?
I'm the official photographer. I document the process and research so that it can be transcribed to the public. I'm in the education budget, which means public lectures and slide show presentations, publications, and art exhibitions. Back in March, I had a gallery show at the Museum of Northern Arizona called "Grand Archaeology". Then it transferred to the National Park Headquarters and will continue to travel. In 2011, there is a huge exhibit at the Kolb Studio on the
South Rim of the Park, including all the research and my photography.
What subjects are you and your team investigating and why are they interesting to you?
These particular archaeology sites were researched over a period of 15 years. The nine sites were monitored because of erosion and history was beginning to wash away - in some cases, right into the river. I was excited to learn how the ancient people survived here before us.
Tell us about your upcoming book, Dirtbags.
The Dirtbags book is looking for a grant or some kind of funding. Since the book is self-produced it is hard to keep it going and times like these.
Visit www.dawnkishphotography.com for more information.