So winning the Lifestyle Category turned out well for you huh?
"When I received the award, it was a huge insane overnight boost to my career! It put my work on a lot of new eyes and it also helped me to start to develop a fan base on social media. Overnight it really transformed my whole operation, my career, and the direction of my artwork!"
"I can link so much success to Red Bull Illume. At the time, I was heavily entrenched in the surf industry. In the months after Hong Kong, my photography expanded so far beyond that. I used the success of Red Bull Illume as a springboard to break free of the surf world, and now I’ve been working with the likes of Lexus, Volvo, Nike, Apple, and others. I’ve been doing a lot of fashion and travel work as well, all the while focusing on pushing myself and my creativity."
So you’re quite the star!
"It was an amazing turning point. The event, prizes, recognition... it was incredible. It set off an avalanche! I can trace it all back to Red Bull Illume."
And you got to break out of surf?
"Red Bull Illume gave me the tools to look beyond the surf world, which is very niche, and really do something that’s been a dream of mine: to be a photographer of any style. I now spend my time focusing on fashion, travel, exploring action sports and outdoor photography, whether hiking and climbing and camping or boating. Red Bull illume was the helping hand I needed."
Your social channels benefited too as well?
"I experienced a landslide of growth in the months following Red Bull Illume. It went from 10k to 20k. Now I have almost 1 million followers across my outlets."
Go on, list some of your new clients
"I’ve worked with Corona, Audi, Delta Airlines, Wired magazine, National Geographic, Outside, Conde Nast Traveller, the list goes on. Being able to plug in with Red Bull and their team was incredible. That was a top honor. I’ve been really just exploring the realms of photography and using that notoriety from Red Bull Illume to take every job opportunity thrown at me. It’s taken me to some incredibly wild and far-flung places."
"I did a shoot recently in Alaska for a yacht company. It’s funny because I grew up on small boats. We were flying around in helicopters. It was so surreal flying through glaciers, seeing bears, whales, moose, wolves. It really was the most I’ve been outside my comfort circle as far as working’s concerned."
So we’re guessing you’re planning on entering again?
"I’m counting down the days. I’ve got several images in mind that I’ve taken, and am so excited to enter. The mobile category is also really fascinating to me; I’ve always used my phone just to snap random photos but in last two years, the quality of the iPhone has become spectacular. So I’d love to throw my hat into that."
"You know what touched me the most? Flying across the world to Hong Kong for the Ceremony. I got to hang out with some of my closest peers and friends, like Zak Noyle and Chris Burkard. I also had the honor of meeting and spending time with new ones, like Scott Serfas, who’s long been one of my heroes. I was just glowing from that. Meeting my artistic heroes – that was the real prize."
View some of Morgan’s images in the gallery and find out more about his work on his website or Facebook page.
The world's greatest action and adventure sports photography contest is back and better than before with the addition of a new mobile category. Find all information here and mark Dec 1, 2015 on your calendars! That's when submissions open.
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