We are Still Wild with Andy Best
Andy Best lives a nomadic lifestyle out of his camper, using it as a mobile basecamp for chasing high peaks and delving deep into the backcountry. He seeks out adventure as a way to find the unexpected, and is always on the hunt for something that stirs his soul. Via photography and movies, we get to follow his adventures and journeys around the world. He captures the beauty of nature and expresses the importance of dreaming, hard work and loving others, you will truly get inspired to go on adventures while watching his work.
I find passion in the people and world around me. It’s in my core to work hard and love others. Simple fact, life gives you what you put into it.
What made you seek a nomadic lifestyle to accompany your photography?
Andy Best: I spent my entire childhood playing outside, camping, biking, fishing, the works. Alongside it all, I ended up getting into sharing the stories and beauty of our adventures with photography and filmmaking. After film school, and a few agency jobs, and trying to escape to the mountains every weekend the rest slowly evolved into a natural fit.
The simple things like scooting down an open road while the sunset explodes across the sky and not trying to capture it. The little moments that are just for you alone, not documented, just enjoyed.
What type of films do specialize in producing?
A.B.: I have been shooting more adventure mini films, as well as a few time-lapse vignettes. I am in post-production for an upcoming adventure conservation documentary piece I shot last August in Alberta. It’s beauty with substance, a path I’m going down more and more these days.
What are some of the most unique experiences you have had while doing this?
A.B.: Oh wow, a lot of it is the beauty of course, like watching the northern lights in different corners of the globe. However, to me it’s more about meeting life long friends along the way. And, the simple things like scooting down an open road while the sunset explodes across the sky and not trying to capture it. The little moments that are just for you alone, not documented, just enjoyed. Those have to be the most memorable.
Is Instagram your most utilized social media platform that you use to display your work?
A.B.: If not, what are the others? Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Steller, they all are tools in my toolbox. They are all uniquely different and leveraged different ways. They are conversation starters to allow me to pitch my craft. The craft and the story is the most important. Again, beauty with substance.
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On your website you state, “I find passion in the people and world around me. It’s in my core to work hard and love others.” How do you use this in your work?
A.B.: Life’s short and I like to say we’re in this together. This is our home and it’s filled with so many magical people that inspire me. This fuel pushes me and my desire to create a better product and to someday master my craft (Which I think should be unreachable). Therefore, I take that motivation and drive fueled by others and turn it into shareable experiences told in the rawest form. I just try and share whats out there and the emotion that I feel. If I can evoke emotion in others and they go and see the world like I do, the hope is that they fall in love and in turn become an advocate for the land.
What is the coolest place you have explored and where is the next place you want to travel?
A.B.: For me to say the coolest place is like asking me what my favorite movie is, or my favorite band. There are so many that are for different moods. I’m grateful to have gone anywhere and each place has blown my mind like the last. I think the fun is finding that feeling no matter where you go. So for my next adventure, as long as I can find the frame that evokes emotion in me and in turn hopefully others, I don’t care where I go.
Has it always been a big interest of yours?
A.B.: My grandmother was a really successful painter who taught my cousins and I at a young age. We’d attend “GramCamp” which was a weekend of art classes on top of summer classes in her home studio. Also, my dad is a photographer. He use to teach me through various workshops, I guess I can call it that now. I never knew photography would take a bigger role in my career as I’ve actually been shooting films since I was young. From high school and our feature films “S-Files, Attack of the Potatoes” (our school mascot was a russet potato. Yup!) to attending the Art Institute of Portland for film school, I have worked in the commercial film industry for almost ten years. Photography has always been a passion and utilizing social media as a gigantic portfolio has helped me to get more commercial work.
Where do you find inspiration for your photos and films?
A.B.: Inspiration comes from so many places. However I’d have to say the biggest has to be listening to music while driving, or hiking through beauty. I see in still and moving images. It moves me to tears often. I write, sketch, and try to bottle that emotion in an image. Sometimes it works while other times, it can turn out to be like that amazing idea you scribble on a napkin during a night of drinking. As long as I had fun, that’s what matters.
Describe how a regular day looks like for you?
A.B.: Each day is different depending on where me and the camper are located. However, the most common day: Get up and take care of my pup, Sequoia. Unless I shoot a sunrise, then she gets to sleep in. Following that I’m cleaning, organizing, or eating. Then during mid-day I’m either traveling, or hiding in my camper editing, writing, and emailing. You can also find me working out in random places. I pack a little ‘gym’ with me. A couple dumbbells, resistance bands, perfect push ups, and a jump rope. Most that have traveled with me know my supplements and know to stay away from the blue juice. My membership is cheap… then I try and land somewhere for sunset to edit or shoot the stars all night. Rinse and repeat.
All images courtesy of Andy Best.