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Breath of Fresh Air for the New Year

Jan 1, 2009 at 21:38
by Brad Walton  
First off Happy 2009!

2008 was a very stressful year for me and I’ve decided to make some changes that hopefully will allow me more time to focus on the things that are really important in life: friends, bikes, and whatever exists besides those two things.The mountain bike industry has been pretty good to me. I started exploring the world by mountain bike when I was 13 and soon after began breaking so many parts that I was forced to get a job at a bike shop. I was a mechanic for shops in several states for a decade before deciding to launch Spectrum Techwear, a mountain bike apparel company. The business has, as a whole, been successful, and I thank my friends, the riding community, and my customers for the support you’ve given to the business and to me. The past 3 years of design, manufacturing, and figuring out how to manage it all has been very difficult for me and I decided mid-summer 2008 that something had to change. Although I enjoyed many aspects of Spectrum, being a clothing manufacturer and apparel printer has too many variables and is too stressful for me to enjoy all that life has to offer. I apologize to many of you who I have lost touch with due to my busy-ness. Maintaining relationships has been low on the priority list while attempting to manage my business by myself, working alone in my garage for most of 2008. I bit off way more than I could chew, and the whole experience has left me very frustrated with my path in life. But, it has allowed me a chance to discover a narrower creative outlet.

photo

Chris Mandell with a sniper move on the North Shore


I have been intrigued by photography for as long as I can remember. I started taking pictures of friends riding back home in North Carolina and lifestyle photos in the great outdoors. I have been fortunate to have some very skilled and athletic riding bros that make for some great images. Apart from action photos, I've really enjoyed shooting product photos and designing my catalog for Spectrum Techwear. Due to suggestions from several friends, I decided mid-2008 to pursue professional photography and design. I have been studying under a 30-year pro commercial photographer for the past 4 months, and I really enjoy the variety of subjects I’ve been shooting recently. I'm trying to keep my style versatile which I'm finding is particularly important during our current economic times, but eventually I would like to find a company to work for doing photography for catalogs and design for media and print.

photo

Joel Spackman stepping up in Squamish, BC


I feel as though with Spectrum Techwear, I basically created a monster. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster ride that started to suck the life out of me. I tried to do everything myself and ignored many of my friends in order to get things done. Biking is all I’ve really ever known, and I moved to the northwest specifically for the challenging terrain and abundance of riding, but I found myself too stressed and overwhelmed with thoughts to enjoy it fully. There are so many creative photographers out there that I look up to and I am by no means assuming that great photography is any easier than running any other type of business, but it is the single hat I would choose to wear from the many I have tried on with attempting to run a clothing company by myself. I realize the market is crowded and at this point it is still a dream to be shooting alongside the current top photographers in the industry, but my passion for the sport, knowledge of the industry, and enjoyment of capturing the energy within them are pointing me in this new direction. I've met some interesting and great people in the bike industry, and I hope I can continue to ride with them and photograph them doing what they love. As for the new talent and riding styles that are currently emerging, send me an email if you’re in the northwest and you’ve got something worth shooting and maybe we can both work to make our sport even more appealing.

You can check my new website at BradWaltonPhoto.com

Thanks for reading and best wishes for 2009, --Brad

photo

Smokey parting the waters



Author Info:
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Member since Dec 11, 2007
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45 Comments
  • 4 0
 I give you a lot of credit for what you do. Despite the profusion of dh/freeride amongst the core participants, the bike industry as a whole is microscopic and unfortunately ever shrinking. I know how hard it is to create and keep a foothold in our business and I wish you well.
  • 6 0
 that step up deserves pod easily nice work
  • 1 1
 Second that. make the step up photo pod
  • 1 0
 Ya. It was mint!
  • 5 0
 thats awesome
  • 8 0
 Very nice photos.... especially the step-up!
  • 2 0
 yep, very nice photos indeed
  • 0 2
 probably gonna get pod on atleast the first 2 pics
  • 3 0
 First two? I agree they're good but I'd buy that thrid one before the first. Perfect capture of the water splitting!
  • 0 0
 Bradly, I like where you're headed. I found myself in photography business as well about a year ago. It's a pretty rad job as long as you're shooting what you're passionate about while still willing compromise when times are difficult. The photos are fantastic. If you're ever back in Boise hit me up.

(Graham's Friend) Ray

www.rayjgaddphotography.wordpress.com
  • 3 0
 I don't think any mountain bike photographers ride half as well as brad does either!
  • 1 0
 Yeah, that line in the first pic... prior to setting up that shot Brad rides it clean... first try. Then proceeds to setup camera gear and take a sick shot of it. And that line is not easy...
  • 0 0
 wow man, just browsed through your portfolio over at the website. AMAZING! you capture some amazing feelings in your alot of your shots that make me remember why I love riding so much. I think actually some of my favorite shots are of the more MTB lifestyle pics...groups of riders before a ride or catching a quick break. Even in shots where the rider may be the focus I still find myself noticing things little things like the dust or wet rock and moss and being reminded of some of my favorite rides here in th PNW. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 WOW!!!! your pictures are some of the nicest i have ever seen!!! i checked out your website too. looks really nice! keep up the good work man and i wish you the best with your photography!
  • 3 0
 I'm loving the last photo.
  • 3 0
 sickk! ya we have snow on the ground
  • 3 0
 Good luck for a successful and happy future Brad.
  • 2 0
 Best of luck in the future endeavors Brad. If you ever make it this way give me shout and we will shoot
  • 2 0
 do u wannah tell me where that step up is. id love to ride it....thanx ps. nice pics
  • 3 0
 Here's to more ride time Brad! Cheers!
  • 0 0
 props and respect on trying different avenues to achieve your goals. definitely not an easy thing to do. after looking at some samples on your website though, i'd say you definitely have "the eye"...keep shooting man.
  • 2 0
 Congragts for your web-site Brad. Amazing pictures. Nice job.
  • 0 0
 Awesome work, you have a great outlook and attitude and are certainly well on your way to success. Keep it coming and enjoy summer 2009 with friends and bikes.
  • 0 0
 I took a look at your site, you have some great photos. Keep up the good work.
  • 2 0
 noooo riding for a while
  • 1 0
 awesome photos. very inspiring & influencial. thank you for sharing.
  • 0 0
 Cool pics, can't wait to throw on some studded tires and cruise around in the snow!!!
  • 0 0
 i second mike on that brad! have a great season next year and enjoy taking photos of everything we love about the sport!
  • 0 0
 You're welcome to snap pics of me anytime you're back in the Tarheel State! You might need a wide angle lens though....
  • 0 0
 ahaha im like 14 bud, and its like a 10 ft. step up and its pree sketch,. maybee this summer if i can get the balls Razz
  • 0 0
 hope you reach sucess. i love the last photo
  • 1 1
 yee yeee squamish i walk by that step up all the time
  • 3 0
 and ya dont hit it???
  • 0 0
 It's actually pretty big. The pic makes it look small.
  • 0 0
 yes, the last foto is the best !! xD
  • 0 0
 pics look great but the first one looks best though
  • 0 0
 I have to say those are some amazing shots. Simply amazing.
  • 0 0
 great photos
  • 1 1
 Thats so awesome
  • 1 1
 nice pics
  • 0 0
 Nice site brad.
  • 0 0
 great shots!!!
  • 0 0
 i like da 3rd pic !







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