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The Creative Power Behind The Ridge

Photographer Spotlight

We've got to come clean here: we've been working hard.

As illustrious as our Instagram photos may seem, we're hard at work creating products that we think you'll enjoy; ie phone cases, power banks, and a few yet-to-be-announced items that are in the mix.

The travel-heavy, outdoor-adventuring images are a credit to our awesome friends and colleagues who trek through Ireland and New Zealand with a camera pack and a few wallets. We wanted to take a second to highlight a couple of the creative workhorses behind The Ridge brand, Chris Poplawski and Jason Russ.

Chris Poplawski

There isn't a man sitting on more trans-atlantic flights than our friend Chris Poplawski. He's been with us for a few, impactful months, and we were excited to sit down with him and get a scoop on where he goes and what he carries everyday. You can check out his Instagram here.

The Ridge: What makes up your everyday carry?

Funny enough, it took me 2 years of professional shooting to find an adequate camera bag I felt worthy to wear. I used to use a rock climbing bag to "not so organize" my gear (just threw it in the bag haha). Now I use my WANDRD backpack which is amazing and offers plenty of space for all my gear. Shooting for brands full-time, you can almost always find me with a MVMT watch on my wrist, a Ridge Wallet in my back pocket and a Serengetee hat on my head.

It's essential to get work done on the road, so I almost always have my MacBook and Seagate 4GB external hard drive with a copious amount of SD cards from Lexar and Sony. If you've ever shot with Sony, you know their batteries aren't the best- so I carry 14 of those bad boys haha. My drone and camera equipment mentioned above also including a 70-200mm f/4 telephoto lens. And last but not least, my beloved iPhone 7+ keeping me forever connected to the world and clients haha.

What camera gear do you shoot with?

I shoot with a Sony a7rii and 95% of the time stick with my 16-35mm 2.8 G-master lens. For detailed shots I love mixing in my fixed 35mm 1.4 and my 24-70mm 2.8 g-master. I also use my Mavik Pro for aerial photographer and GoPro 5 for underwater shots.

Do you have a favorite photo you've taken?

Absolutely! It was shared a while back, but I was in Costa Rica and managed to snap a top-down photo of a crocodile from a bridge. It was maybe 20 feet down, and we had no idea this place existed. A local 5 minutes earlier at a market told us about where crocs find shade in the hot afternoons, and hundreds of people drive over the bridge daily without knowing so. Ironically, this river dumps right into the ocean and beachgoers are ofter surprised when a fresh water crocodile randomly ends up 5 feet from a surfer. Apparently it happens more than you'd think haha. But you have to park far down the road (no pullouts), walk against crazy fast cars speeding by and then lean over the edge of the bridge.

Jason Landon Russ

Jason is the man behind many of our favorite photos at The Ridge. With multiple years of Ridge-related photography under his belt, Jason is by far one our more seasoned creatives. You can check out his Instagram here.

The Ridge: What makes up your everyday carry?

I am a commuter so with lots of traveling simplicity is key for me. Ive been using the ridge products well before ever shooting for them and have appreciated how simple, clean and high quality the brand is. My daily EDC consist of my camera (canon 6D), two lenses (35mm 100mm), iPhone X ( with brown Ridge card case) Enclave Pilot 41 navy watch, Ridge Commuter 15 backpack, Ridge mobile power bank, Carbon fiber Ridge Wallet, Mac Book pro, and Lacie hard-rive.

Do you have a favorite photo you've taken?

One of my favorite photos I have ever taken was from a helicopter ride over Los Angeles. I had a really cool opportunity to fly over LA with the doors off. This seemed scary at first but once I started shooting photos everything just felt at peace.

What's your biggest inspiration

Inspiration for me comes from Nature. As awesome as it is being a creative it can become very difficult when you begin to lose inspiration. For some reason Nature gives me a different perspective on life and will give me new ideas on how to shoot photos. I make it a priority in my life to go mountain biking a few times a week in order to stay in awe of creation and push myself to create in new ways.