Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Crazy Turn of Events on a Photoshoot

I loved being a pro photographer, because I got to see and capture so many amazing things and events. But this past May, I had a unique experience that even I had never done before.

I had a blast at the Rock Chuck Olympics, a sporting event that my friend, Gavin Gear over at UltimateReloader.com, organized. He invited five YouTubers to compete in different challenges that were totally out of their comfort zone. I got to photograph them do some hilarious and amazing things. It was like a reality show with a lot of action and fun.

The participants were:

  • Erik Cortina - F-Class World Champion and Precision Shooting Parts
  • Jim Harmer - Founder of BackFire TV
  • Nils Jonasson - Pro USPSA, IPSC, IDPA, 3-Gun and Steel Challenge style matches shooter who has won US Nationals and World Championships
  • Pieter Milan - PRS Competitor and Hunter in South Africa
  • Adam Weis - Better known as Who Tee Who on YouTube

It was an honor to meet Erik. He made me the long-distance shooter I am today, so I hope to find out later this year if the invitation to come shoot with him at his ranch was legit

Adam was a soft spoken gentle giant, but super down to Earth

The Shot - 245 Yards - First Try

I grew up in a small town where shooting was a normal hobby. I wasn't very skilled, but I had fun with my buddies doing it and other things.

But in 2020, everything changed. I needed something to do that was still open. I found a local range and it became a place for me and my son to bond over a sport. The range was safe and clean, and nobody got sick (or injured). We also got better at shooting, thanks to some of the YouTube videos made by the competitors. My son even was on a National Championship winning squad two years in a row!

While photographing the Pistol ELR event, I finally got my first chance to participate in the competition. It was tough to watch and miss out on all the fun, so I was happy to finally get my chance. When I did, I made the most of it:

More fun on Instagram

Pieter was a great competitor, but also an awesome dude to hang out with

Nils is genuinely a nice dude

Yes, Jon is as funny as you might expect in real life

I enjoyed being a photojournalist again, even though I wasn't raking in the big bucks like the good old days. It was a blast to explore Gavin's beautiful place and share some laughs with a great group of people. I also feel like I made some new friends for life - at least I hope so.

It was incredible being with Nils and seeing the guy who designed my pistol shoot it like a boss

When we had to go back down the mountain for the final time, I got to ride with Nils Jonasson, the designer of my Canik Rival and the Rival S, as well as Jim Harmer, the founder of Backfire TV. They were both awesome and we had a great time chatting.

I have a ton of photos that I shared with the particpants and sponsors, but I put a few on my Instagram for you to enjoy. Perhaps, sometime I'll post some more. Until then, here's a final shot that you can visit to go see some more of my latest photos:

My last shot before heading home was after a great coffee and conversation with Pieter Milan and Jon Patton

Thanks Athlon

A huge shout out to Athlon optics for following up on their promise to donate some products to the team I coach. The boys and girls on the team, and especially the parents, appreciated their support.

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