By Shea Parton
Photos by Ben Schuyler
Over the past year we have enjoyed getting to know Ben Schuyler, Apolis Nomad & Seattle-based photographer obsessed with the outdoors, good food, and lasting friendships. Today we're proud to announce Ben as our new guest to hand-pick his selection of "Apolis Field Supplies." To get a feel for the inspiration behind the mystery travel essentials, limited to only 50 recipients, follow Apolis' Instagram for Ben's 24-hour Instagram takeover, January 21st only.
During the Instagram takeover Ben will be sharing a few of the stories behind the following photostory from his recent summer road trip through America. It's safe to say that Mr. Schuyler isn't the type of guy that loves interviews, so we are glad that he humored answering the following questions to help all of us better understand the life of a Seattle-based photographer:
What drew you to your present career?
I was fortunate to grow up in an environment that valued creative expression. For much of my early life that was embodied through music, writing songs with friends and performing locally. A close friend introduced me to Instagram, and with that a new found appreciation for creating images was uncovered. Finding inspiration through contemporaries like Kevin Russ, Corey Arnold, and Theron Humphrey - I began the journey of capturing images from the road. As my social presence increased and opportunities to work as a freelance commercial photographer became more common, a growing desire to put rubber to pavement and hit the road also bubbled within me. Alongside my friend Daniel Volland, I set out this summer for a personal project called When the Road is Home - documenting stories and images of people who have chosen to live a mobile lifestyle. The desire to capture authentic stories about everyday people continues to drive much of my work, both personal and commercial.
What do you feel is the future of the photography industry?
We’re at an exciting place where consumers value honesty more than ever and can sniff out and have no hesitation to call out false sincerity. It seems the days of stale product photography are numbered. People want to be emotionally moved by photographs and stories, to find themselves somehow connected to the things they're seeing and reading. As an image maker, this is an exciting challenge to create work that is deeply connected to my everyday life, not falsified or fabricated for the sake of a sale or popularity. I look forward to friends and fellow photographers crafting images that are a true reflection of their daily adventures- from the grandiose to the mundane.
What are you reading right now?
I just wrapped up “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy and am about to begin “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive” by Tosh Gregg and containing philosophies from John Muir. I’m a new Vanagon owner, so I’m trying to learn everything I can!
What about Apolis resonates most with you?
I really enjoy well crafted daily ware for men, and I was inspired early on by Apolis’ timeless design and attention to detail. The Indigo Wool Chore Jacket was my first piece I purchased from you guys and it continues to be my favorite jacket to this day. However, it’s Apolis' emphasis on community empowerment and sustainability through their products that sets them apart from other lifestyle brands for me. Knowing that whatever I wear or use from you guys is not only ethically produced, but also changing domestic and international communities - gives me a lot of pride. It seems that many brands try and fail when it comes to producing high quality product and promoting community empowerment. Apolis is not one of them.
A Pacific Northwest born and bred native, Ben Schuyler is a photographer based in Seattle, WA. Growing up in a suburb just north of the city, he's spent his life drinking coffee, hiking the Cascade Mountains, and breathing in the salty air of the Puget Sound. Though he enjoys city life, he finds escape and renewal in natural settings. His photographic inspiration relies on his surroundings: people, dirt roads, floral and fauna. Ben's photographs capture a natural sense of adventure while breathing a warm pallet of colors that produce an ambient nostalgia of explorations past. Ben spent the last summer on the road traveling America documenting life on the road for his project When the Road is Home, an exploration in mobile living.