Person of Interest: Tyler Stephens May/June 2017

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Title/Occupation: Wildlife, Nature, & Adventure Photographer/ Biology Major at Lynchburg College
Age: 20

When did you first become interested in photography?
Well, it just happened. Last March (so it has only been about a year) I was messing around with my phone camera and little Sony digital camera when I went outside or on hikes and posted some photos to Instagram. I received positive feedback, which is what spurred me to continue. That summer (2016) I created an Instagram account (@tylerstephens_photography) and then received my Canon camera for my birthday. I was published in Suffolk Living not long after.

Are you self-taught or have you received any formal training?
I’m mostly self-taught. I did take a photography class to hone my skills when I came back from summer break.

Why nature? What inspires you to focus on the outdoors?
There is this feeling (I cannot explain) about being outside, being able to explore, experiencing wildlife, and being adventurous. I would like to hike everyday if I could.

Describe one of the craziest things you have ever done to get that “perfect” shot.
I believe it is a tie between getting within 20 feet of a skunk and other animals or running along the edge of a cliff to then pose before my camera timer released.

What’s next for you in your photography journey?
Hopefully I can save up for a trip to Colorado that I am planning for the summer of 2018. But for now, there is a whole lot of Virginia I haven’t seen.

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