Pete O'Hara

A freelance adventure photographer and filmmaker. Passionate about being immersed in and capturing the outdoors, whether it's working for brands or just for fun.

Hey Pete! Tell us a bit about yourself: Where’s home? What did you do for work before photography? How long have you been interested in photography? What do you love shooting?

Western Canada is home for me now. I spent the summer of 2019 living out of my car in the Canadian Rockies near Banff and Canmore to improve my photography skills, meet new people and enjoy life in the mountains.

Previous to my life heading out west, I was working in lifestyle television in Toronto as a camera operator and editor. Although I still love video, my focus has shifted more and more towards photography since travelling to New Zealand and Australia 10 years ago.

I love photographing the elements in the mountains and alpine terrain along with the people that spend time in those places. 

Since taking my first workshop with Strohl Works two years ago, I’ve been compelled to carve my path as a photographer. 

What inspires you?

The great outdoors.

Currently I am learning and pushing my mountaineering skills so that I can create and capture moments in more vulnerable and difficult to reach places.

Who inspires you?

I have learned a great deal and have been continuously inspired by Alex Strohl over the years.  Through his workshops I have also discovered Finn Beales, another creator I hold great appreciation for. I love the storytelling aspect of his photography and have been incorporating his concepts of storytelling into my own work. Other photographers I really enjoy include: Chris Burkard, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier Bresson, Jimmy Chin, Paul Zizka, Catherine Simard (@Mydetoxtravel)

What were you hoping to improve by enrolling in a Strohl Works workshop?

By taking the workshops, I was hoping to improve on the technical aspects of my photography and more importantly how to better pitch brands and present ideas of value. I learned so much about this with the proper use of decks, moodboards, and treatments.

I think overall I really wanted to learn how to make a life and a career in outdoor adventure photography. I believe these workshops have not only put me on that path but serve as a resource for continued support and learning throughout my journey.

What was photography like for you before taking a Strohl Works workshop?

Before taking any workshops I shot outdoor adventure photography mostly as a hobby. I didn't have any real clients and was hesitant to pitch brands as I didn't have the confidence to move forward or understand that I could make a life for myself doing what I loved.

What is photography like for you since taking a Strohl Works workshop? Have you been able to land jobs with new clients?

After taking the workshops I have developed the confidence to pitch my skills to clients. I have worked with Marmot, ExOfficio, Coalatree, Keen, Marriott Hotels, Padi. I have additionally improved my skills with agencies such as Leo Burnett, The Mark, Scarlett Street. 

Recently I created a print shop started selling prints.

What are three benefits you've experienced completing our workshops? 

  1. Shaping a path into the Photography world, specifically Outdoor Adventure. 
  2. Better technical skills (For example 50 & Stitch).
  3. Having confidence in my skills when pitching brands.

Any words of inspiration for new students from what you’ve learned?

Two years ago when I first took the first Adventure workshop, I was feeling creatively burnt out from working in television. I had just come off a big project that didn’t quite go the way I had hoped and I wanted to explore something that would refuel me. I knew that I really loved outdoor photography and I wanted to learn a better way to shape that into a career. I feel like I have been making strides on that path ever since I first enrolled.

These workshops, in my opinion, are excellent for people that may be somewhat unsure of how to approach brands and the steps it requires to not only land a project but in turn figure out fair compensation. They've pushed me towards a new passion and career path and could easily do the same for anyone wanting to take their photography more seriously. 

Thanks so much for your time! We're stoked to watch your journey!

You're more than welcome, take care, be in touch, and keep inspiring!