Cotton Carrier: Where do you call home?
David Wilder: I was originally born in Texas but I currently live in Calgary Alberta Canada. About an hour from Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies.
CC: How long have you taken photographs for unprofessionally and professionally?
DW: I first picked up a camera when I was around 13, I took the family camera out to the mountains shooting my friends skiing. Fast forward to my twenties and I started to go small jobs like headshots and properties. That progressed to weddings and eventually to where I am now with wildlife and landscape. I have had a camera in my hand for almost 25 years now.
CC: How would you define your style as a photographer?
DW: I would say my style is ever changing but if I had to name it I would say I try to create whimsical almost fairytale like wildlife images. I want to to look realistic but still have a touch of magic. I don't want my shots to look like a snapshot. As for my landscape work I would describe it as immersive. I want people to get lost in the shots and feel how beautiful that moment was when I took the shot.
CC: Have you ever gone to photography school?
DW: I studied film making and television production in college but never formally studied photography. I lot of the motion film concepts applied well to stills and I used that as my starting point. Back in the day I read a lot of photo magazines and more recent years YouTube has been a great source for learning.
CC: Where is your favorite place or thing to shoot?
DW: That's a hard one, for places I would say I love Iceland but driving through the US with its diversity is a lot of fun. Going from snow capped mountains to deserts in just a couple days is pretty wild. As for favourite thing to shoot I would have to say when it comes to wildlife it's a tie between bears and owls. Both are just so incredible to see in their natural habitat.
CC: What Camera(s) / Lenses do you use?
DW: I am currently shooting on the Sony platform. I use a combo of the a7riii and a7riv for lenses I use everything from 12mm - 600mm.
CC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “The Shot”?
Oh man we are going to need some time to go over all of these. Hmmm I've almost drowned in Hawaii photographing shore breaks and sea turtles. I've tracked wolves in the Rockies. I've stayed awake for 72 hours to shoot epic conditions and Aurora in Iceland. Those are just to name a few.
CC: Who has inspired you as a photographer?
DW: A few things. Nature itself for starters, seeing a beautiful landscape for the first time always inspires me to create. Seeing other photographers work as well. Seeing unique images or beautifully executed work inspires me. When it comes to wildlife our impact and how we can make the world better for these wild animals inspires me to be better and do better.
CC: What advice would you tell an aspiring photographer?
Shoot often and shoot what you love. The most progress I made with my work was when I started to shoot more and more. Practice makes perfect as cliché as it sounds.
DW: Can you share a photographic resource you personally use?
If we are talking about learning I use YouTube or fstoppers.com. If we are talking planing it's all about PhotoPills to plan for the best light.
CC: How has photography shaped your day to day?
DW: Oh it shapes everything, where I go what I do. I stare at the sky to figure out what types of clouds are out and where the best shot will be. I post sunset updates on my IG for my city if I think it's going to be good.
CC: Where has photography taken you, and made you experience?
It's taken me so many places, 14 countries and counting, every state but Alaska. It has allowed me to open my mind and my heart. If it wasn't for photography I don't think I would be as open to the world. I've learned so much about other cultures, religions and so much about wildlife, our planet and our impact on it. I am definitely a better person thanks to photography.
CC: Any exciting photographic events in coming up you’d like to share?
DW: Coming up in Oct and Nov I will be on the road for fall colours in the US and then back in Churchill to capture images of the polar bears.
CC: Anything else you’d like to add?
DW: Final thoughts are to just keep shooting. There were days I felt like giving up or not picking up the camera. I would judge my work against others. Then I realized that I do this for the love of it not for others. Sure I want people to love nature like I do, but in the end if I'm happy that's all that matters.
Check out my site and IG www.davidwilder.ca and @davidwilderphoto