Craig Kolesky

Meet Craig Kolesky. As a young boy Craig could be found with his feet in beach sand or on a skateboard so it was no surprise when he took to a world of adventure sport photography and can now be found shooting internationally acclaimed sports stars for leading brands around the world. We go behind the lens with Craig to find out how it made it as a photographer with no formal training and tip and tricks to travelling aboard.

“I think persistence, determination and doing more than I should on shoots gets me where I am today. Hard work is key.”

These are the words of Cape Town based adventure sports photographer and Nikon Ambassador Craig Kolesky, who, without formal training, has built a successful career shooting sport and lifestyle images for international brands such as Red Bull and Oakley. From surfing to trail running to mountain biking, Craig loves adventure and being outdoors – he shoots what he loves and by doing so, has built a successful career. So what is his secret to success? Well, besides hard work and outstanding photographic skill, Craig insists on getting his images out there and let people know what he’s doing. “Social media is key these days,” he says.

As a professional photographer in this field, Craig has managed to align himself with leading brands, meet awe-inspiring athletes and people and travel to some of the top travel destinations in the world. Over the years, Craig has experienced the shores of Madagascar, Morocco, Hawaii, the Maldives and South Africa, just to name a few. Although this is a rather outstanding perk of the job, travelling aboard as a photographer can be rather daunting and Craig shares the following advice, “Plan your trips well, be nice to airport staff as they can make your life rather difficult, keep your gear in a safe place and never be too relaxed leaving gear in hotels. We went to Morocco on a kite-boarding shoot and on arrival I had all my gear taken away from me, I had to spend two weeks there shooting with loan gear. On our trip back to South Africa, customs would not let me carry my gear on the plane and when we landed in Cape Town, I opened my bags and most of the gear had been broken by the customs in Morocco.”