Joe Riis

of Joe Riis Photography

Freedom to Move: Field Rhythm and Longtime Friends

My daily rhythm is typically a solo wandering in a wild landscape with crisp air and clean dirt. I feel super lucky to be able to spend a lot of time in the backcountry having experiences with wild animals, setting up camera traps, and photographing the rhythms of an animal migration. I’m a loner, and…

Freedom to Move: Legendary Help

Bottom line, a bunch of people helped me become a photographer. I did not do it alone, idols became friends, researchers shared years of experience, and locals gave me a place to call home. People from all walks of life, who have done all kinds of things, have stuck their necks out for me, and…

Freedom to Move: Camera Trapped

A remote camera trap is pretty simple. It’s just a normal DSLR camera connected to a motion trigger. I don’t push the shutter button, the animal trips an infrared beam, and then click, click, click. It’s really the only way to make intimate wide-angle pictures of wild animals without disturbing them. Pronghorn like to see…

Freedom to Move: Living Among the Greater Yellowstone Migrations

I love to think about the ever-evolving mixture of science, adventure, and conservation in the West. Old-school science is being combined with current-day media to reach the people that care—and who didn’t care. That’s my gig. I’m trained in wildlife biology and not in photography, but work as a photographer to tell wildlife and science…

Freedom to Move: Unplanned Migration

Seven years and three animal migrations later, here I am, still in western Wyoming focusing my life around photographing animals that migrate. I sometimes call myself a National Geographic magazine contributing photographer, but I need to pinch myself because it all was a far-fetched dream that became real. I grew up in rural South Dakota, then…

Grand Canyon Float: Friends and Adventure—Two Things That I Love

My life moves from one trip to the next, typically a solo adventure documenting the last wild animals that we share this planet with. It’s a dream come true for me, without a doubt, and I feel very lucky to do what I do. However, the more time I spend alone, the more I realize…

Grand Canyon Float #1: Adventurers on Vacation

When I think of classic adventure here at home in the U.S., I think of climbing El Cap and rafting the Grand Canyon. They’re accessible and doable to many, but they are still pure adventure to the core—the kind of experience most all of us are looking for. This is the first live post from…