I'm Stephen Richert founder of LivingVertical.org--I'm an adventure photojournalist and my passion is being outside with a camera, telling stories of the human struggle in wild, austere places. I recognize that this type of work is a privilege. I live with Type 1 Diabetes and while it's a challenge in my life, I am still able to get access to the medication that enables me to get outside and make photographs and films. Now I am working on a documentary project called "Banting's Ghost" which will focus on people living with diabetes right here in the United States who DON'T have that same access to insulin. Frederick Banting, one of the researchers behind the discovery of insulin sold his share of the initial patent for $1 and I believe he'd have something to say about the current state of affairs. There are more of these stories of people struggling to survive than most of us realize and your support here will help give them a public voice.
What kind of rewards will you get?
- You'll make a difference: It's not just a talking point. The lack of access to insulin is a matter of survival for millions of people in the US. There are few sources putting out independent and hard hitting stories that can start the difficult conversations needed within the community and government to force substantial change.
- The AdventureRx Journal: Approximately 60 pages of my photography, stories and inspiration from my ongoing projects. Each 8.5x11 magazine volume will print and ship TWICE YEARLY photo journal for supporters who pledge $10/month or more! If we can get 400 subscriptions to the journal I will publish it FOUR TIMES YEARLY!
- eBooks: ALL my ebooks will be free for ALL patrons including the digital edition of the AdventureRx Journal!
- Videos: Free, early access to all the videos projects created by me--you can give feedback and help steer the documentary projects we are working on.
- High Quality FRAMED Photography Prints: Own the art you're helping to create (19x13) and you can pick any image of mine you like!
- Special patrons-only live stream chats
Where does my money go?
I've lived out of the back of an '87 Toyota wagon, injected expired insulin and slept in the dirt during the first years of LivingVertical and I know that creating valuable work isn't about having a big budget. It's about having time and discipline to commit to the message. Your support creates this environment.
Here is a breakdown of where your support goes (each month I also share an itemized budget with my patrons):
- Patron rewards: Photos and photo journal printing and shipping, ebook creation
- Web hosting: website hosting for LivingVertical.org, video hosting on Vimeo, podcast hosting and web maintenance.
- Adobe Software: The apps and programs required to edit and create images and ebooks
- Gear: Hard drives, memory cards, batteries, cameras, lenses and tripods.
- Travel: Getting to interviews and having the time to shoot in depth stories.
- Editing: Taking raw still images and video files and turning them into a finished shareable piece of work: a video, podcast, blog or ebook.
- Music: licensing work from other artists to use in short films
- Marketing: film festival entries, Facebook promotion of finished work.
- Support staff: hiring some help for video production and social media support.
Our past work
I created my website, LivingVertical, in 2011 by climbing every single day for 365 days with no days off while shooting and producing an award winning documentary about the endeavor. That first film was followed that up with a short about my ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro and a type 1 expedition to put up new routes in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. These projects grew from my passion to be in the mountains an inspire others--they helped me own my story and discover it. Now I'm bringing you with me as I tell the story of "Banting's Ghost".
What we are creating NOW
I'm a big believer in the value of creating work all the time. I'm currently putting my effort into short film and documentary projects from my personal travels and working on YouTube to encourage and instruct others who are interested in sharing their story. That's where this all got started for me, after all. Sharing my story and seeing who it might touch.
What is Patreon?
Patreon is a platform that allows me to work for YOU, my audience directly. Here is where I'm basically asking you if you'd hire me for a small amount of money every month--to help create my documentary work. It's critical that I have funding to maintain freedom to tell stories that matter without worrying about industry concerns. You simply pick how much you want to give, select your rewards and if you change your mind or need to scale back at any point you totally can--there's no pressure or long term commitment.
What if I can't give any money?
You can rest easy--I am never going to put my work behind a subscription service. My entire purpose is to give you MORE, not less. Patrons who support LivingVertical are giving back to the entire community by making our work thrive and grow. If now isn't the right time to support this work, please keep enjoying what I create as my gift to you.
If you're interested in non-monetary support--sharing my work on social media, email or even talking about it in person is always a huge help!