"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" -Helen Keller
I'm Stephen Richert founder of LivingVertical.org--I'm an adventure photojournalist, climber and YouTuber. My passion is being outside with a camera, sharing stories and education with people like me, who are driven by adventure and creativity. I believe in the fundamental value of facing challenges in the outdoors. These are the stories we are seizing in between the daily responsibilities of ordinary life.
My work focuses on short documentaries, photography discussions and education on outdoor adventure. I'm also a dad, a professional climbing guide, teacher (first aid + emergency response) and nursing student. I have lived with Type 1 Diabetes for 20+ years and this challenge has also shaped much of my work and my life. It's also the subject of my primary documentary project called "Banting's Ghost" which explores the stories of people who are struggling with insulin access. You can watch the trailer video I made below for more about this issue. I'm most active on Instagram and YouTube since I publish mostly stills and video.
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 stories and videos. 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 kind of rewards will you get?
- You'll make a difference: The lack of access to insulin is a matter of survival for millions of people in the US and the Banting's Ghost Project is taking a hard look at this issue. There are few sources putting out independent and hard hitting stories to force discussion and ultimately changes in the accessibility of this drug that keeps me alive, every single day.
- The AdventureRx Journal: Approximately 50 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!
- 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 photographic prints: Own the art you're helping to create (and you can pick any image of mine you like!)
- More rewards being added! I'm always looking for ideas about how I can give back to you who make this work possible. I'm all ears!
Where does my money go?
I know that creating valuable work isn't about having a big budget. It's about having time and discipline to commit to the work. 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 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: Facebook promotion of finished work.
- Support staff: hiring some help for video production and social media support (someday!).
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 videos to encourage other living in pursuit of adventure. That's where this all got started for me, after all. Sharing my story and seeing who it might reach.
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!