Today we chat with Justin, a travel nurse and one of the most passionate storm chasers out there capturing awe-inspiring extreme weather photos.
He started photography wanting to shoot live events and bands before he came across his passion of storm chasing on a rural Minnesota highway one afternoon.
In this podcast, Justin will be sharing how important it is to connect with mother nature and to be able to use storm photography to express his emotions.
Link to the Photo that was mentioned on the podcast:
If you want to learn more about Justin’s work, you can find it here:
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/DreadlockTvlr
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedreadlocktraveler/
• Print Website: https://thedreadlocktraveler.smugmug.com/
• SuperRare: https://superrare.com/thedreadlocktraveler
• Opensea Collection: https://opensea.io/collection/supercellular2021
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• Website: https://podcast.thewickedhunt.com
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For those of you who want to learn more about The Wicked Hunt Photography by Stanley Aryanto:
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewickedhunt/
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• Masterclass: https://www.TheWickedHuntPhotography.com
• Photo print: https://www.TheWickedHunt.com/
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Justin Snead 0:00
I still wanted to stop Chase, but I wanted to put down the camera because if you can’t convey for me personally, I can’t convey my emotions. And that’s the number one thing that I want to do is convey my emotion so others can feel it, then I’m failing as an artist
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 0:22
Hey wiki hunters Welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast, where we share our journey and how photography has given us hope, purpose and happiness. And today, we have someone very special. Someone that’s very passionate about chasing something that’s quite different than what most photographers do this storm. And it’s always been my dream to chase the storm. And yeah, I’m just so excited to be able to talk to Justin. Hey, Justin, how’s it going? Well, actually, before I asked that question, what makes you start photography? Like, what is that one thing that makes you you know, what photography is cool. I want to do more of it.
Justin Snead 1:02
You know, it’s, it’s kind of funny, because I think a lot of people think I started out with storm photography. That’s actually not the case. I back in like 2016 or 17, I met this guy named Matt booj at a rock festival, huge rock band, love going to rock festivals. And he had a couple of prints that I wanted. So I met up with him. He signed them and you know, I bought them and I actually wanted to start out with my photography journey as a concert photographer. You know, it’s it’s kind of funny, because I think a lot of people think I started out with stock photography. That’s actually not the case. I
Unknown Speaker 1:43
Yo, what’s going on, man? And you’re still muted.
Justin Snead 1:50
Us too. Can you hear me now?
Unknown Speaker 1:55
Yeah. Hey, how’s it gone?
Justin Snead 1:57
Good, man. How much so? Can you hear me pretty good on these headphones? Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 2:04
it’s good, man. It’s pretty good quality
Justin Snead 2:11
Unknown Speaker 2:19
how’s that sound? Does that sound better?
Justin Snead 2:21
Oh, yeah. Yeah, you sound good. I just want to make sure these headphones sound okay. Versus uh, maybe just using the computer audio.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 2:28
Night. You’re good, man. How’s things? What’s going on?
Justin Snead 2:33
Thanks for good, man. Things are good. Just work has been busy. It’s been pretty hectic. I’ve been kind of under the weather the past day or two. So yes, going through that. But But yeah, can’t complain. Just ready for storm season to get here.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 2:44
Are you back out chasing yet? No, no, I’ve
Justin Snead 2:47
got about two weeks left to work. And then I’ll be I’ll be heading out after that. Taking a few months off and chasing.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 2:53
Nice sick? And is has the storm brewing and brewing already?
Justin Snead 2:58
Oh, yeah, there have been a couple of setups already. There’s actually a set up tomorrow that I’m considering going down for but I will have to do it afterwards. It’s like five hours away. So it’d be a it’d be a big investment and gamble would just even probably wouldn’t make it in time. But I’m thinking about it. I’m gonna look at some model data tonight and kind of make up my mind in the morning, I guess.
Unknown Speaker 3:19
Cool. Fantastic. All right. Yeah. How
Justin Snead 3:23
are things working dude?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 3:24
Yeah, doing some pretty well, pretty well. Like being in Bali for for a while now. And just like, you know, being with family and stuff, so that’s good. So can I put the travel part beside for now. But I’m going to Nepal in about less than a month now. So going to Nepal in about a month, and I’m not sure I want to go somewhere and the end of the year as well. I’m thinking back to Canadian Rockies. And yeah, that would be so nice. And then I was thinking like to do what I wanted to do when I was there. You know, like, so be there until like March and then drive down to the states and do storm chasing but I’ll have to see if it’s like yeah, that’s one hell of like, that’s one hell of a trip, right? Because if I guess I want to be there during the large season, that’s when the Alpine pine trees turn to yellow and stuff and that would be like so sweet. So the transition is actually the best and that’s between like around October November, probably all the way to December and then after that it’s kind of just flat you know ever too much snow and all you can see is just everything covered in snow, water and water and land so it becomes less interesting. And then become more interesting again towards the end like the spring because it’s you can start doing the hike again. You know and chase like a lot of the Milky Way’s towards towards this spring. So that will be nice, but yeah, there’d be like two months. I guess I could do snowboarding so it’s not a bad thing. But yeah, I didn’t know that
Justin Snead 4:59
but uh Ma’am, we’re getting so many solar storms right now you might be able to get some good overhead stuff.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 5:04
Has it hasn’t been haven’t been checking it for a while, but it hasn’t been like, a lot more active recently has it?
Justin Snead 5:10
Yeah, yeah, we’re coming out of that solar minimum now. So we had an employer launch day or two ago. And I’m not sure if it’s impacted right now. But I know they had a pretty good show in Alaska last night. I think if this is the same employer, I’m thinking about the issue to watch for Wednesday. So if it is, it’s really slow moving, but you never know. You know? Yeah.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 5:31
Yeah, for sure. Because like, usually I’ll see, like, everyone in Canadian Rockies would be like, you know, posting shot. And I’d be like, Yeah, I want to be back. Because I want to go to like, Norway as well, that would be pretty sick to go there. So yeah, I mean, I don’t know, man, there’s so many places I want to go. It’s just so hard, you know. But yeah, it’s now I’m just like, here, I’m planning to do like a, an NFT event here in Bali. So that’s, that’s kind of exciting as well,
Justin Snead 5:59
that will be that will be pretty sick, actually. Especially if you can get a good crowd. They’re like getting blocked by out to it.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 6:05
Ha, man, I don’t think it’s that hard, you know, because like, everyone want to come to Bali. Right. So
Justin Snead 6:10
I definitely want to
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 6:13
like, I mean, you know, if that’s something you’re interested in, I’ll keep you at the back of my mind, you know, and we’re looking for guests and stuff. I’m not sure yet if we can afford to pay speakers, but I’m hoping so. Because I hate getting people to do something without paying for it. You know? But yeah, I’m, um, I’m just putting a proposal together now talking with like, the local community, local NFT community and also the local exchange, you know, like, like the, the by Nance version of Indonesia, type of thing. You have, like, a lot of you. So I mean, chatting. Yeah. I mean, every every country has their own kind of exchange right? Apart from like, the binance. And the coin. What coin base, the popular one. So, yeah, I’ve been talking to them. And you know, hopefully, they say yes. But did you go to any of the NFT event it?
Justin Snead 7:12
I went to our basil, which really wasn’t a NFT event, but they had some NF T things going on, right. And I did fly out to eat Denver. I didn’t even go to any of the events because it was just a, it was a train wreck of a mess, man, like, I’ve got there like super late Friday, I could have went out Saturday, but I was just I wasn’t building it. So I just went out with some brands, you know, met a couple of brands and didn’t even like go to any of the events? Pretty much. Yeah, fair.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 7:37
Fair. And what’s the event? Like? Is it mostly like networking and exhibition? Is that how they usually set it up? Ah,
Justin Snead 7:44
yeah, I mean, the eath dimmer a bit was from what I heard, it was a little bit different, just because it’s more so for, for like, like engineers and programmers who are, you know, building building different things on the Etherion platform. Obviously, there was some, you know, like, NFT events that kind of surrounded it, but it wasn’t actually part of the official material, eat timber conference, they have one or two things in FP related, but that was on top of a tonne of other things. So it
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 8:13
was more of a crypto event. Yeah, but you just
Justin Snead 8:17
make connections and you know, hang out with people talk that type of deal. Party. Yeah,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 8:22
sake, man. And, yeah, I was thinking to do that, because like, Bali is pretty sick place for that, right. Like, you know, half like the general admission, and then a VIP, and then the, and then like the, like, I don’t know, VVIP I suppose if we were going to put a name for it, and then the VVIP will get access to this, like, private, like party, by like, the cliff or something like that. And I was thinking to do like, a mastermind programme and stuff at the end of it, you know, just to, like, help people who really want to achieve something by the end of the by the end of that mastermind, right? Like, whether it’s like, you know, they just started they want to get to know what what’s NFT or like, you know, they’re like, want to learn the marketing side of it and you know, those kinds of stuff basically. So yeah, I think it’d be really cool to like bridge that gap between the people who been wanting to try it out but you know, don’t know versus and the people and the NFT world basically right as well a really hate is that I start seeing this I mean, you know when it first when you guys were when the OG started it, you know, like, you know, when tactics and stuff like that, right. He was pretty good set up and then now we come into where a place where everyone just hope to get in and they just do whatever it takes to do that. And, you know, and like, I mean, like, I’ve seen arts that’s selling for like 00 Is that the other eight 0.003 eath. And I was like, Well, I get what you’re trying to do right now. Um, but it’s killing the market. And it’s killing the whole idea behind the NFT. Like, you know, it’s like, we’re just back to the normal thing now of selling prints, you know what I mean? Yeah,
Justin Snead 10:11
pretty much. I mean, you know, like, doing a dish like other good additions, print work.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 10:17
Yeah. Like, don’t have any, like, addition makes sense, you know, but one of the one man, this was a one on one, one. This was one of one, it’s zero point. It’s not even, like, I think your addition was 0.04. Right? His 0.06 or 03, or something? So it was like, really cheap. And, yeah, I don’t know. Like, yeah, it’s gonna be interesting how it all changed. So, I think, you know, I mean, if we have a plan behind it, you know, on, you know, what he’s planning to do forward and how you’re going to use that then. Okay, fair enough. But if you just do it for the sake of doing it, then you know, that’s gonna be a problem. Because then yeah, I guess that’s, that’s all the education that I’d love to, like, bring to the table, you know, like, why you jump in there? And you know, what, what, what happened if you do a and how it impacted others and stuff like that, and, yeah, but, yeah, so the podcast is more about? Well, first of all, do you have any piece or collection that you want to promote in the podcast?
Justin Snead 11:21
Ah, I normally when I do podcasts, I try to actually kind of keep the NFT side out of things are like limited. We could totally talk about I’m totally fine with it. But I don’t really have any. I mean, I have like a super weird drop that I’m gonna do later this week. But okay, I don’t know if it’s gonna be Wednesday or Thursday. That’s cool. Yeah, right. I heard about it. Yeah, we could talk some NFT stuff I don’t mind at all. Yes, you want to go but it basically,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 11:48
no, it’s not going to be heavily. That’s what I was gonna say is, it’s, it’s more about you and your journey as a photographer. And of course, the NFT partner, you know, we’re going to touch we’re going to touch base to the NFT part, because you kind of landed on that. So probably gonna be like, you know, the last 1015 minutes as it cuz that’s, that’s where you end up right now. Right? But basically, it’s like, think of it like we’re hanging out in a cafe. And, you know, I’m just, we’re just getting to know each other. And that’s, that’s what I’ll literally do, like, you know, I don’t know much about you. And I just like, I just want to get to know you as a photographer. Right? What, how are like how you started? What makes you excited about it, and all this stuff? So yeah, just just go with that. And also, when I asked the question, you know, feel free to, to elaborate, but try not to go on to the next topic, you know what I mean? So, the reason behind that is like, so we have this interaction so that I can ask the next question. And that makes it more interesting, instead of you like having a monologue of it. And, yeah, so towards the end. The, the thing that I always ask my podcast guests is, if there is one advice that you could tell any photographer or a creator out there, what would it be. So that’s something that you could think about now, as we talk or whatnot. And then that’s when I will ask you, you know how to find you and stuff like that. So if you do want to give a plug to, I don’t know, your workshop, your prints your NFT, feel free to do that. I will put the link on the description. I usually put three links, website, Facebook, and Instagram, but I think you’re more active on Twitter instead of Facebook. So you could do Instagram and Twitter. And then, you know, if you have any collections or any photo that were talked with talk about then I will include the link in there as well. But yeah, apart from that, and then just pre chill, just free. You know, nothing. It’s not like I don’t have a list question like literally. Yeah, it’s
Unknown Speaker 13:51
just like hanging out. So what’s that one thing that I want to only say I got no,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 13:59
no, he’ll, it’ll come up. But um, I so we’ll start a little intro, just say, you know, welcome to the podcast. And then I’ll introduce you a little bit, you know, and then from there, I’ll say, Hey, Justin, how’s it going? And then you know, you can say hi, back. And then that’s where we start with a question. I’ll start asking you the question and stuff. Cool. Cool. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Awesome. Do you want to grab last minute water you guys go water to perfect. Do you want to do last minute bathroom break?
Justin Snead 14:30
I probably shouldn’t do that. Because it’s a good idea. Yeah, no worries. All right, man.
Unknown Speaker 15:41
All right, let’s get it on. Let me just show you this recording. This is one time where I did like the whole podcast and I didn’t press the record button.
Justin Snead 15:51
Alright will be horrible embarrassing I just like it’s all good. Mistakes learn. Alright man.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 16:02
Alright, let’s get started. Hey wiki hunters Welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast where we share our journey and how photography has given us hope, purpose and happiness. And today we have someone very special. He is, you know, someone that’s very passionate about chasing something that’s quite different than what most photographers do the storm. And it’s always been my dream to chase the storm. And yeah, I’m just so excited to be able to talk to Justin. Hey, Justin, how’s it going?
Justin Snead 16:39
It’s going pretty good, Stan. Thanks for having me on and waking up at what, seven or eight o’clock in the morning to do this? Yeah, man. I’m waking up at
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 16:49
night. It’s good. It’s good. I’ve been trying to change my routine and stuff. So it’s kind of helped me, you know, it pushed me to wake up early. But yeah, what’s so you know, like, I’ve come across your work. I think it was last year, early last year. And you know, I, I’m a big fan of storm chasing, because that’s one of the highest bucket lists that I’ve, I’ve wanted to do. And you know, I’ve almost done it, because, but if it wasn’t for the pandemic, but what? Well, actually, before I asked that question, what makes you started photography? Like, what is that one thing that makes you you know, what photography is cool, I want to do more
Justin Snead 17:25
of it. You know, it’s, it’s kind of funny, because I think a lot of people think I started out with storm photography, that’s actually not the case. I back in like 2016 or 17, I met this guy named Matt booj at a rock festival, huge rock band, love going to rock festivals. And he had a couple of prints that I wanted. So I met up with him, he signed them. And you know, I bought them. And I actually wanted to start out with my photography journey as a concert photographer. I just loved rock festivals so much, you know, it was just, it was my thing. And I always wanted to get into that, and meeting him just kind of inspired me to pick up a camera. Well, little did I realise that rock, like rock photography, in general, it’s very hard to get into a lot of the people who are at these major festivals, or work with these headliner bands, they’ve been doing it for 1015 20 years, before they even get to that level of expertise to shoot those concerts. So I just kind of, I kind of let that go. And I started looking for other other genres of photography to get into. I started looking at general landscape photography, wildlife photography, and astrophotography. You know, those things that nothing ever really clicked with me, as far as you know, just filling it in my soul. Like, that’s what I wanted to shoot, until I came across a random random cloud that I knew nothing about in the state of Minnesota in 2018. And that’s kind of where the passion started for storm photography was just driving along to, to a tribal contract that I was working in, ended up running across this cloud. It’s like, Oh, that’s pretty cool. But then something clicked, you know, something. It was like, a little something inside of me said, man, like, this is it, this is what I’ve been wanting to do the whole time.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 19:13
So cool, man. You know, I mean, concert photography, or you know, rock photography would be so sweet. But I would just say, you know, I’m glad that you decided to keep going because you’re you’re a storm shots, oranges, you know, they’re different. And, you know, that’s, that’s what I really enjoy the most about it. So, how long did that take you to kind of come to that conclusion or, you know, come to that moment, light bulb moment and come across that experience that made you say, You know what, this is like, like, I know that you can share that a little bit but just tell us a little bit about it. What like what was it what was it about that moment that makes you feel like this is what you want to do you know what I’m what I mean?
Justin Snead 19:57
Yeah, know what you mean? I think it’s I think it’s the connection that you have with Mother Nature. You know, people bind those connections in various places. And, you know, again, that’s what photography is all about. It’s about helping people connect with Mother Nature, usually, in some way, shape or form, that’s portraits included, you know, I think a lot of people forget that, you know, as humans, you’re part of nature. You know, it’s not just animals and trees and mountains, you are a part of nature, what you do in life, is, you know, detrimental to what happens in nature. But I think, for me, what really clicked was just seeing the storm and pulling the winds getting swept into the storm, you know, having my phone go off with this loud noise, because they had a tornado warning on it. And the adrenaline started building and see this cloud just rotating underneath this storm. And don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t even a beautiful storm, it was, you know, I look back at that now. And I’m like, I would have never put my camera on board. But back then it was just, it was it was magical. That’s, that’s all I can say. But more than more than anything else, it just, I can’t really put it into words, it was just something clicked. And it was kind of like, at that moment, I knew that this was where I needed to be, this is what I needed to do to be able to express myself to be able to connect with mother nature, and then to be able to share it with others in the hopes that they are able to connect with not only the storm photography and mother nature, but whatever’s going on in their lives. Wow,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 21:28
that’s that’s incredible, man, I think you put that really well, you know, and just like that whole What do you call it purpose on you know, capturing the storm, there’s so much more purpose behind it. That’s awesome. I love that. I love to hear that. But I can totally relate about connecting with Mother Nature, like, you know, I’m the same I love to do a lot of different genres of photography, but when I do astrophotography it’s just especially when I do like, you know, like, like an adventure Astro photography is just like something that really excites me or, you know, like, everything feels like, like nothing else matter. And I think I know, like, as soon as you say that, you know, you connect with the nature. It’s like, I think I know that feeling. So that’s pretty cool. Yeah, so, you know, going through your journey. So you’re like, you’re are you doing this full time or part time or just kind of as a side hustle at the moment? And what are your plans for the future.
Justin Snead 22:29
So when I first started, like actually shooting storm photography, it took a year or two just to learn how to forecast properly. You know, and then not only that, but you know, finding the time to be able to chase you know, for those who are not familiar with storm chasing the United States Midwest is is vast Tornado Alley, as it’s called, stretches from Texas, all the way up into North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa. So there’s a large area you have to cover sometimes, and I never started out full time or even part time, I would just kind of there was a local setup that I could get to a few hours away, I would end up you know, getting off work at two or three o’clock driving for hours and hoping I could catch the end of the song. Slowly after that 2018 2019 When 2020 rolled around, I had plans to actually take off a month, maybe two months and chase well COVID-19 hidden and that just completely crushed any plans for chasing so I ended up ended up maybe chasing eight days that year and it was probably the roughest moment of my life as far as photography is concerned because I just got I got super depressed you know, because there were a lot of there are a lot of setups that I know I could have brought back spectacular work that I just couldn’t Chase just due to due to work on the tribal health care nurse and you know, working at surgery, a lot of people ended up being not laid off but you know, being sent home or even working on different floors. And as a traveller I’m required to come in pick up the slack so it really required me to come in and you know, just really focus my attention more so on Mark than photography but I’m kind of put a goal in my mind. Okay. 2021 It’s going to be the year I’m just going to take I’m going to take off the whole summer spring summer I got off work may 9 I think my contract ended and just hit it as hard as I could probably drove 60 plus 1000 miles within the span of like three months. And I’m glad I did because things just kind of things just really fell and clicked into this beautiful journey that I never thought I would have went on even with even with starting photography like I knew it was something I wanted to shoot but I never thought I would be dispassionate about it. But last year, last year just it did something you know it, it really put that chip on my shoulder that you know I can do this
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 25:01
Wow, that’s awesome, man. I mean, first of all, thank you for you know, your services as a nurse. And, you know, it’s, it’s incredible that you still have time after, you know, being a nurse because I know it’s a, it’s a one of the toughest work out there, I’ve got a few nurse friends, myself, and you still have the time, you still make the time to go out there and, you know, chase this as your passion. And I think that’s really cool. You know, that’s something that I always tell everyone, like, you know, you don’t have to pursue your passion full time, but make sure you have the passion and do that, like, make sure that you make time for it. Because otherwise what’s what’s life without it right?
Justin Snead 25:41
You’re definitely right, man. I mean, I started out, you know, just kind of shooting after work to kind of going, you know, kind of part time. And luckily, with the job that I do assigned, go to new contracts at various hospitals. So I can, you know, basically just work during the offseason, and now work full time and storm chasing. So it makes it very easy for me to, to just have that time off and really chase that passion. So last year, I did it this year, I’m gonna do it even harder. And this is what I’m going to do the next 20 3040 years of my life probably.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 26:13
That’s awesome, man, that is so sounds so exciting. You know, I just like, man, like, I could feel the goose. It’s like, man, that would be legit, awesome thing to just storm Chase. How’s that dynamic between the two? Like, do you enjoy being a nurse? And, you know, are you planning to still do it as a part time? Because I know some people really love their profession. Right? And but they love photography as well. And they find that balance. But or are you You know, it’s your passion? Do you find that your passion is in storm photography now that you are going to shift into that full time? What What are your plans in the future.
Justin Snead 26:52
So my passion is in storm photography, one or set. The thing about storm storms in the US is that we kind of have a season. So from you know, mid April, up to August, September, October is kind of like what I would call that elbow most for the season. That’s when you get your bulk of severe weather in the United States. So it kind of makes it easy for if you want to pursue storm photography and storm chasing full time, but it’s still work a job afterwards makes it kind of easy. As long as you have a job that’s flexible or seasonal. You can always work in the fall and winter and spring and summer off. That’s kind of been my plan moment. I’ve been I’ve been a surgical tech and a LPN for the past 12 years of my life, I’ve worked in surgery for 12 years now. I’m not sure if that spark is still there, like it once was, I do enjoy it, I enjoy going to these new hospitals and meeting new people. But when it comes to the actual surgery, I’ve done it for so long, it’s just become routine for me almost. So that’s something that I’ve been contemplating whether or not I want to try a different career path are, you know, maybe just sit back and really focus on just promoting storm photography and storm chasing year round. And who knows, I don’t know, the thing about you know, doing work is that, I find that it kind of helps you balance out some of the stress of being a photographer. Because it can be a very stressful and you know, it can be a very stressful job, you know, especially when you have months of no sales or limited sales and the bills are piling up and things of that nature. And honestly, I’ve enjoyed being able to work part time help people and then still be able to pursue my passion bullet.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 28:38
Yeah, man, like, I totally agree with you, like, you know, like, sometimes that shift between creativity and I suppose, you know, the stuff that’s not less, that’s the are less creative, right? Most of the nine to five job are less creative. Compared to photography, it does help out the balance, right? I feel like you know, as a human being, we kind of need the two to stimulate one or the other. But I get what you mean with the with this, like, you know, getting things repeated, and it becomes like a routine. That’s one thing I could not handle as well. And I know some people love routine. But you know, that’s why I decided to do a travel photography, because like when you travel, there’s always something new, right? New people, new places. And yeah, I can handle the routine as well. So I know exactly what you mean. That’s cool, man. And so, you know, it’s been one long journey for you and to get to where you are right now. And you you started to, you know, do tours and stuff you do NFT you have pretty good success in there as well. But along the way, what are some of your biggest struggle, you know, in that journey that make you almost, if there is any moment that make you want to quit photography and ended up you know, altogether and you know, you know, because I know that I have that moment where it’s just like, I don’t know if you know I still Want to do this and stuff? So do you have that moment? If not, then what are what one of your biggest struggle within the journey?
Justin Snead 30:10
I would say my biggest struggle was shortly after, I kind of like, learn how to forecast with storm photography or storm chasing and, you know, put myself in the right positions, and I started having those opportunities to catch storms. I really struggled with being able to convey my emotions within the photos, I couldn’t get my edits to properly display. How are you I felt that that time when I was doing the store, or how I felt at the moment, I was looking at art as an extension of yourself, stitching of your emotions, what you’re, what you’re putting out, there is an extension of you. And your, and it’s looking right back at you. So when you’re not truly connected with it, for me as an artist, not as a photographer, but as an artist, it doesn’t sit right with me. And I became really frustrated with that to the point to where I still wanted to storm Chase, but I wanted to put down the camera. Because if you can’t convey for me, personally, I can’t convey my emotions. And that’s the number one thing that I want to do is convey my emotions so others can feel it, then I’m failing as an artist. But I really had to, you know, put aside a lot of the doubt a lot of that a lot of that failure and use it as as fuel. You know, because many people give up when they’re feeling frustrated when they feel like they can’t do this. But the one thing about art is that you’re always chasing something that you’re never going to find success as an artist, you can, you can never say that you’re wonder percent successful, or you know, 100% Perfect. In that journey, you’re always reaching for something different, you’re always looking to convey something different. And once I realised that, that’s when, ironically, that’s when I was able to start for some reason. I mean, how I wanted to convey my emotions through my photography, but then be really putting into perspective what being an artist is, because I think a lot of people don’t realise that a lot of people don’t realise that being an artist is a never ending job. You know, you’re going to take this job to your deathbed and not feel like you’ve done your best.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 32:25
Yeah, wow, that’s, that’s so inspiring. You know, like, when, when I first studied engineer, like, I studied engineering, because it was like, you know, the easiest spot, I always saw it as the easiest path to, to, you know, have like a comfortable life. And I used to look at this art student and I was like, Man, this case, just, whatever you’re doing, they’re not doing anything. It’s just like slapping things together. And like, and then, you know, ironically, I pursue something that’s artistic. And when I started photography, I know exactly what you meant. It’s like, you know, as an artist, it’s just, it is one of the hardest thing to do in life. Like, you know, it’s, it’s, you, you creating something like you say, you make you create something that’s truly connect to you, and so that you can be proud of it. Because otherwise, even though they’re as beautiful as it is, and people love it, just go like, yeah, it’s okay. Right, you get that feeling.
Justin Snead 33:18
I know exactly what you’re feeling. I know that feeling that oh my god, I’ve had that so much on like, just Instagram before this whole NFT explosion. You know, people will say, Oh, my God, I love this photo. I’m like, okay, they’re like, What are you talking about? Like, it’s, you know, it’s alright.
Unknown Speaker 33:35
I really hate how you know, the popular places, or, you know, the popular time is the one that gets most exposure and likes, right? And that was just like, ah, like, it’s, I mean, like, 1000s and 1000s of people would have this exact same shot, like, you know,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 33:50
I’m not that proud of it. But yeah, it’s so funny that you say that as an artist. It’s a never ending journey. And that’s, that’s something that, you know, perspective I, I guess I knew deep inside, but I didn’t know it until you said it. So thanks for sharing that. And it’s very searcher. But you know, as an artist, I think the hardest part is having that self doubt having that imposter syndrome, right? Thinking that? Will I ever make it and what you say was was great, because I think not only as an artist, but as an artist, I think this is a lot more apparent that usually the journey is flatline, right? It really small rise, and then all sudden something happened that makes it all the difference. And then that’s where everything becomes exponential, right? And that’s why the people that doesn’t give up are the people that made it that the people that passed that point. But what are some of the things that you that that that had helped you to get out of this like impostor syndrome or you know, your self doubt, and to keep to just keep going to believe in the process. Believe in your journey and believe in your goal?
Justin Snead 35:00
I would say that having friends who have been there to the ups and downs, who can talk me off that ledge of, you know, whenever I’m feeling a certain type of way, they can remind me that, hey, you know, this is not the way that you should feel, you know, who you are, you know, who you are doing the uptimes Why are you building like this during the doubt downtimes at, you know, really kind of uplifted because it’s, it’s human nature to build down sometimes. And it’s perfectly normal. For me, personally, I’ve now found the ability to somehow be able to create, when I met, like, my worst, you know, and I think that being able to translate, like those feelings of when I’m feeling that self doubt, and, you know, the failures of like, being able to translate that into my photos, it’s actually kind of a therapy for me. And then it just kind of, I don’t know, if it makes the journey much easier. So those feelings of quitting or feeling like I’m an insufficient artist, I haven’t had those in a long time now. But it’s because I know how to, I know that I’ve been here before. And more importantly, I know how to take those emotions, those negative emotions, and turn them into positives by releasing them out through my photos into the world. And then seeing other people, you know, even though they don’t know what I’m feeling at all, then message me on Instagram or Twitter, you know, thanking me for posting the picture and saying, Oh, I was stealing this type of way. And this picture just kind of resonated with it. And then here, you are sparking up a natural conversation about those emotions that you are building with, sometimes a complete stranger. There’s a very beautiful thing in that. And it’s helped me a tonne along with my friends, and it’s just kind of a just kind of a snowball effect, I guess you could say, and it’s really helped me on my my journey a lot. And it just, it helps to push my passion even further seeing other people not only resonate with it, but help them in their personal life.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 37:06
Goal, man. Yeah, that’s, that’s definitely one of the thing that had kept me going a lot. Especially to, you know, the hard time is when you get like, people that are inspired with the, you know, our journey. And, you know, that’s, you know, and when I started this journey, I never thought that people would do that. Right. And just like you just like what you say, I think that really fuel you know, who we are as an artist? Because then you know, we kind of feel that our work is not just being ignored. Yeah. Oh, I just lost my train of thought there again, getting too old for this
movie, I’ve tried to do this, yeah, JT did this, not too much. Coffee thing. So it kinda like, doesn’t really help as well. What I was gonna say was with with your journey, and, you know, a lot of that negative thinking, is that mostly, like, just in your head? Or is there actually something that, you know, something that had happened over and over again? And, you know, what you say was, this messages and, you know, like, people appreciation can really make a difference, right? But for like a small creator, who kind of just started right, it might, they might not have that, what you call it mass switch, to be able to have enough people to kind of be able to see their work and have that appreciation, what would you say to them on, you know, what are the things they should do to be able to push past this and keep going until that critical point where they, you know, in quotation mark, make it
Justin Snead 38:48
I would say, and, you know, every person is different. So, what has helped me probably won’t help somebody else, but it may, I would say, to, to really focus on your vision with your work. Everything that’s happened to me on a positive level, you know, regardless, you know, whether or not it’s NF T cells, print cells, working with Tor companies now, but storm chasing, it’s been a byproduct of really focusing and sinking on my vision. I’ve had a lot of brands on Instagram, who have really focused on gaining that following, you know, just chasing that big number, you know, gaining that those large amounts of likes, and, you know, they would always, you know, try to beat up on feature pages and things of that nature. It was always about the numbers. And luckily for me, like, even when I first started out, it was like, for me, those things never counted. They never mattered. And the reason why is that that’s not what I was after. I never photography as a business. And ironically, I still don’t look at it as a business. What I Do put my focus on is my vision, what I want to portray my art, and then let things just go, you know, because if you’re not focused on that, then your mind is going to be all over the place, you’re going to be chasing those numbers chasing those likes trying to get the attention of people. And for me personally, that’s not what art was about. For me, it was about releasing, releasing the negative things that have happened in my life, into my art, and then having people resonate with now, you know, regardless of if it’s, you know, 10 people, 100 people, 1000 people, that doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, you know, there’s one person who resonates with it, then I am successful as an artist, it doesn’t matter, I’ve made money off of it or not, I think for a lot of us who are within the NFT space, especially, when you, when you look at the way we are people, sometimes chasing money and things of that nature, you got to realise that part of being an artist is not necessarily focusing on the money, let that be a byproduct of what you’re trying to go after. So really focus in on your vision, what you’re wanting to actually portray, but your art, and then just let it be let let the failures and the successes, you know, right, because it’s going to be a wait no matter what, it’s rare for people to, you know, come out with their art and instantly just skyrocket. You know, as an artist, it’s almost a duty to go through the highs and lows, and enjoy the journey, because that’s what makes being an artist great is being able to navigate it. That’s awesome, man. That’s
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 41:32
such a great advice. And I think like people have that have that unrealistic expectation of thinking that, you know, if you made it in Instagram, then you made it as an artist? And you know, I think that’s, that’s a bit backward, because that’s not why we started photography. I’m sure it wasn’t Instagram, right. Instagram is just a platform, right? Yeah, I think, yeah, sorry, Kevin.
Justin Snead 41:58
I was just gonna say, I think a lot of people kind of found inspiration through the Instagram platform. But then, you know, with the influencer thing, and, you know, obviously, you know, seeing numbers, big numbers. As humans, we’re automatically we gravitate towards that. Now, you want all the money, you want all the followers, you want all the likes, but I’ve been very lucky in that, that was never, ever my focus ever. Like, no matter what I’ve been doing, I’ve never been like, you know, oh, I need to have this many followers to, you know, I need to have more reach. And you have more does that, because at the end of the day, my vision with my art doesn’t correlate with that. And like I said, everything has been a byproduct of the grind, you know, doing photography for six years now. And just recently started having success with it a year or two ago, four years was a long time to, you know, not have success. But the thing is, is, I’ve been happy without that success. And even if my successes overnight, just alter and I’ll go back to making no money on this, guess what? Still gonna be out chasing the storm, still gonna be out, just putting my emotions to it. And going from there. That
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 43:09
is so awesome, man. Like, you know, one of the best advice. I mean, it’s one of the reason why I do this podcast because people literally look at Instagram and think that, you know, these people just like born yesterday and have 2030 50,000 followers, and they’re like, Okay, I wanted to do that. So, right, it’s not like that. And, you know, you just shared the grind and the journey and it’s just, you know, for listener who’s out there who’s like, in this space, like, you know, there’ll be a time there’ll be a time where, you know, everything makes a difference and everything just makes sense. Right? And it might not today might not be tomorrow, it might not be in next month or next year but if that’s something you love, then just remember your why right? And I really love about what you say that because you just stick to just remember why you started or why you do storm photography and you just stick with it and it just kept going because of that so that’s that’s so it’s such a good advice and hopefully creators out there who you know are feeling this feeling can resonate with this and can take this as a as an advice. And so what you do is incredibly dangerous, right? And not only from the store and but also from the traffic the weather, you know, all this stuff if the storm turning the other way towards you and stuff like have you ever have Have you ever been into in in a sticky moment where you just go like, Ah, I shouldn’t be here.
Justin Snead 44:39
Yeah, yeah, me and my strategic partner, Matt Holliday. We’ve had a couple of instances where it was like, oh, it’s time to go. We almost got mowed down by a potential tornado last year in South Dakota. I also almost got struck by lightning twice last year. Luckily that didn’t happen but I know storm chasers who have been struck by lighting multiple times at that. So it’s definitely a dangerous thing to do that. And again, like you mentioned, not only with the actual storms, you know whether or not it’s a tornado, or lightning, other chasers who are out there driving erratically, wildly, because we oftentimes chase them to sunset, kind of through sunset, and then we’re driving back in the dark. Well, where we’re at in the Midwest, it’s very, it’s very desolate. There are a lot of deer, wherever you’re putting on deer or elk, depending on where you’re chasing it. And people get into wrecks all the time. So it is a very dangerous, dangerous genre of photography to get into. That’s why I always have advertised when people approached me about storm chasing. And, you know, they’re asking me questions about, you know, where should I go work? Or should I go? Where should I go? I want to see a storm. And I’m staying saying to them, yeah, do you know, do you know what you’re looking at in the sky? Can you tell if this storm is about to produce a tornado? Before it produces a tornado? Can you tell if this storm is strengthening or weakening? And then do you know your position relative to the storm? Because it’s very important, extremely important. And the last thing I would want to see is anybody getting into danger or potentially dying? Because I told them of a spot to go to, and then they’re in front of the storm and don’t know what to do?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 46:26
That’s it. Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome that you did that. I know that people kind of don’t, people who doesn’t understand just think like, oh, yeah, just go to sport and watch this. And I remember I was reading, because I wanted to do this don’t chase. And I remember, I was reading up a lot about it. And it was, it was crazy how the biggest casualty was happened because of car accidents. You know, just as just as is like, oh, like, you know, the actual danger is not the storm but or the lightning, but it was actually the, the other chasers, yeah, I reducers. And people are, you know, looking at the storm, and they didn’t pay attention to the road when they were driving. So actually one of my idol or in one of the photographer that got that got me into, you know, shooting storms and lightning back in birth was died. And because of a car accident, I’m very sad about it. But yeah, it was it just goes to show how, how crazy it can be. But tell me about that moment when you almost get caught in a tornado. And I love how you
Unknown Speaker 47:29
just say that. And he just like, brush it away as if he was like, No, I was like, hold on, hold on, you always get slapped by a tornado. What happened? And I tell him,
Justin Snead 47:41
almost, yeah, so we were me and Matt were chasing in South Dakota. And we ended up driving down to the storm, our original target, just it didn’t pan out. And I could tell that the storm that was south of us, it was the storm to be on. So we’re driving down to it. And, and I see it and you know, it’s just this massive storm, it’s what we call a high precipitation Supercell, which means that it’s dumping a lot of rain. And within what we call the the mezzo, it’s rain wrap. So you can’t see if there’s a tornado or not in it. You can see it on radar. But visually, it’s very hard to see if there’s a tornado or not. So while we’re driving down the interstate, this storm is probably seven or eight miles to our to our west, it’s putting on a tornado, you can see it oh radar that it’s putting out a massive tornado. So we start to get in position to where we are going to be able to shoot the store because it had some some decent structure on it. And, you know, we’re trying to get east of the storm so that we can get a really nice visual on that, well, I make this critical mistake of having us go south a little too early. And sometimes what happens with the storms is they will deviate. Which means basically, they’re moving in a certain direction, but when they get really strong, they’ll start to turn erratically. And I knew within a mile or two of making that decision to go south that we have made the wrong decision. So we literally stopped and within this is where it becomes really important to a know where you’re at be visually be able to see what the storm is doing. See, visually be able to see what it’s doing on radar. Because radar was looking at the radar, I was like This storm is turning right into us. And it’s probably putting on a tornado right now. We might get caught. So within a matter of 30 seconds me and my partner were like can we make it back north? Nope. Okay, which we’re going to get out of this. So we ended up being able to go a little bit further east on some dirt roads, which kind of suck if you get at the storm in South overtaking you which it kind of did. So we got called into the outer circulation of a potential tornado. Now, the tornado itself hadn’t lifted. There was a little bit of circulation but I don’t think there’s anything tornadic now But we ended up having to drive through 95 mile per hour straight line winds for about a good 10 minutes. And it was gnarly, you know, we knew we were safe, just because we can tell by the wind direction that we were out of the area of what we call the bears cage, basically where the tornado might be. But it’s still very horrible, you’d have trees getting blown down into the road, you can’t see anything, because the rain is getting blown straight into you. And I don’t know, I wish I would have been streaming that live on Instagram, just so people can really see what it’s like when you’re in those situations. Because sometimes you have to make life or death decisions within a minute or two. Granted, that storm had already lifted up this tornado, but if it had not, there’s a very high chance that we could have been in the outer bands of the tornado. And knowing how to get out of those situations, it’s very important being out there, especially when there’s other places you could potentially block the roads are just drive slow, because they don’t know what you’re doing. And but you know yourself like you’re in a very dangerous spot, you got to go, go go. So that’s why I advise people to just really be safe when they’re out chasing. If you don’t know what you’re doing. Find somebody who does join a tour. There’s plenty of tools out there and where people who do know what they do know what to do can keep you safe, because we want everybody to live and go home at the end of the day. Yeah, wow. That’s
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 51:23
crazy. That’s that’s a wild wild story. Man, I just yeah, it’s just, it’s just like imagining being, you know, being like sitting on your passenger seat and going through that. I’d be like, Ah, we’re lift to lift off. That’s, that’s, that’s insane. Yeah, so thanks a lot for sharing your journey, sharing your, you know, your struggles. And I think it’s important to, for photographers who kind of already made our, our journey further to share that, you know, it’s not, it’s not all fun in game, like, there’s a lot of things that goes through, and it was great to be able to hear your perspective on how to get out of it as well. Now, I’d love to hear about your successes, you know, what are some of your proudest moment, being a photographer, I know, you, you, you kind of started the tour last year or this year or something like that.
Justin Snead 52:21
So I helped out with a tour company last year. And I think that kind of kind of helped me realise that I really wanted to take others out to see storms. Because seeing those, those clients face what we got in front of massive super cells that have beautiful structure, and, you know, they see us get giddy, and then it’s like, they know, like, oh my god, this is it. It’s very weird how storms are because they can go from looking just kind of garbagey and whatever. And, uh, you, you’ll slowly see it starting to take structure and, you know, people who have chased, we could we could tell we’re like, oh, it’s starting to do it. And then clients start getting happy. And they’re like, oh, is this gonna be it. And then next thing, you know, you have this massive Supercell and everybody’s cheering, they’re going crazy, they’re getting the shots they want, you’re getting the shots you want. It’s just a very beautiful thing. So this year, I’m actually Co Co leading with two different tour companies of summoner and workshops. So it’s gonna be pretty exciting, I’m excited to get a chance to take other people out again, and, you know, just see if we can get in front of some storms. And one thing about storm chasing is it’s, there’s no guarantee with what we can get. So it can be, it can, it can be hard, you know, we have you know, especially with climate change in the way things have definitely been us, you can have weeks of you know, just nothing in, you know, if you’re caught on a workshop with that, if it gets very hard because even though people know, you know, we can’t guarantee you them something in the back of your mind, you’re still expecting somebody, even though you know it. So I’m just, I’m excited. I’m very excited to take some people out. And hopefully we can catch some, some Supercell structure, some tornadoes, some lightning and also eat some good food because, you know, I love my food.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 54:04
Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. Yeah. And, you know, that’s, that’s cool that you, you get to find that last year and, you know, continuing forward with that moment, too. And I know that you you made really good success in the NFT world as well. But you know, out of everything that had happened in your journey, what are some of your proudest moment that, you know, it could be something that that had happened with, with the business or with the NFT? Or with with your tour? Or maybe it’s just a moment that you are managed to capture with your camera? Well, you know, do you have that moment that you think about, you know, if nothing else, like if everything else didn’t happen? This one moment makes everything worth it?
Justin Snead 54:48
I do have that moment right now, but I know it’s going to be replaced later on down the road as I’m chasing. For me. I would say my most successful moment was capturing the Lubbock, Texas Supercell last year, if you’re in an NF T space, that piece is called breaching the void on foundation. And it was the first piece that ever sold on foundation. And so that’s advanced, aka tactics. But what made that moment successful for me was the way the storm just ended up producing this gorgeous structure and the lighting that was underneath it while we had dust blowing everywhere. It really kind of symbolises what my journey has been within nursing. And my personal life. There’s been a lot of a lot of things that I’ve been through personally, I don’t talk about too much. But I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices to get to where I am now. And some sacrifices were just, they were, they were very life changing. I’ll just put it that way. For me seeing that storm, and just at that very moment, feeling like it was just a accumulation of all of the emotions and things I’ve been through. Like, I don’t know how to really explain it, but it just, it was a bittersweet moment, I guess you could say, because it was everything that I had been looking for so far, with storm chasing, like, I had already photographed some beautiful supercells. But that Supercell and those 20 to 30 minutes of conditions that we had with it, were just life changing for me. And then, you know, the edit that I incorporated with it really helped to push home. What is a storm chaser, Bill, I was able to really, you know, like I said,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 56:35
thank you very much for being here, Justin. We I had a great time chatting with you and listening to your journey and your wisdom. So that was
Justin Snead 56:43
amazing. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for having me on. And I’ve been a fan of your work for a long time. Obviously, we’ve talked on Instagram for what, a year or two now. Keep doing what you do, man. I love it. I love seeing your work. Did your Aurora panels are just mind blowing ly good. So I may I may need some advice here. Maybe we can do like a little trade, you know?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 57:03
Yeah, man. Awesome. That would be awesome. But I appreciate your kind words very much. Thank you, Justin. All right, we can’t as well. That was one awesome episode. And yeah, you can check out his work on the comment below, through different social media. But also check out you know, his printshop if that’s something that you want to support him or you want it hanging on your wall, I know. He got just amazing, amazing shots of the storms that I could never dream off. Yeah, you’re one of one of my favourite storm chaser there are like a good handful that like you know, truly my favourite and I truly like when I saw your photo, it was just like very different. You know, it’s not only about the storm so I really love watching that from you know, from your work so, but yeah, like, if you do want to chase storm, you know, like, you just didn’t say to hit him up on the tours or find other tours before you try to do it yourself. If it’s especially if it’s your first time. You know, not it’s, I mean, it might cost you a little bit more but at the end of the day, your life is precious, more precious than money. So, but thanks a lot for tuning in. We can hunters and if you haven’t already, so hit the subscribe button and hit Justin up. Say thank you if you know what he said has really resonate with you. As he’s, as you said earlier, these are the things that kept us going and we really appreciate it. We’ll see you guys in the next episode.