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Cory Richards

@natgeo Photographer / Athlete / Speaker / Mental Health Advocate / Explorer

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I know I said no more naked @alexhonnold , but I I thought a 7 for 7 run at the Emmys was worthy of some outtakes from the @espn shoot. Massive CONGRATS to the whole @freesolofilm team!!! // Big photographic nod to @jimmychin for this pose 😉 // @natgeo @chaivasarhelyi @jimmychin @alexhonnold @sannimccandless @mikeylikesrocks @clairpopkin @jimhurst @cheynelempe @samuelcrossley

New York, New York

A handful more as promised as I step out the door to go watch @thelumineers album release studio show in NY. Check the last few posts for more from this collection from a rehearsal in Denver a few weeks back. New album out today...check it. K...enough from me...back to our regularly scheduled programming tmrw. Link in bio // @thelumineers @jeremiahfraites @wesleyschultz @bootjacobson @thebyronisaacs @stelthulvang

LINK in bio to the New Album! // Today is the day! Massive CONGRATULATIONS to @thelumineers on the full release of their latest album If you haven't heard it, do yourself a favor and go get it. And if you have, be sure to show them some love. Less musings today about the nature of what music means to me, and more full throated ups to this incredible band and what they've created. So amazing to witness art become life. // Continuation of yesterday's post with more to come. // @thelumineers @wesleyschultz @jeremiahfraites @bootjacobson @thebyronisaacs @stelthulvang

Tomorrow 9/13/19 new @thelumineers album drops. // What can I say?  Im enamored by music.  The way our hearts move our brains to orchestrate sounds creating rhythms, beats, and melodies is nothing shy of miraculous. Music is underwritten by mathematic principles that speak to a greater design, at once shockingly simple and infinitely complex. Music moves us to tears, to love, to act, to create...and penetrates us in ways that other art forms fail to. When the human family became a family of music makers, I don’t exactly know. But for that moment, I’m grateful.  I’m grateful for every moment that brought this new album to life, arguably the most soulful, mature, articulate, and beautiful musical contribution this band has created. Their evolution is staggering. // Images shot BTS with the entire band as they rehearsed to play the opening show of the Mission Ballroom in Denver. They played the entire new album to a sold out crowd that left the ground sticky and covered in footprints. But the day before, the venue was empty and the band rehearsed in front of an empty room allowing the music to linger in the air. Thanks for having me there. I'm humbled and honored. (more images to come) // Link in Bio to download the new album when it drops. Check it out. It’s worth your time. // @thelumineers @jeremiahfraites @wesleyschultz @thebyronisaacs @bootjacobson @stelthuvang


Some recent conversations have brought my memories to float back in time to my first story for . The “Sky Caves of Mustang” are a large collection of 10,000 or more man-made caves dug into the sides of a valley in northern . Archeologists and researchers have explored a fraction of these caves and have found mummified human remains dating to at least 2,000-3,000 years old. . As the world becomes smaller, exploration and discovery shifts and changes in meaning as well. Archeologists on our expedition required the support of climbers, like myself and @mattsegal, to access these caves. Just as the printing press changed history, advent of digital dissemination of not just the written word, but visual stories have altered the way we connect, research, explore and communicate. How do you feel discovery, exploration and science has changed through new world of Instagram? . Pictured here: a cave illuminated with researchers' lamps while exploring the sky caves of Mustang.

“I feel really accepting of the things I used to be insecure about. I have gone through eating disorders and body shaming, and here I am today doing this shoot for millions of people to see.” ~Katelyn Ohashi (Gymnast; @katelyn_ohashi) . Katelyn, a 2018 NCAA team champion with UCLA, shares a sentiment that resonates with all of us, athletes and non-athletes alike. As an athlete, I work hard to get where I have gone and have to work harder to get where I will go. I’m not naturally muscular, I’m not naturally fat adapted. It takes months and years of endurance and strength training and constant mindful nutrition. I struggle, as everyone does, with how my body doesn’t fit into the box. These images of great athletes are not just a nod to those who are in the spotlight, but also a nod to those that aren’t. The silent crushers that no one has heard of in *all* sports. It’s also a nod to all that struggle daily through insecurity, self-doubt, the mental training to get through that no one sees… We all have it in us to be exceptional, and we all have it in us to find excuses not to show up and do the work. . So, as I board a flight now to speak on a panel for @ESPN, I complete yesterday’s accolades to all the athletes and photographers highlighted in this years issue, and end these series of posts by giving respect to all those out there who try just as hard, who work for it. Who earn it regardless of whether they are seen or not. . ▪️Katelyn Ohashi (@katelyn_ohashi) by Dana Scruggs (@danascruggs) ▪️Nancy Lieberman (@nancylieberman) by Ramona Rosales (@ramonarosales) ▪️Amanda Nunes (@amanda_leoa) by Marcus Smith (@marcus.chi) ▪️Kelley O’Hara (@kelleyohara) by Heather Hazzan (@heatherhazzan) ▪️Chris Paul (@cp3) by Gary Land (@garyland) ▪️Lakey Peterson (@lakeypeterson) by Sarah Lee (@hisarahlee) ▪️Michael Thomas (@cantguardmike) by Peter Hapak (@peterhapak) ▪️Christian Yelich (@christianyelich by Joe Pugliese (@joepug

“Normal is boring, and it’s about time we start doing things differently for the outliers.” - Liz Cambage, 2018 WNBA scoring leader . The past few posts of my @Espn shoot with @alexhonnold has ruffled some feathers. Though for the most part the feedback has been positive, the commentary has been peppered with sexism, objectification, sexualization and some curmudgeonly “sell-out” commentary from a niche community. . As an athlete myself, I understand first hand how Alex’s fitness is a different type of fitness than mine as an alpinist. We are both climbers, in theory we share same sport from a global perspective, but ultimately our bodies adapt differently. In celebration of those differences - across all sports, all genders, all our struggles to get where we are, all our effort to overcome - I celebrate all the athletes (and photographers) highlighted in @Espn . Driving to the core sentiment of the Body Issue, my hope is that we can begin to shift our collective perspective of what an athlete looks like. An athlete can be defined on how far they lie outside the norm… . Image 1: Scout Bassett (@scoutbassett)by Richard Phibbs (@richardphibbs) Image 2: Liz cambage (@ecambage) by Sophy Holland (@sophyholland) Image 3: Katrin Davidsdottir (@katrintanja) by Benedict Evans (@benedict_evans) Image 4: Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Line (@philadelphiaeagles) by Andrew Hetherington (@andrew__hetherington) Image 5: Myles Garrett (@flash_garrett) by Peggy Sirota (@peggysirota) Image 6: James Hinchcliffee (@hinchtown) by Mark Williams & Sara Hirakawa (@williamshirakawa) Image 7: Evander Kane (@evander9kane) by Marcus Eriksson (@themarcuseriksson) Image 8: Brooks Koepka (@bkoepka) by Rob Daly (@robdalyphoto)

Kirkwood, California

Though these images have been published in @espn The Body Issue with the caption "Photography by Cory Richards", it takes a village to create images such as these. I must thank all the people who supported the process in bringing these to life: ▪️Thank you to the photo crew who helped shuffle heavy gear up slabs at 4am and, all the while, not wake our campsite neighbors: @greg_mionske @dakotasnider @em_turn ▪️Thank you @marinaarich for oiling Alex with such precision and care. ▪️Thank you @leblocstudio for helping bring the tones I had in my head to life. ▪️Thank you @u.s.forestservice for their support with permitting. ▪️Thank you @schneider_melissa for bringing the form to the formless with your production and creative skills as producer, agent and creative/art direction, in various forms, from pre through post production. ▪️Thank you @espn for gifting creative freedom as well as being some of the kindest and most generous clients a photographer could ever ask for. ▪️Thank you @alexhonnold for being open to telling this story.

Swipe right // Another couple of images from the @espn with @alexhonnold // Alex's groundbreaking freesolo of El Capitan in Yosemite was a paradigm shifting event not just in climbing, but in sport as a whole. Alex was already known throughout the climbing community as an outlier, but @freesolofilm (directed by @jimmychin and @chaivasarhelyi and produced by @natgeo) put him on display in an unprecedented way. The film, which garnered an Academy Award for Best Documentary, exposed Alex and @sannimccandless as a fluid partnership exploring the gravity of at times oppositional goals and pursuits. The result was a window with rough edges. As inhuman as the achievement appeared, it was balanced by a more vulnerable look at two wholly human individuals, each with their own fallibilities, nuances, strengths, and weaknesses. For me, there was a necessary awkwardness and tension more palpable in the moments when Alex WASN'T climbing, highlighting a seemingly tenuous relationship with 'normal' life. And as otherworldly as the ultimate accomplishment seemed, the very reason it demanded such attention is because Alex, like all of us, is made up of flesh and bone.

Kirkwood, California

I'll be posting more images throughout today and tomorrow of this shoot. In the mean time, head to my profile for the link to the full spread of my shoot with @alexhonnold for @espn annual issue of "The Body Issue"

Shout out to my dear friend and victim (for the shoot), @alexhonnold for putting up with me for the @espn body issue, out today. And a massive thanks to @espn for trusting me with this. // The first time I photographed Alex Honnold was over a decade ago when our respective cars were our castles, means of transport, and kitchens. I remember the drive from Canada to Yosemite as a jittery sprint fueled by caffeine and gas station cashews. The pictures I took of Alex back then left me wanting, as if there were a depth to his character that was expressed through his action but escaped my ability as a photographer. He struck me as an athlete more sculpted by his medium than any other I’d met. I wondered if his physical form was a necessary response to repeated stimuli or if he represented something entirely unique. Photographing him all these years later was an opportunity to celebrate him as form born of the stone he surrounds himself with, seeing him as wholly human but somehow simultaneously transcendent of that definition. Plus, it’s not everyday you get to tell your friend to get naked and curl into a ball and NOT have that abruptly make your friendship forever awkward... // Check back for more images from this incredible shoot.

Olten, Switzerland

Swipe right // Photography Matters. For our history and our future...what we can be, both ugly and beautiful. First image by @utnicky, part of the @worldpressphoto collection, is arguably one of the most important images ever, helping to fundamentally alter the course of public opinion and discourse during the Vietnam War. Second image of @utnicky at here in Switzerland amidst a host of other amazing storytellers and change makers.

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