ray j. gadd

The opening dialogue of the 2006 surf movie “Sipping Jet streams” impacted me in a way I will not soon forget:

“Someone who is now long dead wrote, ‘the world is a book and those who don’t travel read only one page.’ What no one tells you is, the book is no easy read. There is one thing that I can say; whatever it is you’re looking for – beauty, enlightenment, salvation, danger, or just to disappear – this will only be a fraction of what you find. I’m just trying to read the whole book.”

Twenty-six years into life, I am still in the introductory stages of my book.

Born and raised in Idaho by transplanted adventurous parents has helped mold me to where I stand today. My mother and father brought me up with the ins and outs of fishing, camping, biking, surfing and traveling. These activities seemed to be continually coupled with my father’s incessant desire to capture the majesty of the adventure landscapes through his own photographs.

I have carried these same active lifestyle and travel joys instilled into me as a child into my current life as an adult. I’m always eager to plan the next trip. It could be a jaunt to the Sawtooth Mountains for some fly-fishing or a backcountry skiing adventure or maybe a two-week solo road trip throughout the Southwest for the enlightenment of awe-inspiring national parks. The adventuresome spirit and desire to see that next page is what really keeps me going. I thank my parents for helping me to appreciate what the world has to offer.

Photography came into my life as an overall desire to capture a tangible recollection of my fond traveling memories much like my father did throughout my upbringing. He was the first taste of this fascinating art medium. Round two came in Junior High when I was given my own personal camera and learned the basics through photography classes. Nearly five years would pass before I truly enjoyed the experience of photography.

Towards end of my Marketing degree from Boise State University was when my flame for photography really began to transpire. While attending school I was offered a job at Steve Smith Photography to help out with marketing and other odds and ends. Being in a full-on photography studio with the camera firing away sparked my ambition to try and capture a tangible recollection in my book of life readings. I slowly began to build upon my knowledge of the art of photography with the immense support of Steve Smith.Steve Smith has proven to be a great mentor, providing extensive tips, always encouraging me to keep shooting and reminding me to focus my energy more precisely on the subject matter that I shoot.

Today, I now act as a contributing photographer in addition to participating in the business side of things on a part time basis with Steve Smith Photography. I currently live in Ketchum, Idaho where I spend my work days shooting products for The Picket Fence. I’m surrounded by a great team and truly love the work that I’m doing. It also doesn’t hurt being in such a beautiful place.

Here and now, I bring together this brief collection of photos inspired by my father’s early work, my mother’s everlasting support of whatever I choose to do, and now an exploratory path of my own pursuit. I hope you enjoy the end result.



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