Ep. 18 - Pain, Healing & Instagram with Cory Richards (Part 1)

How Cory shows up? By letting his raw and self possessed life show in his work.

It’s impossible to talk about what Cory Richards has accomplished in his professional life without looking at what he’s gone through in his personal life. Cory found photography after surviving a painful relationship with his older brother and several attempts at clinical treatment. That early trauma both helped create the ferocity with which he tackled his later endeavors and also a jealousy that’s he’s learned to tame and channel.  

We don’t just talk about Cory’s accomplishments, like being a National Geographic photographer and a North Face athlete, but what’s it’s like to have actually lived those experiences. That includes the nearly-fatal avalanche that was featured in the award-winning film Cold, which chronicled his team’s ascent of Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II. We also talk about how his iconic self portrait in the aftermath of that event caught him in a raw emotional state, and how he feels about one of his most well-known shots being of himself in the age of social media.

Cory has lived a rich life, not always pretty one, not always the perfectly manicured image of an outdoor profesional we are used to seeing plastered across the internet.

More than anything, we talk about what goes on in Cory’s head, including what it’s like to deal with trauma, both from his early childhood and his near death experience. We also touch on what it’s like to parse the idea of masculinity in the Me Too era and why, moments from death, what flashed through his mind wasn't his life, but thoughts of parking tickets and Cheerios.

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