Aspire Magazine Issue 2 - Page 63

PERSPECTIVE of PLAY Professional photographer Bo Bridges frames earth’s natural bounty by exploring the depths of the ocean and hanging from airplanes with Tom Cruise. BY ERIN LENTZ Ask professional photographer Bo Bridges why he likes to shoot water, and his excitement is visceral. “It’s always changing, always in motion,” he says. “There’s a thrill, energy, and excitement in the ocean you can’t find anywhere else.” With the ocean as his muse, Bridges has traveled to 35 countries and shoots “above and below”—aerial and underwater imagery. Seaworthy feats are often his siren, from chasing swimming pigs near the Abaco Club on Winding Bay to what he considers his most challenging—and frightening—shoot to date: Capturing pro surfers Garrett McNamara and Keali’i Mamala riding massive walls of water created from calving glaciers on the Copper River near Cordova, Alaska. Water, however, is not his only call to action. Bridges honed his skills framing snow sports (he’s shot Winter X Games for 20 years), and is applauded for fine art photography and Hollywood portraits. As Paramount Pictures’ stunt photographer on Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, he “shot Tom Cruise on a motorcycle in Morocco with a ball of flames behind him, and then, he says, “I hung out of an airplane with him in England.” The Cruise images ran in The New York Times (July 2015) and around the world on every billboard and movie poster that promoted the movie. And in late 2017, as part of its artist-in-residence program, New York’s Quin Arts Gallery featured a solo exhibit titled “Bo Bridges: Fear the Life Unlived.” With two galleries of his own—one in Manhattan Beach and the newest in Vail, Colorado—word of mouth has evolved into a staff at his Los Angeles headquarters scrambling to satisfy a skyrocketing demand for his work. Bridges first picked up a camera during his senior year in high school, while living in Switzerland. “My Mom and Granddad loved photography. Mom was an interior designer and Dad was a pilot, so we were always traveling and documenting.” Today, whether shooting Maui’s menacing Jaws break or framing a brilliant sunset in Bolivia, his sharp eye remains curious. This spring, he’s off to New Zealand, and then it’s back to the Bahamas and The Abaco Club, where he says the light and water are “freaking insane!” ASPIRE | ISSUE TWO 61