Interview with photographer Moses Berdy

Briefly say Hi and tell us a little bit about yourself:

“Hello! My name is Moses Berdy. I am a landscape and adventure photographer based out of the Southeastern United States. I am also an avid hiker and adventure enthusiast, and I love pushing myself through new challenges and outdoor experiences.  I began my photography career in 2017, since then I have been blessed to be able to document my adventures through my own moody, cinematic style of photography that helps me share the amazing experiences I get to have with other people. 

How did you get into photography? What attracted you to it?

All of this started with a passion for the outdoors. I’ve always been a massive fan of President Theodore Roosevelt, and his exploits in the West prior to his presidency, along with his advocacy of the soul-healing properties of being outside, drove me to seek solitude on any trail I could find. I started taking pictures with my smartphone and after about a year I decided to invest in a little Nikon d3400 to take with me on my adventures. I began posting my pictures to social media and when people would constantly ask me where I was hiking and taking photos at, I realized that I had a great opportunity to influence people to spend more time outside in nature. I started working with other like minded photographers, although I didn’t really consider myself a photographer at the time, and learned to make my photos more aesthetically pleasing by appealing to compositional standards like the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. Thus I decided to go all in and invest more time and money into developing my craft and honing the moody style that I more or less ascribe to currently. 

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What are your favourite topics to photograph? Why?

More than anything I prefer to photograph landscapes. There’s a simple beauty to photographing a landscape that just isn’t there with portraiture or product photography. Landscapes are just there, beautiful, and sometimes quiet. It doesn’t move, so as long as I’m there in the right lighting I can snap a couple of pictures and then spend the other 90% of my time just taking it all in. Taking portraits and product photos are more artificial, leveraging light fixtures and poses that just complicate things more than I prefer to. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy photographing people but generally in natural interactive contexts and as un-posed as possible. I think it brings the audience into the context of the photo a little bit more, like they’re seeing something happening in real time. That’s what I’m in it for. Capturing memories of real adventures comprised of small, beautiful moments. 

What are your favourite places to photograph and a favourite place you have been to so far in your country?

I do get the opportunity to travel a little bit every year. Not nearly as much as I’d like to and there are many places I’m dying to go. I know Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains like the back of my hand at this point and I drive throughout the Southeast regularly. There is so much that people don’t know exists in the Southeastern United States. For example, the 600+ foot waterfalls in Eastern Tennessee or the cave systems in Alabama. There is also a mini grand canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia called Providence Canyons State Park. One of my goals is to document as many of them as possible. 

As much as I love the Southeast, there’s something about the mountains in California, specifically around Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada mountains that have impacted me differently than anywhere else. I had the privilege of traveling to Yosemite for the first time last year, it was a bucket list trip for me. The colours of Yosemite in the fall do not disappoint, and there is something majestic about standing at the base of El Capitan and being swallowed up by its massive scale. I think that alone had the biggest impact on me of any landscape I’ve ever been in. Looking up and around in that valley, understanding that these rock formations, cliffs, trees and falls have been there for centuries if not a millennia and will be there long after I am gone. That my life, regardless of career path, health, wealth, or social status will eventually fade but through the photos I take and the stories they convey perhaps I can inspire future generations to marvel at the same beauty that I get the privilege to behold now. That’s the end game, for me.

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Outside of photography, are there any other jobs or projects that you do?

By day, I am a retail manager, but my free time is more or less dedicated to photographing my adventures and travel experiences. I have recently become obsessed with theological studies as well so there’s a lot of book reading, lecture watching and coffee drinking that goes along with it. Between my love for photography and the outdoors, my studies and other relationship commitments, I’m spread a little bit thin but there’s not a single part of my extracurricular life that isn’t overwhelmingly rewarding. The hope, I guess, is that sometime in the near future I will be able to transition into being a photographer full time and be able to see as much of planet Earth as humanly possible.”

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For more from Moses, you can find him on Instagram here or check out his personal website here.