Tyler Sharp is an adventurer, sportsman, conservationist, and world traveler with a gift for telling stories through images and words. While he may be best known for his photography focusing on Americana and Western lifestyle, travel, and adventure, Tyler has built a substantial resume that includes filmmaking, directing, writing, and creative strategy. His work has taken him to some of the most spectacular and far-flung regions of the globe, with an emphasis on East Africa, Montana, and his home state of Texas.
As a devoted hunter and fisherman, Tyler has chased game in some of the world’s wildest regions, giving him a global perspective on the importance of natural resources, game management, and sustainable hunting practices. As you’ll hear in our conversation, Tyler has thought deeply about the practical and ethical implications of hunting and fishing both abroad and here in the American West. His sincere devotion to conservation and adventure shines through in his work and has made him the go-to photographer for iconic brands such as Filson, Cabelas, and Stetson, to name a few.
Tyler and I met up in Estes Park, Colorado, just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, for a fun conversation that could have gone on for hours. We discussed his beginnings as a professional photographer, which began in earnest when he moved to East Africa just out of college—he’s got some intense stories from his travels that include run-ins with lions and leopards. We covered his thoughts on conservation, and how his time traveling abroad has given him a clearer understanding of conservation issues facing the American West. Then the conversation took an unexpected but interesting turn when we chatted about his commitment to Kung Fu (yes, Kung Fu!), meditation, and eastern philosophy.
Be sure to check out the episode notes for the full list of topics covered, because we touch on a lot. This is a wide-ranging conversation that takes many surprising twists and turns. Hope you enjoy!
2:40 - How Tyler describes his work
3:40 - Tyler’s niche in the creative world
4:25 - Tyler’s background
5:35 - Heading to Los Angeles from Texas for college
7:00 - Post college adventures in Africa
8:10 - The shock of moving to Tanzania from LA
10:30 - Learning how to “grease the wheels” in Africa
11:25 - How time in Africa changed Tyler
13:20 - Threat of people versus wildlife
14:10 - Craziest experience in Africa (spoiler alert - it involves a lion!)
20:40 - Showdown with a leopard
22:20 - Transition from Africa to American West
24:15 - His choice to focus in on his passion
26:30 - Specific actions that have allowed Tyler to separate himself from the competition
31:10 - Tyler’s personal brand
32:00 - Tyler’s conservation ethic
35:00 - Discussion about conservation and hunting
39:00 - Hunters and others coming together to save public lands
40:00 - Details on The Modern Huntsman
41:55 - Blowback from posting hunting photos online
44:35 - Importance of having conversations versus fighting
46:30 - Tyler’s definition of “conservation”
50:00 - Kung Fu and other martial arts
52:50 - Physical and mental benefits of Kung Fu
56:00 - Favorite books
1:00:50 - Advice to take better landscape photos
1:03:50 - Favorite place in the West
1:05:30 - Tyler’s request of the listeners
1:09:50 - Connect with Tyler online