Forrest J Funk


During my time at the University of Alabama, I studied Telecommunications and Film/Media Production. My main focus was on video editing back then. Surprisingly, photography became a big part of my life later on. It all started when I was working as an Animation and Video Specialist at Wind Creek Casinos, and I gave photography a try. Over time, I got involved in commercial photoshoots and learned from other photographers. I also improved my photography skills by watching tutorials on websites like YouTube. Now, I'm living in Southern California and working as the Art Director of Photography in the Coachella Valley, where I get to use all the skills I've acquired.

What the word Rise means to me

The word “rise” to me can be defined in so many different ways. If I were to base this word in my way, I would say it’s harnessing the knowledge and gaining the wisdom to help others in their journey toward a particular goal. Rising and conquering any task along the way, but also staying humble and level-headed. Never get too big for your britches so to speak. I want to stay as genuine as possible and persevere with the opportunities that are provided to me.

My Rise Story

Photography has been very important in my life. I was going through a deep depression back in late 2017 - early 2018 and I felt like there was nothing that would get me out of this funk. I was already within the digital realm of advertising at my job, so I decided to purchase my very first drone. I told myself that I need to do something that I’m passionate about to get my mind right and out of this depressive state.Aerial photography took me to a happier place. I started traveling more, enjoyed nature, learned what golden hour was, vertical panos, Lightroom, and even bought my very first mirrorless camera and I've met amazing people along the way.

The photography community is filled with so many talented and passionate people. They are the ones I go to when needing some guidance. Depression still lingers on the back burner, but I now have a way to suppress it. That’s what I needed. That’s what I took in. I cherish every moment I have when it comes to photography and following this path, day after day, represents my rise story. Every day we have the opportunity to rise, and the best version of ourselves.

Shooting Tip

What I mainly look for in an artwork is a dynamic range of textures and colours. Usually basing my drone work on top downs, I love to locate certain environments that will captivate anyone viewing my work. Make them stare deep within the roots of the photo and see the details and textures provided. I love how I dictate my colour scheme with luminosity masking along with providing lights and darks throughout my photos to make them pop.

More Pro Tips

Show the world how you RISE.

Submit your work by the 24th of September, 2023

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