A real life adventurer. It’s not every day you meet an avid outdoorsman that also loves technology. And, it’s certainly not every day you meet a technology geek who loves the outdoors, but that’s exactly what I found in Sam Root.
Apollo Beachan Sam Root (once known as Apollo Beachsam in online forums) always loved fishing, ever since he saw it on TV. He only really got into photography, however, when it finally went digital. “I always loved photography but I couldn’t afford it,” Sam says, “until it went digital.” Sam also wasn’t a fan of the darkroom part of photography; he preferred capturing the amazing shot. Once photography moved into his technology world about ten years ago, and the darkroom became a thing of the past, he jumped on board.
A career is launched
Sam never intended to make a living with photography, but an opportunity came his way and he discovered he had a niche. He was able to combine his love of the outdoors (mostly fishing and boating) with digital photography. His first shot came from an online fishing forum Capmel.com (online forums were the precursor to social media) where he had posted some fishing pictures. A TV fishing show invited Sam to shoot some behind the scenes images in the Florida Keys. It wasn’t a paying gig, but it was an all-expense paid trip and the chance to launch his photography career.
Next came invitations to shoot for outdoor and sport fishing magazines. Slowly, but surely Sam’s skills grew as did his business. To date Sam has worked with Field and Stream Magazine, Florida Sportsman, and Sport Fishing Magazine.
“Recreational photography is a competitive business,“ Sam says. “There are always people willing to do work for free, so they can go on cool fishing trips.” Sam has had to constantly reinvent himself and up his photography game to build his business. In his effort to stay on top Sam has branched out, way out.
From photography to TV
Today Sam Root Productions is working on some pretty incredible stuff. In addition to still photography and magazine work, Sam has moved into video and production. He’s worked on episodes for the Bass 2 Billfish TV show and is producing his first show, A Fishing Story, for the Discovery Channel (premiering July 2016). He was also captain and photographer for a Charlie Moore No Offense fishing episode (NBC Sports Network) that featured none other than Hulk Hogan.
Sam also teams up with fishing brands. His biggest work to date has been Mustad, a Norwegian company known worldwide for its premiere fishing hooks and Hobie kayaks Outdoor adventures TV. Sam’s traveled to Indonesia, Panama and most recently, the Bahamas, to photograph Mustad’s products in action. “A lot of people think it’s glamorous and they tell me they want my job,” Sam says. In reality, Sam and his crew work 12-14 hour days on location. “I’m capturing the people who are fishing. They’re having the fun. I’m working.”
Paul Brown Lure Shot
Fish out of water action shot
Sam’s creative work has not gone unnoticed locally either. In addition to photographing weddings, Sam has shot commercials for Publix and Coffrin Jewelers (Sarasota). If you follow Sam’s Facebook page you’ll notice he’s pretty much always working. At least he’s always taking pictures or videos.
Sam calls himself a big fish in a tiny pond, but I suspect there are those that would argue. He’s off to iCast, the world’s largest sport fishing trade show, in July to connect with brands he’s already working with, and hopefully find more.
For more information on Sam Root Productions or to contact Sam:
Facebook.com/Sam Root Productions