“I just turned around and it was like, oh man, I’m an Olympic photographer. With that one click.”
Jason Suarez — also known as @notafraid2fail — is one of the best, most sought-after photographers in running today. He has shot nearly every track and field event, every major marathon, and every athlete you know, love, and follow in this sport. And we recorded this conversation just a few days after Jason returned from a true dream-come-true experience: being an official photographer at the Olympic Games. He shot the track and field events inside Olympic Stadium, and dabbled in shooting new events, including gymnastics and swimming. But the Queens-born-and-raised former collegiate sprinter turned marathoner never planned for or expected this life. On this episode, Jason talks about his career trajectory — in addition to being a professional photographer, he also works for Apple — and about the importance of networking, relationships, and being a good person along the way. He talks about breaking into the industry, and shares his career highlights, including spending a week in Kenya with Eliud Kipchoge. Plus, he talks about feeling burned out and about questioning his next moves as a photographer.
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What you’ll get on this episode:
- What it means to be “notafraid2fail” (3:45)
- The significance of Jason’s laptop background (6:30)
- How and why Jason got to go to the Tokyo Olympics (7:45)
- On learning the ropes in Tokyo (12:25)
- The business side of being a freelance sports photographer (22:00)
- When Jason realized his dream was coming true (28:00)
- Jason’s running story (30:45)
- How Jason got his start in photography (37:30)
- Jason’s highlight reel (45:30)
- All about the Pansa Boyz! (51:00)
- What’s next for Jason, on the run and behind the lens (59:35)
- Why Jason loves shooting marathons (1:08:15)
- Jason’s advice for taking better photos (1:15:00)
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