Riley Seebeck, the passionate and self-taught photographer behind FlowPhoto Co., has been mesmerized by the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest since his childhood. His journey into the realm of photography, particularly in raw nature and action sports, is not just a career but a deep-seated love affair with the environment.
Riley’s first encounter with photography was somewhat serendipitous. In 2010, while at college in Wisconsin, he found himself more drawn to the outdoors than the typical college scene. “Instead of falling into the drinking scene,” Riley reminisces, “a small group of guys and I would spend time up in the bluffs where we discovered Mountain biking. Building, biking, exploring.”
His photography journey began during these adventures, armed with only an iPhone 3. This marked the start of his path to becoming a professional photographer, a pursuit further fueled during his time in Colorado, balancing welding jobs and trail building.
A visit to his uncle in Washington State at the age of ten had left an indelible mark on Riley, creating a vivid memory that would eventually lead him to make the state his home in 2014. He describes an enchanting scene of morning fog and light rays piercing through lush, vibrant green trees covered in moss.
These moments of natural beauty and illumination inspired Riley to capture what he refers to as a ‘Caravaggio Style’ in his photography, seeking to provoke deep, engaging, dramatic feelings in viewers.
Riley shares that he is self-taught, relying on trial and error and drawing inspiration from nature and photographers like Ansel Adams and Sterling Lorence. His first significant camera, a Canon T3i, was a step up from his initial iPhone, and he has remained loyal to Canon since, though he briefly experimented with Sony.
Over the years, Riley has honed his skills in capturing breathtaking landscapes and achieved notable recognition in the field. His travels around the world for mountain bike races and commercial shoots have led him to become a Senior Photographer at Freehub Magazine. He has also had several of his works featured as cover photos in prestigious magazines such as Bicycling Magazine and Kayak Sessions.
Living in the valley since 2014, Riley considers it his paradise. He shares, “I’ve traveled the world for my job and am always excited to be back home.” The valley holds a special place in his heart, evident in how he talks about his experiences and the community. His brother, a mountain biking, snowboarding, and surfing enthusiast, also resides in the valley, allowing them to capture many spectacular moments together.
Riley’s main source of income is photography, complemented by a second job in North Bend. For those interested in experiencing his work firsthand, Riley’s images can be seen in various local establishments, including Arete Café in North Bend and upcoming displays at Issaquah Coffee Company. He takes pride in his involvement in the entire process of his art, from capturing the image to custom framing and final display.
Riley Seebeck’s journey is a vibrant tapestry of self-taught skill, passion for nature, and dedication to his art. His work showcases the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest and tells the story of a man deeply connected to his surroundings.
Riley Seebeck’s work through FlowPhoto Co. is a testament to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the power of self-taught passion. His photographs are not just pictures but windows into the soul of nature, inviting viewers to share in his deep connection with the outdoors. Riley’s journey reminds us of the profound impact that following one’s passion can have, both personally and professionally.
-Visit the gallery page to see more examples of Riley’s work]
[Photo Credit featured image: @kiphotomedia]