Photographer Spotlight: Adam Grumbo
Posted by Sara Marjorie Strick on
Adam Grumbo is a travel videographer based out of Austin, TX.
He's been shooting full time for 8 years and has traveled to some of the coolest places on the planet, filming for amazing companies like Mini Cooper, NFL, Indeed, The Travel Channel, Dell, HP and more. Getting out of his comfort zone and meeting people totally unique to his daily life is what drives him, and trying to get the most of out of the few years we are on this beautiful planet is what gets him excited. Adam shoots with and owns a mix of Canon, Red, DJI, Panasonic and GoPro products.
What sparked your initial interest in videography and film?
Video is the absolute best way to convey a message, tell a story and to create a feeling or emotion. It's a powerful tool that when combined with beautiful audio and moving musical pieces, will transport you into a totally different mind set instantly. Why would you not want to learn to wield such a powerful device?
What are some of your biggest inspirations for your work?
Amazing cinematographers like Leonardo Dalessandri, Mark Toia, Still Motion. Believe me when I say I love Michael Bay's work, JJ Abrams and Spielberg. I am not a fan of art-house directors. My biggest pet peeve is unboxing videos and youtube gear-review channels. Non-stop gear analysis is almost always a road block and an excuse for not creating. Stop watching people who analyze specs and start watching people who create! Avoid gear fanboys.
What was one of your weirdest moments as a videographer?
Eating some bad street food while filming in a 3rd world country, and finding myself perched atop a mountain, overlooking a valley doing the most unflattering call of nature - all while under the most peaceful night sky, painted just over the ocean. The weirdest feeling of serenity coupled with sweaty regret.
...and the coolest?
Way too many to list. I'm wowed by filming at each place I go. Waking up before sunrise on Mt. Rigi in Switzerland, filming in 360 degrees of the whole valley with no one around - Frost on the grass, fog rolling over endless layers of Alps visible as far as I could see is amazing. Alone with nothing but nature. The sun creeps over the ridge and you forget about all the bickering, the minor slights that we all have been used to enduring every day. The meaningless complaining that seems to matter so much on social media, now becomes nothing. Forgotten. You are at complete peace in these moments. This has happened for me dozens of times around the globe and it never gets old.
What have you learned about videography that came as a surprise the more you became invested in it?
No one has ever "made it". People you think are killing it daily are struggling too. We are all grinding to get to the next level. You can't compare your own knowledge of your worst self, with social media's depiction of everyone else's best self. It's unfair to you. If you're doing a creative field like this, you will be sacrificing a lot, to live this way.
If you could give one important piece of advice to a novice - what would that be?
You don't have the be the worlds best at anything. Stop comparing yourself to the best. Compare your work to what it was last year, or the year before. Work harder than the majority, not harder than everyone ever. But seriously though: stop waiting for gear to make something beautiful. Stop waiting for the next best camera. Every camera out right is better than anything anyone has ever had before, and cheaper. Now is the time. Take your $300 or $3000
camera and get away from your computer and create something. And if you've learned things on the way, don't boast about how smart you are to try and get respect. Let your work speak for itself and stop trying to sound so smart online. Lastly, do not use trial and error to learn videography and lighting. Spend the money to learn
from someone who really knows. The free youtube people very rarely know and will teach you terrible habits.
What is your favorite thing you have purchased from Precision Camera?
I have so many favorites. I love that Precision has become a great place to browse and talk shop. My Canon 1DX2 gets the most amount of use right now. The day it came out, I had it overnighted from Precision to Florida so I could use it straight away. Amazing photos, video and durable as a rock.
Okay - desert island lens: what is it?
Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8. No one uses it, but it gives a look you can't get with those tiny lenses. No one will confuse a 300mm photo for a cell phone photo.
What is your dream piece of equipment that doesn't exist?
I don't know why they haven't invented a flexible reflector that has a built in high powered light on the rim. Killing me that it isn't out, because I think the technology is there.
You can follow Adam and check out more of his work here: