Skip to content
Home » Photographer of the Month » John Vallejo

John Vallejo

[Photo] John Vallejo collection

Soon after arriving at UC Davis as a freshman, I went to Yosemite for my first outdoor climbing trip. On my nineteenth birthday, instead of sleeping in, I woke up at 5 a.m. to climb Snake Dike on Half Dome. Having spent most of my youth without venturing too far from the beach, looking out over Half Dome overwhelmed me with a new understanding of Earth’s enormous scale. At that moment I became hooked.

A few years later, during the crunch time of law school, I held onto sanity by surfing through climbing photographs. I was so drawn to images capturing intense moments in awesome places that I eventually bought my first camera–a digital SLR–in 2006, with the hope of paying the favor forward. With basic knowledge from a high school semester photography course, I began shooting every time I went climbing.

I consider myself to be more of a climber than a photographer; my setup may be too simple and my photography resume too thin to serve as a defining characteristic for a career. Nonetheless, as I progress in both realms my appreciation for experiencing remote wilderness areas grows. Whether it’s bouldering, sport climbing, on adventure routes or of the surrounding scenes, I seek to capture true moments of personal achievement and global inspiration–hopefully in the same frame.