Jimmy Chin 

Independant Photographer


Jimmy Chin stands as a towering figure not only on the world's highest mountain peaks, but also in the realms of photography, film, and storytelling. He's a man of many hats – an Asian American professional mountain athlete, an award-winning National Geographic photographer, an Academy Award-winning film director, and a New York Times Best Selling author. He has crafted a reputation for not only climbing mountains, but also for capturing the most gripping stories from the world's remote corners.

For more than two decades, Jimmy Chin has been a part of The North Face Athlete team, an elite group of professional climbers and skiers. His adventures have taken him across all seven continents, where he has spearheaded groundbreaking expeditions. In 2006, he, along with Kit and Rob DesLauriers, became the first Americans to ski from the summit of Mount Everest, a feat never before achieved. Then in 2011, alongside Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk, he captured the first ascent of the daunting Shark’s Fin, a granite wall on India’s Meru Central – an achievement that had eluded climbers for decades.

Jimmy's photographic prowess is equally as remarkable as his mountaineering feats. His camera has captured compelling stories from the Sahara to the Himalaya, which have graced the pages of renowned publications such as National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Outside Magazine. In recognition of his extraordinary work, he was bestowed the National Geographic Photographer’s Photographer Award by his peers in 2019. A testament to his mastery of storytelling through images is his first book of photography, 'There and Back,' which beautifully documents his career in the mountains and landed on the New York Times Best Seller list in 2021.

Teaming up with his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy has found exceptional success in the world of documentary filmmaking. Their film, 'Meru', not only won the Audience Award at Sundance but also got shortlisted for an Academy Award. Their triumph in filmmaking continued with 'Free Solo', a movie that not only won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, a BAFTA, and seven Primetime Emmy’s, but also held the highest grossing opening weekend in history for a documentary. Their latest work, 'The Rescue', recounting the daring rescue of a football team from a cave in Thailand, has earned numerous accolades, including the People’s Choice Award at Toronto International Film Festival. They are now venturing into scripted films with 'Nyad', starring Annette Bening and Jodie Foster, based on Diana Nyad’s historic swim from Cuba to Florida.

In addition to his photography and filmmaking, Jimmy has creatively directed commercial projects for prominent brands like Ford, Apple, Bose, Chase, Panerai, Yeti, and The North Face.

Despite his globe-trotting adventures and busy career, Jimmy calls Jackson, Wyoming home. There he shares his life with his wife and filmmaker, Chai Vasarhelyi, and their children, Marina and James. His life and work bear testament to his belief that 'the best view comes after the hardest climb'. With a relentless pursuit of his passions, Jimmy Chin continues to scale new heights, both literal and figurative, in the world of adventure and storytelling.

My Courses


—  Jimmy Chin 


Engaging in a course led by a National Geographic photographer offers a unique opportunity to learn from the best in the field and truly master the art of breathtaking photography. With a focus on adventure photography, this course goes beyond the technical aspects of the camera to teach you how to capture the essence of your experiences and express them through visually compelling images. Adventure photography is not just about capturing beautiful landscapes or daring feats. It’s about encapsulating the spirit of exploration, the thrill of discovery, and the raw beauty of nature in its most unadulterated form. It’s about telling stories of courage, resilience, and human connection. This course aims to equip you with the skills, techniques, and knowledge needed to do just that. The course begins by focusing on the fundamentals. You'll learn to understand and work with light, the most crucial element in photography. From the golden hour to the harsh midday sun, you'll explore how different lighting conditions can dramatically alter the mood of an image. You'll also learn how to use your camera settings to manipulate light and create the desired effect. Composition is another fundamental aspect that the course delves into. The rules of composition, such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing, can be powerful tools in your photographic arsenal. However, the course goes a step further by teaching you when to break these rules for a more creative and dynamic composition. Next, the course moves onto more specific techniques for adventure photography. These include action shot techniques like panning and freezing motion, and how to effectively use wide-angle lenses to capture expansive landscapes. You'll also learn how to photograph people in their natural element, capturing the essence of their experience and the emotion of the moment. An important part of adventure photography is being prepared for unpredictable situations. The course covers topics such as planning and packing for a shoot, assessing and adapting to different environments, and ensuring the safety of yourself and your equipment. You'll also learn how to be patient and persistent in waiting for the perfect shot, a key trait of successful adventure photographers. One of the highlights of the course is the unique insights and experiences shared by the National Geographic photographer. Their stories from the field, the challenges they've faced, and the solutions they've found can provide valuable lessons. Moreover, their feedback on your work can provide the guidance and direction needed to improve your photography. Post-processing is another crucial part of the course. You'll learn how to use editing software like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance your images, correct errors, and bring your creative vision to life. From basic adjustments to more advanced techniques like HDR and panorama stitching, you'll learn how to finalize your images for the best possible result. In addition to the technical and creative aspects of photography, the course also addresses the ethical considerations in adventure photography. Respect for nature and local cultures, responsible travel, and the importance of telling truthful stories through your images are among the topics discussed.


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