Our RIDETZ riders are 4 days in, and we are lucky enough to have the amazing and talented, Nate Kaiser capturing the journey. We are so grateful to have Nate on the ride, and we know the pictures will be breathtaking!
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Nate Kaiser. I, along with my lovely wife Jaclyn have been a full time professional wedding and portrait photographer since 2002. I am a father to two amazingly challenging and inspiring children: my ten year old daughter Grace and six year old son Jasper. We currently live in a small cabin in the tiny mountain town of Idyllwild in Southern California. I spend the majority of my time traveling, shooting and developing film at home, riding road and mountain bikes, and felling trees and chopping wood to heat our home.
2. What made you decide to donate your time and talent to document TFFT’s work and the RIDETZ journey?
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet Meghann last year when we photographed her wedding to her husband Ben. I say lucky because as anyone who’s met Meghann and Ben can attest to, they are truly two of the very best kinds of people you could ever hope to meet. Through meeting Meghann I was also fortunate enough to meet Kaitlin (who’s wedding I’ll be photographing later this year, yay!) and through the two of them was introduced to TFFT and RIDETZ and their inspiring vision for education in Tanzania. The “decision” to donate my time and talent for RIDETZ really wasn’t much of a decision, more like me just crossing all of my fingers and toes hoping that I would be invited to photograph such an amazing journey. Of course when I was approached with the opportunity to document TFFT’s work and the RIDETZ experience I jumped at the chance! A trip such as this is something I’ve dreamed of for years and longed for in my heart and then all of a sudden, everything and everyone aligned, and lo and behold, everything I could have ever hoped to do was all just waiting for me to jump into.
3. What are you hoping to gain from this experience?
I’ve been so so so fortunate that through my line of work I’ve been able to travel and see much of the world photographing weddings. I absolutely love to travel and as a photographer, being thrown into new environments is immensely inspiring. So it goes without saying that this trip will undoubtedly be inspiring to me visually, but more importantly I am deeply inspired by anyone who lays down themselves in service of others. The team at TFFT has been laying down bits of themselves for years and years and for me to be able to be a small part of that, even for the couple weeks I am there, will no doubt be a life challenging and life changing experience for me on many levels.
4. What do you anticipate will be your biggest photographic challenge?
Well, I will be the first photographer in the history of RIDETZ to attempt to both ride the 400 mile route and document it by making photographs along the way. I know the intense physical strain of the ride coupled with trying to think creatively is going to be one of the most challenging things I’ve ever attempted. Along with that, I suppose not falling and breaking my cameras and my body along the way will constantly keep me on my toes. Beyond the physical and technical challenges of the ride itself, my biggest photographic challenge to myself is going to be documenting the work of TFFT as well as RIDETZ in an authentic, documentary way that can serve to capture a shared humanity amongst those in the images and all who view them.
5. Let’s get technical… what gear do you plan to bring?
That’s a question I’ve been debating with myself since I found out I was going on this journey almost a year ago! For all of my personal work I shoot primarily film with very old all manual cameras and while those types of cameras and film are the most inspiring mediums I use, I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that due to a myriad of factors I won’t be able to photograph my entire journey in that way. I will most likely bring one or two film cameras with me to use along the way but the majority of my image making is going to be done digitally with a Fuji XT-1 and Fuji X-Pro1 and a gaggle of lenses. Since I’ll be riding along on bikes with all the other riders day in and day out I had to figure out a system that is small and lightweight, yet still durable and capable of providing professional level results. I’ve tested a number of different cameras over the past year and I’m confident this Fuji X system is the perfect match for what I’ll be up against.
6. Will you share some of your mind-blowing work?
Sure! The majority of what I shoot and what I am most passionate about is documenting my family, friends, travels, and anyone and everything else that happens to make it’s way into my life or in front of my eyes. Since I’m so often behind the camera, I have very few photos of myself, but those closest to my heart have a truly staggering amount. The images below of my family were all taken on black and white film and processed at home by me.
my personal film work of my life and family can be found here
my wedding and portrait work can be found here