Photographer Ian Shive finds success outside Hollywood

Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:40pm EDT
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By Jordan Riefe

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ian Shive may be the most likely of unlikely landscape photographers. Likely, because he followed in his dad's footsteps. Unlikely, because the detour he took to his rather quiet artist's life went straight through the loud cacophony of Hollywood.

A former movie publicist-turned-picture shooter, Shive on Friday will be given this year's Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography presented by the Sierra Club, the largest, grass roots environmental group in the United States.

Established in 1971, the award is named after the environmentalist who is one of America's premier landscape photographers. Adams' black-and-white pictures of California's Yosemite National Park made his work a national treasure.

"I thought the one thing I would never be is a photographer," Shive told Reuters. "I saw what my dad went through. I saw how hard it is to get that going."

But get it going he did, just four short years after leaving Sony Pictures where he worked in feature film publicity. His change in career put Shive on the same path as his father, professional photographer Jim Shive.

By 2009, Ian had published his first book, "The National Parks: Our American Landscape," which was followed earlier this year by a soft-cover edition featuring added images.

Yet, despite his obvious prowess behind the camera lens, as well as his pedigree, Shive credits his publicity skills for at least helping get the word out about his art.

"Had I not been at Sony, I don't think I'd have the success I'm having," says Shive. "I knew how to communicate, get my images out there. I think those skills I learned working in publicity continue to be instrumental in building my career."   Continued...