Meet Ali Schiebel.
17 years old and a junior in high school, Ali is a budding outdoor lifestyle and fashion photographer/videographer bursting with talent and an enthusiasm for exploring and seeking out new experiences.
In our first ever chapter of the #YouthInspired profile series, we dig into what inspired Ali to pick up a camera and explore the outdoors, why she finds fulfillment sharing her adventures, and what Ali is excited about on her horizon.
First, can you tell our readers a little about you?
Sure! I’m obsessed with animals, the beach, and pretty skies. But most importantly, I’m a nature and adventurer lover! I live in a fairly small town called Windham, New Hampshire. I’ve lived here my whole life and yet I’m still finding the hidden gems that lie within it.
When did you start getting into adventure photography and filmmaking?
I got my first camera almost 4 years ago—a GoPro. My family and I were going to Disney World that year so I bought it specifically for that trip, but I didn’t think I’d use it much after that.
The first day with my GoPro I made my first video, and it was terrible. I filmed the video in maybe ten minutes and the final cut was a 4-minute video of my dog running around in the snow. I thought I made it cool by making some of it slow motion. I realized later, that it wasn’t really cool!
So if you didn’t expect to keep making videos, and weren’t loving the ones you did make, what kept you going? How did the passion grow?
Well for me the GoPro wasn’t just about video. It made me fall in love with nature more than I ever had before, and let me go out explore without any destination, which is honestly the best feeling to have. I would make little videos here and there but never posted or shared them, that was until I created my YouTube channel.
YouTube for me, even now, has never been about how many subscribers I had or how many likes or dislikes I got, it was all about being able to express myself. After a good time with my old GoPro, I thought it was time to finally step up my game. I switched from iMovie to Final Cut Pro and started finding music that isn’t copyrighted for my videos.
But then for a while I stopped posting frequently on YouTube. I just couldn’t find much inspiration.
Creativity, and the inspiration to create, always seems to come in waves doesn’t it? So what got you started up again?
I got my first real camera. A Nikon 3400 DSLR. And it became a permanent accessory. Something that was always around my neck and that I never really shut off.
I began weekly summer vlogs and those started getting a lot of attention, but not in a great way at first. The whole idea of vlogging for people was “weird” unless you were someone with one million subscribers I guess. But for me, it brought joy and captured life’s unforgettable moments. So, obviously I didn’t pay too much attention.
I also started using this camera to take pictures. I would capture every sunset and every sunrise I could. I wanted to capture all the emotions and every feeling present during these moments. And that unforgettable feeling after you do capture what you were after, that’s when I knew I loved doing this.
Nature always made me feel that way, and now this new medium, this way of sharing moments that were so special, became what pushed me to go out and explore life, travel, and do things that I had never tried before. Then I couldn’t imagine not having my camera.
How will you continue to develop your passion and seek new inspirations?
These pictures and this camera have become such a big part of me, and I’ve grown so happy with my work that I actually just decided to start my photography specific Instagram channel.
The feedback has been incredible. There’s no better feeling than someone liking your work. I pushed myself, to be carefree, to be myself, and to explore, and that’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I’d like to thank nature and the world for providing that.
My adventure is just getting started, but if you follow along, I know it’s going to be an exciting ride.
See how Ali’s photography career and commitment to explore develops. Follow @SchiebelPhotography on Instagram.
And stay tuned for more #YouthInspired profiles as the upcoming generation of creators and adventurers help inspire us all to push the boundaries of adventure and self-discovery just a little bit further all the time.
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