Freediving with whale sharks in the Philippines - Photo by Steve DeNeefUnderwater photographer Tommy Schultz freediving with whale sharks in the Philippines - photo by Steve DeNeef

How can I help you?

Thanks for stopping in for a visit today, I've created this site to share my photography, videos, writing, and photography tips. My name is Tommy, I create photographs, write stories, and create videos for outdoor brands and travel magazines while exploring some of the world's most beautiful places and telling the stories of some of its most interesting people.

On assignment in Sri Lanka - Surf Photography Portrait / Photo: Yanik Tissera
On assignment in Sri Lanka / Photo: Yanik Tissera

I'm a photographer, writer, and videographer based in Bali and exploring the Asia / Pacific region and beyond to create compelling photos, stories, and videos. I'm originally from the USA, but have been based abroad since joining the Peace Corps in 2004 and then launching my creative studio in 2006.

Exploring Indonesia and the Philippines, learning the local language, and connecting with the wonderful community of surfers, artists, and travelers here has been my inspiration for the past 10+ years, leading to collaborations with National Geographic, Patagonia, The North Face, The World Wildlife Fund, and many more. My goal is to create work that matters, connects with people powerfully, and is a force for positive change in the world.

Sounds good? Let me give you a quick overview of the types of projects I work on and how I might be able to help you.

 
Selected clients:
natgeo
patagonia
sj
nface
wwf
gi
kair
underwater-selfie-tommy-schultz Scuba diving the Apo Island marine sanctuary is one of my all-time favorite trips

Photography

Assignment, Editorial, and Commercial

Cover shoot in the mountains of Niseko, Japan with Taro Tamai
Cover shoot in Niseko, Japan with Taro Tamai / Photo: Katsuhide Fujio

I was 17 when I first got a camera and became a lifelong student of light and storytelling. I had a copy of Galen Rowell's 'Mountain Light', and I studied his work, his life, and his approach to exploring the world. In those days before digital photography, I saved up for a few precious rolls of Fujichrome Velvia slide film and a few more bucks to get it developed. I was only making $3.50 an hour as a lifeguard, so I had to make every frame count.

It's been more than 20 years since then, and I never could have imagined the places and people I've been able to meet and see through my work as a photographer.

Today I've been lucky to contribute my photography to National Geographic, Patagonia, The North Face, The World Wildlife Fund, The Surfer's Journal, and many, many more. I'm inspired to collaborate with clients who have a strong environmental ethic and a commitment to protecting the beauty of our planet.

From an early age, I've always been drawn to the outdoors and wild places, and this spirit of adventure and exploration is the spark that has guided my life and career. Since 2004, I've been based abroad and inspired by the creativity and diversity of people and cultures from Indonesia to Japan and beyond. These global influences have pushed me to continuously improve my work, leading to collaborations with international clients such as Garuda Indonesia Airlines, Asian Geographic Magazine, and ANZ Bank, just to name a few.

I'm always looking to connect with new and like-minded clients, just click here now or drop me a message in the form below and we can talk about how I can help you with your project.

 

Get in Touch

Tell me more about your project

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On assignment with Gerry Lopez and Rob Machado in Indonesia / Photo by Tim Russo The 2015 trip to G-Land with Gerry Lopez and Rob Machado was all time / Photo: Tim Russo

Video / Motion

Promotional, Documentary, and Short Film

On assignment: Underwater video promo for the world's largest aquarium
Diving the world's largest aquarium in Singapore while shooting a promotional video for Resorts World Sentosa

Having spent more than two decades developing a visual and written narrative style, collaborating on film projects with like-minded creatives has been a natural outgrowth of my journey as a visual artist and storyteller.

From shooting in the water on location for an international ad campaign for Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, to going in the field with some of the world's best surfers like Gerry Lopez, Rob Machado, Belinda Baggs and Dave Rastovich to contribute to the Patagonia documentary 'The More Things Change', to shooting on location with the independent documentary film 'She Is the Ocean', to directing, filming, editing, and producing a short documentary film 'The Hight Priest of Uluwatu' for The Surfer's Journal, to a wide range of other editorial and promotional projects, I'm inspired to bring the same creative approach to telling stories through moving pictures that I bring to still photography.

From on-location shoots in difficult locations and in the water, to ultra-HD time-lapses, to aerial videography, to underwater videography, to collaborating with a team of other creative professionals, I'm always happy to talk about ideas with current and prospective clients. To get in touch to talk about your project, just click here now or send a note using the form above and I'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

 
Trekking the Mount Rinjani Volcano in Lombok Climbing Lombok's active volcano, Mount Rinjani / Photo: MC Armstrong

Editorial / Writing

Travel / Destination Stories for Adventurous Travelers

Tagging sea turtles in Tubbataha / Photo: Dr. Nicholas Pilcher
Tagging sea turtles in Tubbataha / Photo: Dr. Nicholas Pilcher

At the core of every great photograph, movie, or short film is an equally great story.

From an early age I was drawn to great storytelling and storytellers. The power to connect with a wider audience with a message that speaks directly to them is a skill I've worked to develop since I was just a kid.

My earliest creative projects always involved stories, from comic strips scribbled during math class, to sculptures created from the books I was reading, to short stories about my early adventures (real and imagined).

I'm often asked to contribute the writing to the stories I'm shooting for magazines, and in the more than ten years that I've been a full-time travel and adventure photographer, I've written feature articles for magazines like The Surfer's Journal, Garuda Indonesia, Asian Geographic, Action Asia, and many, many more. You can check out some samples of my writing here in the publications section.

I'm always excited to collaborate with new editors and creatives to discover compelling stories for print and on the web. To get in touch to talk about your project, just click here now or send a note using the form above and I'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

 

Quick Links

Find the info you're looking for

On the road in Siargao, Philippines / Photo: Corey Ridings
On the road in Siargao, Philippines / Photo: Corey Ridings
Here's a few quick links to the most popular things to do here:
 
Selected clients
Selected clients
Selected clients
Selected clients
 
Eaten alive at Uluwatu - Tommy Schultz and a big wave at Outside Corner Catching a ride on one of Uluwatu's giant walls at Outside Corner is something I won't soon forget / Photo: Bagibagi Donk

Tommy's Bio

How I became a professional adventure photographer

In the field - learing the stories of ancient cultures / Photo: Jim Hauswirth
In the field - learning the stories of ancient cultures / Photo: Jim Hauswirth

From my earliest memories, I've always loved creating and working on creative projects.

I always knew I wanted to find a way to combine my love of being creative and working with creative people with my love of being outside.

Photography has been one of my main creative passions (along with music and sculpture) since I was a kid, but I never really thought it would be possible for me to make a living as a full-time photographer.

When I graduated from school I became a fly fishing instructor, which led to a job with an environmental non-profit, which led to an environmental project at a marine biology lab, which led to a project sponsored by National Geographic, which launched me as an adventure photographer.

How those dots connected to create my dream job, I never could have imagined, but it has made me realize that for most people looking for the ideal career path, that dream jobs are made, not hired.

If you'd like to find out more about how I made the switch from a stable 9-5 career with an environmental non-profit to being an adventure photographer, just click here now.