Photographer zooms in, focuses on professional career

The rider gets the “Okay” to begin his run. As he comes into view, he is followed by sharp eyes peering through the viewfinder of a Canon 70D. The mountain biker reaches the steepest point of the hill and charges down the mountain. The shutter clicks rapidly, and the image is captured. After the shoot, the photo is uploaded to one of the many pages of Coffee House Media.

What began as an interest in visual arts has turned into a professional career in action sports media for sophomore photographer and videographer Josh Woodward.

“I [was] brought up around action sports for my whole life,” Woodward said. “It is just really interesting how people can do such incredible things on a two-wheeled object, and having the opportunity to capture that with a camera is just amazing.”

Woodward bought his first DSLR camera in 2012 and has been shooting a variety of action sports from mountain biking to surfing and from nature to school sports.

“I enjoy shooting action sports the most, but portraiture is something that I like to do in my free time. I find it compelling to capture pure emotion from just someone’s face.”

Woodward’s passion is his projects.

“Pretty much all of my time outside of school goes to my photography work. If I am working on a project over the weekend that’s the only thing I’ll do,” Woodward said.

Media work has allowed Woodward to not only have something that he is greatly passionate about, but also to form friendships with athletes. After meeting through Instagram, Woodward and sophomore Paul Serra connected during a photoshoot in December 2014. Since then, the two have worked together on a number of projects for Serra’s sponsors.

“It all started with one of us just saying, ‘Hey let’s meet up and take pictures.’ I had no idea what to expect,” Serra said. “It just worked out and he was exactly what I was looking for.”

Woodward’s photos and videos of Serra have also put him on the map for several companies who have since then paid him for his work. Woodward has been employed by GT Bicycles,, and Trailhead Cyclery for photos and video he has shot of team riders. In the case of, Woodward has provided video coverage of Sequoia sports games.

The quality of Woodward’s work has inspired awe in both major corporations as well as in friends at Sequoia.

“Josh is super enthralled by what he does which makes him want to get those creative angles for his shots. He positions himself so that he can see every little piece of the action,” sophomore Peter Domis said. “He is also really good at editing and that makes a really well done final product.”

Whether he will continue to pursue digital arts as a career or not, Woodward will remain around photography for as long as he can.

“For me, personally, photography and videography is a lifestyle. I have gone to some amazing places to take photos and going to those places has also inspired me to take photos,” Woodward said. “Just having fun while doing it and getting to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, is the greatest feeling in the world.”