Gregg Jaden

Travel Photographer and Filmmaker

Gregg Jaden

Gregg Jaden is a professional Photographer/Filmmaker based out of Manhattan Beach CA. Jaden has a strong passion for all forms of storytelling, directing and cinematography. He works closely with organizations to protect wildlife, conservation of our oceans and spiritual transformation. A combination of adventure, outdoor, travel and people, Jaden is known for world travel productions and extraordinary landscapes.

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“Meditation helps with overall creativity and clarity,” Gregg says. “You feel when to do the right thing at the right time, not overthinking.”

Patience and Passion

“Patience,” isn’t among one of the most famous shots captured by Gregg Jaden, but the story behind the shot illustrates how Gregg made the transition from an ad agency business owner to a world-travelling photographer and artist in under five years.

A spiritual person, Gregg meditates daily as a balance to thinking and planning. This helps Gregg stay in touch with the energy that thrives both within and around him and brings that energy into his photography, from inspiration through final production. 

“Meditation helps with overall creativity and clarity,” Gregg says. “You feel when to do the right thing at the right time, feeling your way through a situation. When we were shooting this massive aquarium in Monterey, and I had this vision [of having] only one or two subjects in front of this wall of water. But the place was mobbed [with] baby parks and people. Still, I had this feeling that we would get the [shot]. And as the place was closing, this last family was leaving, and I asked the parents to give the kids one last look at the fish and the composition took shape in front of me. Fast coaching kids I just met” recalls a laughing Jaden.

With this spiritual mantra, Gregg Jaden, has attained success in the creative industry where audiences are inundated with overflowing images and content. His work has that indescribable element that makes the viewer stop scrolling and say, “Whoa. That speaks to me.” His work has gained global recognition.

Success Through Self-Teaching

Five years ago, Gregg made his living at the helm of a Los Angeles ad agency. For one job, his firm hired a photographer who turned out to be so mediocre that Gregg felt sure he could do better himself. So, Gregg bought a camera and some lenses, then began the process of trial and error. Not long after, he shared his own shots on a job, and the client loved it. Inspired, Gregg dove deep into photography. He captured landscapes and hiking expeditions. He gained recognition and was able to  gain clients traveling on expeditions while becoming full-time. Gregg is completely self-taught. Everything Gregg has learned in photography and videos has been through trial and error, by feeling things out, and testing everything. “My early pictures were terrible,” he recalls. “One time, I did long exposures of Redondo Beach for practice, and a very well-known Los Angeles tourist publication featured it on their website. I’m glad they liked them, but that stuff isn’t even in my gallery now. Every time I get out there, I try to better myself by pushing the envelope.” 

Gregg cautions beginners to expect a modest start. Clients look for strong track records and portfolios brimming with ability. They want contractors who understand their company and the industry in which they operate. They also look for a creative professional, whose work is clearly and visually part of a strategy. Gregg also advises learners to embrace both photo and video disciplines, because even when a client specifies one, very often stills or clips of the other can be added for more value and greater service to the client.

Critical Gear

Aside from creative vision, learning, and marketing, a professional photographer like Gregg relies heavily on the performance of his equipment.

In The Field

Gregg has a wide range of Sony cameras, which he uses to capture Milky Way stills, cinematic footage and time-lapses. Gregg also recommends smaller tripods for getting into tough spaces and electrolytes when in the jungle since he’s seen “grown men just drop from the heat. ”In a day, Gregg typically fills up four to six SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB memory cards in a day’s work. To keep his workflow moving, he needs to safely and quickly copy this content at the end of every day. In the last few years, his go-to portable storage products are the G-DRIVE SSD and the G-DRIVE ArmorLock SSDs. Both portable drives are designed with rugged enclosures to guard against gear jostling and random bumps down rocky terrain. Importantly, Gregg will always maintain two copies of his data in addition to his flash cards.

“I cannot risk going 80 kilometers into the jungle and back, and going to massive caves and structures, and then not having the data at the end,” he says. “For me, storage is the most important thing. It’s crazy how many photographers over look this crucial piece of gear.” 

Recently, Gregg took his first trio of G-DRIVE SSD’s into the field. He noted that they are the fastest SSDs he’s ever owned and they are so small that two of them right into one of his shirt pockets. 

“They literally go everywhere I do. Everyone who seen them is like, ‘Wow, what is that?’ I'm all, ‘Yeah, here, you want to see what 4 TB feels like in your pocket?’ It’s literally my favorite thing. And the write speeds are so fast! I was transferring 4K, 120 FPS video with RAW stills – tons of data – and still finishing my night’s work faster than ever before. I feel totally ready for upcoming projects working with 6K, 8K, right around the corner.”