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Life Unfiltered: A Conversation with National Geographic Photographer, Cory Richards

  • The Lynhall 2640 Lyndale Avenue South Minneapolis, MN, 55408 United States (map)

In honor of September Recovery Month The Lynhall is hosting an event series that integrates science with soul. These events are focused on creating a deeper understanding of addiction, recovery and healing. We hope you will join us for a vibrant and engaging series.


Join us on September 19th for an interview with climber and visual storyteller, Cory Richards—hosted by Kerri Miller on behalf of MPR News & Call to Mind. Cory Richards is a National Geographic photography fellow—a designation reserved for only a handful of people described as those whose work “transcends the art of photography, taking them on journeys to the world’s most remote places and often placing them in great danger—in order to tell the stories that need to be told.”

A high school dropout without a steady home by the age of 14 and struggling with addiction, Richards found an outlet in extreme adventure and developed his voice through photography. Richards was named one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year in 2012 for being the first American to summit an 8,000­meter peak in winter. The film he co­produced about this climb, Cold, would go on to win the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2012.

Richards aims to capture the spirit of adventure and the complex relationship we have with nature. His work has taken him to the extremes of our planet—from Franz Josef Land for a firsthand look at climate change and its immediate effects, to Antarctica, where he and a team of explorers would make first ascents on some of Antarctica’s majestic peaks.He turns his lens on ancient mysteries and science, as well as the ongoing struggle between cultural traditions and a growing, warming planet.

Always seeking the next challenge, in 2016 Richards and climbing partner, Adrian Ballinger, became the first people to document their entire eight week Mount Everest expedition via Snapchat with the handle #EverestNoFilter. Richards summited Everest without supplemental oxygen—a feat fewer than 200 people have achieved.

Cory has spent years working in the strata of both commercial image-making and National Geographic journalism. While his early career was defined by his ability to put his body where others can’t or won’t, he is now trying to reach beyond the entrenched tropes of the paradigm of “shooting” and to forge his own path. Richards is in search of unexpected confluences, the nexus of subject areas where we might find productive discourse to shift our thinking around important issues of the day. As he puts it, “It’s time to say what needs to be said and pick projects that actually move the dial.” Richards’ focus now is on the gentleness required to bring people into intimacy, to invite viewership and participation.

Richards’s client list includes National Geographic, Outside, the New York Times, Red Bull, and Fossil. His films have won awards at nearly every major adventure film festival in the world.

This event is supported by Call to Mind, Minnesota Public Radio’s initiative to foster new conversations about mental health.