PRO TIP: While these vertigo-inducing shots often go viral, the trend has gained attention due to the dangerous lengths some photographers go to. The original intent of rooftopping was to share spectacular sights that had rarely been seen, using already open hatches. However, in many cities rooftopping is illegal, resulting in breaking and entering charges for those caught in the act. So, please don’t access any building (or area) without permission!
The 10 Takeaways
1. Fully immerse yourself in the moment. It’s just your subject and your camera, nothing else.
2. Don’t be afraid of using shock value to create a stunning profile image online.
3. You may need to go to extreme lengths to blend in if you want to capture a pure candid moment.
4. If you’re going into an extreme environment, guided tours are a great first step to get acclimated.
5. If you’re going underwater, make sure you have fully vetted the dive company you are with and your equipment is ready.
6. Take a new perspective you never would have tried before. Sometimes a change of angle is all that is needed.
7. When things aren’t working, never be afraid to try a new approach, even if it requires starting from scratch.
8. When in nature, nothing is more important than taking the time to understand the area you are visiting and leaving no trace behind you.
9. When adventure-seeking, prepare for the worst. Never assume things will just “work out”, but prepare in order to avoid panic.
10. A photo should not come at the cost of your freedom. Don’t risk fines and jail time just to get a good “Instagram worthy” photo.
Whether you’re a wedding photographer hoping to capture newlywed bliss or an extreme sports enthusiast, there’s something to be learned through every one of these stories. While some preach patience, others encourage you to fearlessly embrace the unknown, and neither are wrong. Taking the time to figure out what works best for you is important, but remember to never underestimate the effect of going the extra mile to get your perfect shot.
Know the dangers, know the environment, and know what you are willing to risk. Then ask yourself, “How far will I go to get the shot?”