Portraits that climb higher


The Mohonk Preserve is Brooklyn-based photographer Bryan Coppede’s happy place. A section of the Appalachian Shawangunk Ridge (aka, “The Gunks”), it’s a world-class rock climbing destination, 90 miles north of New York City, where Bryan has climbed, camped and refueled his soul for more than a decade. He’d always wanted to shoot portraits there, but “climbers in their element” is a story that’s been told again and again. Then one day, inspiration struck: a series of portraits of the park’s rangers—the unsung heroes who rescue climbers, keep them safe, and protect this pristine wilderness. Last October, he spent two days photographing them in the places that mean the most to them. You can feel their love—and Bryan’s gratitude—in every one of these images. That’s the mark of a great visual storyteller.