Photographer Jeff Colhoun Believes that Giving Back is Every Creative’s Duty

San Francisco-based photographer Jeff Colhoun has spent his last three summers in Mongolia documenting the activity of various environmental protection projects. This is Colhoun’s third trip to Mongolia, a huge country with a thin population of three million inhabitants spread out across a vast territory. For the photographer, the remoteness of the place made the assignment both appealing and challenging.

Colhoun was filming a documentary about the Rally For Rangers foundation that runs on a goal to deliver motorcycles to park rangers in some of the most remote places of the world to increase their effectiveness and overall quality of life. The trip started in the capital city Ulaanbaatar and ended at one of national’s most sacred sites, the Otgontenger peak.

Practically this means a travel 1,200 miles off road thus making it once in a lifetime trip. The expedition relied on two support vehicles and 10 riders on Yamaha AG200 motorcycles to accomplish this journey where each rider purchased his own motorcycle to later donate to the rangers.

The photographer finds Mongolians to be extremely friendly. He says that they are probably the most welcoming culture he has ever encountered in his work. Though there is language barrier in Mongolia as especially in the countryside no one speaks English and the ones that do will just say yes or agree if they don’t understand you. On his website, and even on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, he has shared more such photographs and inspiring clicks.

Colhoun captured still imagery for public relations and marketing purposes, thus he got the usual “hey, film this,” “photograph this,” suggestions from the riders. He said that in his line of work everyone is a director. He said that if he had followed the client’s directions he would have ended up with 300 hours of drone footage with guys riding motorcycles and not actual content for the documentary.