Sam Tafel

Oct 12, 2021

North Vancouver, BC

How did you discover your talent? What got you started?

I had a couple influences for photography before I knew I was really interested in it. I suppose I was an athlete before I became a photographer. In my teens I was involved in alpine ski racing competing at a national level. My home ski hill was Grouse Mountain and being from Vancouver it led our team travelling quite a bit across the country to find good snow... I think surrounding myself with snow all winter struck a natural habit in me to take photos along the way. I was mostly just using my phone camera for a while until the first time I shot with an actual camera. I picked up my Mom’s digital camera about 6 years ago and never really put it down (until I got my own). 


As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a kid I really wanted to be an athlete. In my case, an Olympic downhill skier. 


Who was your biggest inspiration?

As a photographer, my biggest inspiration probably came from Chris Burkard (a famous adventure-landscape photographer ). I heard him talk at a VIMFF event, and it was super inspiring to hear his life story and how his career began.  


 Sam Tafel Wize Collective Artist


What makes you keep innovating and pushing your craft to new heights? What’s the intrinsic driver or motivation?

I would say that pretty much all of the motivation is intrinsic. My camera has become an excuse to get outside with good people in beautiful locations. I always love coming back from a shoot with a full memory card to look back on and remind me of the moments I spent outside that day. It’s also just super fun to get creative with my camera and come home with photos to surprise people with. 


So far, what has been your favourite highlight of your career? An achievement? A collaboration?

I think my biggest achievement so far is purely just seeing my recent progression of my photos. I have been putting more time and commitment into it, and I feel it’s been showing in my shots!


In regards to your craft, where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? 

In 5-10 years, I would love to be shooting photos of pro athletes in action/adventure sports.


Sam Tafel Wize Collective Artist


Switching gears a bit… What do you think about the existing grab-and-go drink options out there? Are people ready for healthier alternatives? or will “Big Sugar” continue to dominate the landscape? (I.e. Energy Drinks, high caffeine, high sugar drinks)

I think in today’s day of age, health drinks are huge for shifting the population into a more stable and sustainable way of living. With the world being so digital and the fact that accessibility of anything is at our fingertips people are becoming more sedentary (seated/not moving). With this, adding “big sugar” brands to our diet can lead us closer to serious chronic health issues. Since drinks can be consumed so quickly and effortlessly it is super important we transition to healthier options with less sugar. 


How does Wize iced tea fit into your current lifestyle? And why do you choose Wize?

I would say my goal is to live a healthy and sustainable life, while promoting the benefits of the outdoors as much as possible. Learning from experience and knowing how good it feels to be healthy is why I choose Wize tea. Their ingredients in their product impress me a ton as well, which adds to the reason why I feel Wize tea fits very nicely into my life.


What are your next projects coming down the pipeline? 

I am shooting a few events for outdoors clubs at my University (UBC-Okanagan), but mainly for now I am just shooting for myself and working on staying inspired in my own way.


Sam Tafel Wize Collective Artist


What’s your favourite flavour of Wize? When do you typically drink it?

My favourite flavour of Wize is probably lemon. My favourite time to have one is before an early hike to get me fired up and awake. 


Thanks for the interview! Where can our audience find out more about you? 

Most active on Instagram: @tafelphoto  

Available for an email: 



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