Grand Canyon Photographer Adam Schallau

Artist’s Statement

My passion is the wide-open spaces of the American landscape and its ever changing palette of light, shadow, color, shape, and form. It offers unparalleled challenges and generous rewards for the photographer that keeps their eyes and heart open to when all of these elements combine to create a decisive moment in time. ~ Adam Schallau

ADAM SCHALLAU is an American landscape photographer best known for his photographs of the American West. He expresses his passion for the American landscape through his photography, striving to reveal intimate details and awe inspiring vistas while working in the margins of light as the landscape comes to life.

He was born in 1974 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but he was raised in Iowa until the age of 15 when his family moved to the Hill Country of Texas. As a child Adam often went on summer trips, sometimes with his paternal grandmother and an aunt, and at other times with his maternal grandfather. These trips offered him an opportunity to experience the wide open spaces, towering mountain ranges, and deep canyons of the American West. Together they camped and explored the American Landscape including the National Parks.

It was during his teenage years in Iowa that he began to explore the world of art preferring at the time to work in oils on canvas, and creating pottery on the wheel. It wasn’t until he was 18 and moved to a high-altitude field research station in near Crested Butte, Colorado that he began to dabble in photography. With a strong back and good knees, he served as a “sherpa” to another photographer often carrying large-format photography equipment high into the Colorado Mountains.

Photographer Adam Schallau
Adam Schallau rafting the Colorado River

In 1999 Adam made his first trip to the Grand Canyon. He and his wife, Sally, spent only one night camping in the park, and during this time he made his first image of the canyon. He left feeling overwhelmed by the canyon, but knowing that he would return someday to attempt to better appreciate it.

It was 9 years before he had the opportunity to return, but when he did in May 2008  he experienced the magic of a strong storm system and the affect it could have on the Grand Canyon. He spent 5 days photographing the canyon in incredible conditions. It was during this trip that he learned of the National Park Service’s Artist-in-Residence program, and upon returning home he promptly applied for a coveted spot in the program.

In October of that year Adam learned that he was to be one of only three people that had been accepted to be an Artist-in-Residence on the South Rim of the  Grand Canyon for the year. In March 2009 he found himself living in the park as the Artist-in-Residence, still overwhelmed by the canyon, but definitely falling in love.

Adam recently made his first trip down the Colorado River joining his good friend, photojournalist and senior Grand Canyon river guide, David Edwards, on an 18-day expedition thru the canyon.

Adam’s photographs have been used by many companies and organizations, including Apple, CNNNational Audubon SocietyGrand Canyon Association, and the National Park Service. His work has appeared on the covers of magazines, calendars, music CDs, and in numerous publications, including Arizona HighwaysSunset MagazineBackpacker MagazineNew Mexico Magazine, and Men’s Journal.

His work has been highly-recognized by Nature’s Best Photography – the Windland Smith Rice Awards, and he has received top-honors in the New Mexico Magazine and Arizona Highways photo contests. He is a recipient of the Luminous Landscape Endowment. His fine art prints are in personal and corporate collections across the world, and they have been exhibited in numerous galleries, museums, and National Parks.

In July 2014 Adam released his first book titled Chasing the Light – Grand Canyon.

Adam Schallau and his wife, Sally.

Adam Schallau volunteering to teach kids

His work has been used in support of environmental and conservation awareness issues including the protection of the Valle Vidal in New Mexico. He also volunteers his time, knowledge, and enthusiasm to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as the Parks in Focus program whose mission is to provide opportunities for middle school youth from under-served communities to explore and learn about nature through photography, outdoor education, and creative expression.

Adam owns and operates a photography workshop business guiding photo workshops and tours at Grand Canyon National Park for photographers of all levels. He lives in a cabin in the ponderosa pine forest of northern Arizona near the mountain town of Flagstaff, with his wife Sally, and their dog Ouray.