Jimmy Chin is a professional rock climber, photographer, and award-winning film director. His ability to capture the beauty of action and adventure sports has taken him all around the world, documenting and organizing expeditions to some of the most dangerous places in the world. U.S.-born Chin gained his cultural experience as a traveler.
Chin was born in Minnesota in 1973, the only son of two Chinese immigrants that escaped during the Chinese Communist Revolution. He attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., U.S.A. where he began his interest in climbing.
His college climbing experience took hold rather quickly and Chin started his professional climbing career in 1999 at the age of 26.
Nowadays, Chin is more well known for his photography, an interest that came purely by chance when he borrowed a friend’s camera and snapped a picture that would soon after be sold for US$500. A few years later, he was offered a position as a photographer/cinematographer on a National Geographic-sponsored climbing expedition.
Chin’s future expeditions allowed him to spend the majority of his time with some of the world’s most talented athletes from all ends of the world. He currently lives in the United States splitting his time seasonally between Jackson Hole, Wyoming and New York.
It’s about sharing stories that inspire people and open their eyes to a different world.
-Jimmy Chin, Featured on his Biographical Portion of https://jimmychin.com/about/
Chin’s 2002 expedition as a photographer with National Geographic kick-started his career as an action and adventure photographer. Prior to that, he had been part of the North Face Athlete team, and between the two he had plenty of reason to switch his focus from climbing to documenting others’ experiences.
Throughout the following decade, Chin would join dozens of expeditions resulting in numerous photography awards, quickly bringing his name to the top of the list of the few elite adventure sport photographers. His filmmaking career took hold when his film “Meru,” which follows a group of climbers and their struggles while attempting to ascend Mount Meru, located in India.
“Meru” won the audience award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the 2016 Oscar Best Documentary Award. Following “Meru,” Chin documented the world’s first attempt to free climb the notorious El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The 2018 film, “Free Solo,” was awarded seven Emmys and won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2019.
The accidental success of Chin’s photography career has been a story recognized around the world and his ability to document what most will never experience has allowed him to share a glimpse behind the curtain into the challenges and experiences of the worlds must talented and unrecognized athletes.