Condé Nast chooses their first Mission winner

Condé Nast, one of the world’s leading publishing houses, ran recently four Foap Missions: “Adventurous people”, “Women working out”, “Special dinners and their preparations” and “A moment of triumph”.

Condé Nast’s photography is awesome. Think of publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveler, The New Yorker… They work with the best of the best in the industry and create visual content that is entertaining, beautiful, inspiring and trend-setting.

For us at Foap it means a lot to work with them. We are making it possible for everyone to become a contributor to one of the most attractive publishing houses in the world. Visual content has been changing dramatically and the Condé Nast Foap Missions show it really well. The quality and variety present on the their missions is a sign that user generated photography has a big role in the future of the photo industry. Amateur photographers are already selling their pictures to the world’s biggest brands and media houses through Foap and are happy to be part of this major shift in the industry.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet our first Condé Nast winner, the super talented Eric Esterle (@eesterle) who won the “Adventurous people” Mission.

Eric, congratulations on winning the mission! As you know the mission organiser is a premier, world class media company – Condé Nast. They own such brands as: Allure, Bon Appétit, Brides, Condé Nast Traveler, Details, Epicurious, Glamour, Golf Digest, Golf World, GQ, Lucky, The New Yorker, Self, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Wired. How does it feel to know that they will use your photo in their publications?

Condé Nast is one of my favorites! I follow them on twitter and other social media and visit their articles almost daily. They are highly respected and have some really beautiful photography by extremely talented staff and freelance photographers, so to have one of my shots used by them, is really nice. Very cool!! Especially since travel and photography are one of my most favorite things ever 🙂

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You’ve been foaping already for a while. How did you learn about Foap and why did you start using it?

I heard about Foap a year or so ago and installed it on my iPhone. I started using it to get inspired by other people and their creativity from all over the world. It’s a great idea and a good conduit for creative people.

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We’d love to get to know you better. Where are you from, what do you do when you’re not Foaping?

I am from Ellicott City, Maryland, but I live in Oahu, Hawaii. Apart from the photography, I love scuba-diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, hiking and exploring our amazing planet.


The winning photo is really interesting – there are lots of people standing on the rocks and some of them jumping into the water. How did you come up with this idea? And how did you manage to take this shot?

I took this shot at a popular beach known as Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore. The rock is a huge monolithic structure that people climb on to jump off when the conditions are right. The conditions have to be right as there needs to be enough water to absorb the momentum of the jumpers. I always wanted to swim out on a good day and photograph this, and one day I managed to do that. It wasn’t that simple though as timing and the mix of jumpers were a bit elusive for the shot which I wanted. So I floated there for about an hour shooting until I was happy with the shot.

You photograph sea a lot. Why is that? What do you like about it and what is the biggest challenge?

I absolutely love the ocean and the marine life within. There is a connection I feel with the ocean and being close to it. It gives us life and everything we need. The ocean has taught me the need for preservation of our limited resources and the importance of taking responsibility for maintaining our resources. One of the biggest challenges with photographing underwater is dealing with color correction, currents, and waves. Also, the sea air and salt have negative impact on the equipment. Maintenance and cleaning are extremely important. Especially storing equipment with desiccants to absorb any residual moisture in order to prevent mold, mildew and lens fungus.


If you were to choose a favorite photo from your portfolio, which one would it be? And why?

My absolutely favorite photo is the image of a lion. It was such a fleeting moment that I was really fortunate I’ve managed to capture it. It really felt like for a few seconds the lion was looking into my soul, I will never forget it. It was amazing and terrifying both at the same time. I actually looked from above my camera at one point (not through the viewfinder). It was like the mountain scene in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” “Beautiful Things Don’t Ask For Attention!”. I just really felt a connection with that animal and if I had to choose just one shot that would be it. I really hope I can develop myself as a photographer and have more opportunities to repeat this feeling by capturing one moment in time. This image is still set as a background on my phone and every time I look at it, I’m taken back to that single moment and it makes me really happy and grateful.

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Finally, what is your next place or subject you’re planning to photograph? Or maybe a mission you want to join? Let us know about your Foap plans.

I have a couple of dives planned and I’ll take my camera with me for sure. I’m not a selfie guy, but I’d like to take more action shots of myself doing the mountain biking. I’d also love to photograph some bald eagles and owls. Polar bears in Canada, waterfalls in Iceland, bears in Alaska, and shots from a safari are all on my bucket list 🙂 Sharing all on Foap.


Eric, wow, this just sounds really amazing! We’ll keep fingers crossed for every item on your bucket list and looking forward to your next pictures.

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