South Lake Tahoe outdoor photographer and videographer Corey Rich is already at the top of his field. He's told the story of legendary athletes like climber Chris Sharma and shot photos for National Geographic Adventure, The New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated.
But just like his profession, the accomplished visual storyteller keeps evolving.
His new company, Tectonic Media Group, is part of that evolution. The New York-based talent and management and media consulting firm might not be a household name yet, but Rich hopes that it will one day be the "Jacuzzi" of the advertising world.
"When they think adventure, we want them to say Tectonic. We're the next generation - we've honed our abilities with storytelling. It's the evolution of the craft and we have technology that allows us to push the boundaries of what's possible," he said.
Novus Select, a company Rich co-owns with CEO Jose Azel, announced in October the formation of Tectonic Media Group. The firm represents the top talent in action and adventure sports photography and filmmaking, and Rich hopes to turn it into a brand that snags the attention of high-powered clients like Nike and Apple.
In addition to Rich, Tectonic currently includes the "grandfather" of snowboarding photos, Jeff Curtes; a pioneer in military photography, Tyler Stableford; and expedition photographer Jimmy Chin.
They're all men who have worked in the field for more than 20 years and are ready to take their careers a step higher, TMG Director Jonathan Retseck said.
"These guys have all been working in the outdoor action sports world and they've all reached a point where they're moving on to the next level," he said.
As the firm's director, Retseck spends hours on the phone and the computer coordinating schedules between clients like Burton Snowboards, Canon, and The North Face and the photographers.
Outdoor adventure photography and filmmaking is starting to cross over into the mainstream, Retseck said, and there's a big demand for high-quality content from sources who have proven their capacity to deliver it.
That core group of four is just the beginning though. The group will be on the lookout for talented storytellers who excel in their particular adventure niche.
"We'll have a really fun job looking for new members. A great evolution would be looking for the men and women who can capture what we can't," Rich said.
One of those new talents might even come from Tahoe. Judging by how the sport and the community's cinematography group is growing, Rich said he wouldn't be surprised if a South Shore filmmaker or photographer joined Tectonic's ranks in the future.
The big name clients that Tectonic attracts don't live in small cities like Tahoe, but Rich said a Tectonic office could one day come to the South Shore.
"I love that this is partially born out of Tahoe. This is born partially out of the energy I get from living in such a beautiful place. I hope maybe one day we'll have our annual gathering in Lake Tahoe in an environment where we're all inspired," Rich said.