Carlan Tapp’s dad gave him his first camera at six and he has been making photographs ever since. Carlan never considered photography/cinematography a job; “it’s my life’s work and passion, and it’s an incredible journey. I am a storyteller.”
Carlan worked his way through college shooting weddings and after graduation took a job as a backcountry ranger for Mt. Rainier National Park, documenting changes in the natural environment. In the late seventies, he had the privilege of assisting Ansel Adams for three years at his Yosemite workshops. That is where Carlan learned the power of the photograph. Shortly thereafter he enrolled in Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to nudge his career towards documentary/editorial photography and cinematography.
Carlan is a descendant of the Wicocomico Tribe, Taptico family. A strong belief and respect for Mother Earth and all creatures is the continual theme in how he sees the world. In 2003, Carlan and his wife Nancy founded Naamehnay Project-Question of Power, a Federal 501c3 non-profit. Their non-profit work focuses on creating a visual voice for Native American Homelands and Sacred Sites impacted by energy industrialization in America.
Carlan’s photographs have been used in numerous publications including Harley-Davidson®HOG, New Mexico Magazine, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Associated Press, and NPR’s “Living on Earth.” He has taught workshops nationally and internationally. Carlan’s photo essays are syndicated nationally and internationally by Redux Pictures in New York. When not on assignment, Carlan can be found riding his iron pony on two lane highways across the American West telling the stories of people, places, and the landscape.