On Selling Photos, Disabilities

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | May 4, 2010      

A couple of things this morning. A few weeks ago an editor from “Diabetes Forecast” magazine called me and said they’d seen a photo of guide Tim Duffy here at WildSnow, and could I sell them the photo to illustrate an article? Why most certainly! I was soon a few Benjamins richer. Funny how if you put yourself out there as a photographer you get these random photo sales from who knows where. Happens to me several times a year.

Tim Duffy

Tim on the cover of the mag. No, I didn't shoot the glam shot, just that little ski shot on the page to the right. Still, I sold the photo for more than the camera cost, so there.

Tim took us for a run at Snow Basin, Utah when Lisa and I were there for the OR show a few years ago. I snapped a few photos and published a blog post, didn’t think much of it. Turns out Tim is a diabetic yet still leads quite the adventurous life. I’ve known a few guys with the disease who were ski patrolmen and such, and admired the way they overcame the obstacle. Tim does it proud, with things such as Denali guiding and ski patrolling in Utah. According to the article, his recent challenge is after buying a kayak guide service in Alaska he found the Coast Guard wouldn’t approve an important boating license he needed to run the business. He was refused because of his diabetes. After a successful appeal he’s now a boat captain, but it sounds like getting there was quite the challenge that included lawyers, appeals, and that sort of thing.

The article goes on to detail how Tim has compensated for his condition in a variety of ways and is quite interesting. He gives new meaning to the “perfect set of ski bibs.” Read it here.

After being at 5 Points film festival last weekend and seeing several films about people with disabilities who were still involved in adventure sports, the article about Tim made me realize that far more people than one thinks have various physical challenges. Really, nearly all of us do. Those of us that overcome the harder stuff, like Tim does, get us to quit whining about our bad knees or stiff necks and get out there and do it. Thanks guys!


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8 Responses to “On Selling Photos, Disabilities”

  1. Alex May 4th, 2010 9:21 am

    Great article!
    I am also a diabetic, since age six. Growing up with this condition made me more responsible as a kid. Now I’m 19 and still figuring out ways to do the things I want to do. What Tim says about blood sugar meters not working at high altitudes and extreme weather is a big problem for me too. I had 2 blood sugar meters crap out on me last week when skinning up a local mountain, somebody needs to design diabetic supplies that can withstand the things people like us do on a daily basis! Keep the good posts coming!!! This site kicks ass!

  2. Jacob May 4th, 2010 12:38 pm

    I was diagnosed as diabetic at age 13, 20 years ago and haven’t looked back 😎 I’ve worked summer camp programs in Missouri and Colorado, guided whitewater in Colorado and Alaska, skied the last 27 months in a row in Colorado and feel that if you are confident and capable in what you are doing you can do anything despite your “disabilities”.

    One of the camps I worked in Missouri was a diabetic specific camp that was supposed to give kids a chance to be with others like them, learn how to deal with it, and still be able to do things that “normal” kids did. Unfortunately the kids were restricted to being close to the doctors at all time and not doing the “extreme” or off camp activities (High Ropes course, caving, and flat river day trips). Since I was able to do these things, and my father was a registered nurse (who thankfully for me didn’t see any reason for me to stop being outdoors and active) and willing to volunteer his time to take out these kids away from the “safe” environment the camp has now converted to match the “normal” summer activities up to multi day river trips.

    Unfortunately I’ve found the biggest reason that diabetics don’t try to do more activities is because the general public, parents, even the medical professionals involved with these kids, want to keep them “safe” by keeping them in a controlled environment.

    All kids, heck all people, need to be able to be active, get outside, be active, be DIRTY :devil: and having a “disability” is no reason not to. GO TIM!

  3. Francisco May 4th, 2010 5:42 pm

    Thanks for the good story Lou. I kind of needed it after all the news from Greece and Times Square. Tim’s story is a great motivation.

  4. Lou May 4th, 2010 6:24 pm

    Yeah, I thought this was excellent…

  5. Mike T May 5th, 2010 11:23 am

    Good one!

    Thanks for the inspiration…..

  6. Tim Duffy May 11th, 2010 2:53 am

    Heyya Lou.
    Thanks for the good words and support.
    I’m glad you were able to reel in some dough for that shot.
    And I smile to think of you all excitable and giddy over the fluffy facials that day.
    It was truly a pleasure and I hope we can do it again sometime.

  7. Eric V May 11th, 2010 4:02 pm

    I saw the photo of the magazine cover with the mug shot and thought, hey, I know that guy. Yep, the same Tim Duffy I spent several days with in the Ruth Gorge on the south side of Denali in 2007. Tim was my guide and he was very open about his recent diagnosis of diabetes. He showed me his treatment kit and explained how he managed it. I can attest that it never was an issue on our trip. It certainly never slowed “Duff” down. We made several amazing climbs and ski descents in the Ruth Gorge that I will never forget. Tim, it’s good to hear you are still getting after it. It makes me want to get back to AK. Thanks, Eric.

  8. Tim May 27th, 2010 10:06 pm


    Good to hear from you.

    Thanks for the testimonial.

    I still think of our ripping-up-the-gorge trip often, and I find myself smiling, every time.

    Hope all’s well out there.

    My best,


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