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Nov 11, 2023 by Gordy Megroz

Meet a Creative: Boone Speed

Photographer, Climber, Product Developer.

Home Base / Salt Lake City, Utah.

Activities / Climbing, mountaineering, trail running.

Why Boone

Born and raised in Utah, the photographer and climber Boone Speed was always encouraged to be creative by his father Grant Speed, an artist renowned for his sculptures of the American West. “I was never told I had to be a doctor or lawyer,” says Boone. “So I studied graphic design and photography.” A few years before leaving for college in 1987, Boone got into rock climbing. “The group that I was climbing with included Conrad Anker, and people like that and we sort of put Utah climbing on the map in the late 1980s,” he says.

Chris Sharma on "Spicy Noodle," 5.14b, White Mountain, Yangshuo, China.

In 1991, he took a job in the marketing department at Black Diamond. Throughout the 90s, Boone worked as an athlete, photo editor, and both graphic designer and product designer for Black Diamond. In 1996, he left BD to design shoes for Fila. In 2000, he left Fila to go out on his own, helping found Pusher, a company that manufactured training equipment for climbers. “We had to make all of our own imagery, so I started taking photography more seriously,” he says. “It started my photography career.” Commercial and editorial shoots for outlets such as Nike, The North Face, Adidas, and ESPN, followed. Boone has a recognizable style—his images blend art and aesthetics with an edgy athletic vibe. 


"While photographing Sharma, I looked down and saw his friend Shrikanta Barefoot tumbling. As soon as Sharma was done, I rappelled down to shoot Shrikanta."
Boone came up through the climbing world, but skate is another great passion.

Boone gets it. His progressive thinking has enabled him to break new ground as a professional climber, and that same approach is why he continues to provide brand-defining photography that sets the pace for our communications. He consistently captures perfect moments for us, authentic to the endeavor and always to the point. Even amidst uncontrollable environmental and human variables, Boone delivers.

Beaver Theodosakis Founder of prAna
Greg Long paddles into a monster at Todos Santos, Mexico.

Specialized Skills

Boone prides himself on being able to handle all facets of a shoot. “I can be the art director, creative director, and photographer,” he says. “If you’re a company that needs to hire somebody who can take on all aspects of a job, I can do that.” 

As seen from a hot air balloon ride over Yangshuo, China.

What’s Next:

In 2018, Boone and his wife started a new company, which is working on systems that will help people learn how to climb. “There’s never been a standardized way to learn all the techniques in climbing,” he says. “Using tech and different pieces of equipment, we’re coming up with a methodology that anybody can use to learn to climb.”