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Nov 11, 2023 by Marc Peruzzi

Meet a Creative: Liam Doran


Home Base / Breckenridge, Colorado.

Activities / Skiing, trail running, mountain biking, backcountry.

Why Liam

Liam Doran’s one line descriptor on instagram is blunt. “No A.I. photos,” it reads. “Every image here actually happened in one place at one time.” That could be a mission statement for Doran. He got into photography by tucking a point and shoot film camera in his pocket while adventuring around Colorado with friends.Later, he pursued professional photography because the thought of a desk job terrified him. Now an established still shooter with a long list of commercial and editorial clients, those early days documenting outings with friends still inform Doran’s approach.

Although these mountain goats appear to be alerted to a predator (or a photographer), in fact they are salt-starved in their high alpine habitat at 13,000 feet. Doran has learned that they're hoping someone will urinate.

“Even before A.I. was crashing into photography, I was after the genuine,” says Doran. “I don’t create composite images. I don’t put in fake skies. Instead of making some hyper surreal scene, I’m interested in the story. There’s more to the outdoors than the perfect powder turn or steep creeker dropping a waterfall. The best editors and commercial clients get that.”

Outdoor photographers also know how to leverage the local landscape.
This would have been an A shot without the leaves. Instead, it's an A+.

Liam documents, he doesn’t doctor. Whether you’re talking about his action work, wildlife, or scenics, there’s honesty in the product he creates.​

Dave Cox Creative Director, photographer, Filmmaker.  
The golden hour is easy with drive-to locations. In the backcountry, it involves skiing out in the dark.

Specialized Skills

Many people think of Doran’s backcountry work as extreme, but that’s not how he looks at it. “While I’ve had some close calls, I generally take a conservative approach to potentially dangerous environments.”

These shots are just as important as the ski action. Après at Opus Hut, Colorado.

What’s Next:

This November, Doran is heading to Antarctica with Backcountry magazine and Ice Axe Expeditions to document skiing on the sport’s final frontier.