There is a small building near Sopris Park in Carbondale which is easily overlooked. It’s unpretentious, just like the award winning photographer / director running his business successfully from this location. In fact, Tyler Stableford, the owner of Tyler Stableford Productions, is better known to his domestic customers (including Adidas, Adobe, Apple, Ford, Gore-Tex, Wrangler, Patagonia and many other big companies and brands) than he is by most residents of Carbondale.
Stableford attended Dartmouth University in New Hampshire and says he “wasn’t a fraternity guy.” In 1993, when he was a freshman at age 18, he met his wife, Megan, during an internship for Climbing Magazine.
I first met Stableford when we both worked at Climbing Magazine. He enriched the publication with many remarkable photographs and articles, as well as his relaxed and friendly demeanor. I asked Stableford what prompted him to combine photography with his writing and climbing activities. He replied that his interest in photography had developed as an offshoot of his love for writing, and that writer Alison Osius had acted as his mentor. He recalls being “delighted to know that there were a handful of people who made a living writing about rock climbing” and thought, “I want to do this.”
Stableford was born in New England and started climbing at the age of fourteen. Asked about his favorite forms of climbing, he included rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering. He added that “rock climbing is one of the great passions of my life”. I asked about his most epic climbing experience and he said he and his wife Megan made a ridge crossing above 12,000 feet between Marble and Redstone where there was no trails for eight miles. He added that he’s never been the type to aim for the “biggest” or the “toughest” and loves to climb. For the record, Stableford slept hanging on El Capitan’s wall in Yosemite, climbed the Diamond face of Longs Peak, and climbed Mt. Kenya in Africa.
In addition to Stableford’s photographic work, he has also produced and directed numerous video productions, including commercials and short films. He reports that video making is now the lion’s share of his job, and a good job doesn’t come without rewards. In 2018, he won an Emmy Award for directing a documentary on Reverend Richard Joyner, which he considers one of the highlights of his career. The documentary aired on the television series Turning Point.
Stableford has also traveled extensively. I asked him where he wanted to go next, and rather than naming an exotic physical location, he replied that he was planning to cut back on his photography and film business and become more involved in community service. He has worked for the past three years as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates For Children) volunteer and now aims to provide life coach services. He also wants to continue working with abused and neglected children.
Stableford says he would rather shed light on the good things that have been done in foster homes in our community than on himself. CASA has been instrumental in meeting Stableford’s interest in serving children in need. He is now starting his graduate studies this month to graduate and intends to work as a counselor for disadvantaged people. He attended Midwestern State University to achieve the goal of becoming a licensed counselor. By August, he plans to use his current photography office for his life coaching practice, helping clients reach their highest potential. Her planned completion of her studies at Midwestern State University will also enable her to provide clinical counseling in mental health.
His immediate plans, however, also involve running an Apple commercial this summer. Obviously, Stableford has a lot to contribute to the community of Carbondale.