Photographer Adam Katz Sinding Explores New Cities One Run At A Time
When you’re on the road for work 330 days out of the year, the world becomes your gym.
Photographer Adam Katz Sinding has gone on runs around the globe—from Paris to Moscow, and Shanghai to Copenhagen. To him, running is more than just a workout. It’s a way to make the most out of his time in a city and find new inspiration. And when you travel as much as he does, you can’t rely on finding a gym or having time to take a class. All you need is 30 minutes and a good pair of running shoes.
“Walk out of your hotel, no matter where it is, and start running,” he says. “You're going to run down streets that you wouldn't see as a tourist.”
Walk out of your hotel, no matter where it is, and start running. You're going to run down streets that you wouldn't see as a tourist.
Sinding is part of Reebok’s Fusion series, which pays tribute to the brand’s newly released Flexweave Fusion sneaker by profiling individuals who fuse their passion for fitness with their art. So for Sinding, it’s not just that he wants to keep running, but to be the best photographer he can be, he needs to.
“I notice that if I take a couple of days off [from running], my flexibility when I shoot is much worse. I'm not able to crouch down as low, I'm not able to run after the subjects that I want to shoot, and I'm not able to get the angles that I want.”
Photography has always been part of Sinding’s life, but for a long time it was just a hobby. He began by playing around with his dad’s camera, but eventually got his own and started taking photos of the things that caught his eye—but other peoplemight not typically notice. He developed a love of photographing people, finding subjects while walking to work or on his lunch break.
When he moved to New York City from Seattle, he worked in a hotel for two years to support himself and his passion for photography, spending every waking hour either at the hotel or behind the camera.
But when he lost his job, he turned his hobby into his career and started taking photography gigs every chance he could.
Now Sinding’s jobs frequently take him to runways and shoots around the world. “If I'm ever in a place for more than 72 hours I'm surprised,” he says.
I think if I didn't run as much as I do, if I wasn't as active, my job would be a lot harder.
When your camera is your life, you’re ready to snap a photo at any moment. But when Sinding runs, it gives him a chance to live life in the moment, and becomes less concerned with capturing it. When you take away the pressure of taking the perfect photograph, it sparks ideas that wouldn’t occur otherwise, and you notice the quirks about a city that even the locals might take for granted.
“In former Soviet cities, there are no crosswalks. You cross underneath every street, so you’re running through a hallway, which is so strange. Or you realize that some cities don't have sidewalks—they’re not pedestrian cities.”
Sinding says that when he has time to go back home to Seattle, seeing Mount Rainier in the distance reminds him that when you change your scenery, you start to pay more attention to your surroundings, and it keeps you visually stimulated. This in turn inspires new ideas for his work.
“I drove past [Mt. Rainier] every day for 27 years and I didn't really ever look twice at it. Now I come home and I'm like, that's insane, that's a massive mountain that dominates the entire skyline, and I took it for granted.”
But at the end of the day, coming back to his roots of exploring what other people might miss is what keeps Sinding running, even if he’s just there for the moment.
“You're going to see these weird little alleys off the beaten path. It kind of lets you take advantage of the time that you have in a place. And even if you're in a place for a week, you can do five different runs and you feel like you really get to know the place.”
Next time you find yourself in a new city, grab your running shoes. You never know what in-the-moment inspiration you’ll find.
And even if you're in a place for a week, you can do five different runs and you feel like you really get to know the place.