J.R. Richards bio

J.R. is an avid traveler, writer, photographer, and videographer. He has traveled extensively through Asia, South America, Europe, and Central America. While attending college at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York, J.R. spent a semester abroad in India, Nepal, and Tibet on a Tibetan studies program with the School of International Training (SIT), which opened his eyes to the incredible cultural diversity of Asia and solidly cemented a lifelong obsession with traveling to distant lands. 

After graduating college in 1992 with a degree in writing and a foreign language concentration, J.R. moved to Crested Butte, Colorado, to immerse himself in the outdoor culture of this remote mountain town. In 1995 he returned to Asia with the goal of working in widlife biology and conservation, and landed work as a volunteer, then manager, at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project based in Phuket, Thailand. He spent a year in Thailand, coordinating volunteers and students and overseeing a release site on an island in Phang Nga Bay National Park. While in Thailand he also visited and photographed almost every major national park, and served as a consultant to several organizations including the Royal Thai Forestry Department, the International Primate Protection League, IUCN, and the U.S. Peace Corps. 

He returned to Crested Butte in 1997 and pursued wildlife biology and ecology coursework at Western State College in Gunnison. In 2000 he spent four months in Ecuador, kayaking and helping to develop what is now the Napo Widlife Lodge in Yasuni National Park. In 2005, while managing restaurants in Aspen, Colorado, he started making short skiing and kayaking videos for fun, which landed him a job producing short documentaries around the world for a wine import company. He left his restaurant job and took on video and filmmaking as a full-time occupation, and has since specialized in capturing stories about people involved in wine, craft beer, and food.