We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Stenz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andy, how do you think about risk?
Risk is all about finding a way to balance the worst-case scenario with the opportunity. I’ve tried to live a life that’s open to taking risks but one of the first questions I ask myself is, “If this doesn’t work out, where does that leave me?” And if I’m ok with the answer, I’m more open to exploring the opportunity in front of me.

It’s how I ended up going full-time into photography. It’s how we decided to move to Hawaii from the midwest. It’s how I approach my job being able to fly in helicopters multiple times a month.

How do I protect myself if the worst happens? Answering helps to alleviate my anxiety, which then frees me up to focus on the upside!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I feel so lucky to have the job I do. I’m an aerial photographer based in Honolulu, Hawaii and I fly around the islands in helicopters capturing the beauty of the islands to share with others.

There is no real pathway to getting into this job. I’ve achieved it with hard work and a lot of luck. Although I was a professional photographer for over 10 years at the time, it was through relationships with some great people that I ended up buying a business from another wonderful photographer who had been doing this for 30 years and was retiring.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to carry on his work and bring my own eye to the landscapes of these beautiful islands.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve written a whole blog about this but I’d say the best thing to do in Hawaii is see it from a helicopter.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A few years ago I read the book “No Opportunity Wasted” by Phil Keoghan (host of The Amazing Race) and his writing challenged me to make more of my life by taking the chances I might have otherwise overlooked or dismissed.

But I couldn’t have jumped at any of the chances I’ve taken in my life without the support of two amazing women: my mom, Katie, for allowing me to spread my wings at an early age and take solo adventures. And my wife, Jessica, who not only supports my many ideas, but adventures alongside me through life.

Website: andystenz.com

Instagram: andystenz

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