Renan Ozturk – How To Tell BETTER Stories (#30)


There's a story that you can tell in a deeper emotional way because you have that lifelong access to it, that you don't even realize that's there, so don't always try to figure out the craziest place you can go to, or no one's ever been.”

– Renan Ozturk

Renan Ozturk is a storyteller, photographer & videographer. He lives to tell stories about our connection to the natural world, often set within the most challenging environments on Earth. He’s constantly searching for projects that move him — films that have a strong visual identity matched with some deeply compelling human element.

He began his career as an expedition climber and landscape artist, spending years living in a tent beneath the big walls of U.S. National Parks and in the snowy Himalayan mountains. All of his paintings were created on expedition, carrying large cotton canvases on his back, sometimes even using natural pigments pulled straight from the earth to capture these wildly beautiful landscapes. He received National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2013 for his combination of cutting-edge first ascents and visual storytelling.

Currently, Renan works as a commercial and documentary filmmaker, an expedition climber for The North Face, and a photojournalist for Sony and National Geographic. The films he’s made over the years have had a global presence; he’s probably best known for MERU (cinematographer/subject), which won the 2015 Audience Choice Award at Sundance, and the critically acclaimed Sherpa (cinematographer/co-director), which screened at TIFF and Telluride. He’s directed and shot commercial work for major international brands such as Apple, Google, DJI and Nike.

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The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.


  • Connect with Renan Ozturk:

Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube


  • Renan shares what comes to mind when he thinks of photography. [2:41]
  • He shares his humble beginning. [7:02]
  • What is Renan's thought about staying in the desert forever? [9:08]
  • Did he get pulled out of the desert? [10:07]
  • He talks about being in a mold and the chapters of life. [11:45]
  • He explains how to tell a story without the human element. [13:06]
  • Renan gives us a piece of advice on how to represent a landscape as its own entity. [14:38]
  • Has he been on a creative block? How did he overcome it? [15:43]
  • How to find a powerful story. [17:19]
  • Parting thoughts. [19:29]

The Pierre T. Lambert Podcast is where Pierre interviews the best creatives in the world to share their tips and stories. Enjoy & spread the word to your friends about this podcast! Pierre T. Lambert is a travel & adventure photographer & YouTuber followed by over 1,000,000 people. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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