Climbing photography often results in the butt shot, i.e. sitting at the base of a rock climb and shooting up. Granted, there are some creative ways to shoot butt shots, but that is another post. With any action photography I always recommend one simple rule; capture the essence of the sport with your image. Rock climbing is about pushing limits, exploring personal boundaries; it combines powerful movement with problem solving to figure out difficult sequences to get up a route. It is easy to just point and shoot sports, but really take a moment and figure out where the best shot will be. If you only get one frame to sum up the entire shoot and activity, what is the best angle?
I just returned from 9 days of climbing and shooting in Wyoming. My 14 yr. old son is a willing model, and climbing some very difficult routes these days. He worked the route, Camel Jockey 5.13b, for a few days before going for the redpoint ascent (climber speak for leading the route without falls after previous attempts). To get the right angle, and show the desperate moves on tiny holds, I rigged a rope on the cliff nearby and ascended to where I could get the right angle. Skyler cranked through the moves, and I had my shot.