The Photography of Pepper Ailor

Pepper learned photography out of necessity, not realizing at first that he had a knack for it.

“Working at a charity, you try to save money where you can, and so you end up learning multiple skills. I picked up a camera to show our donors what we were doing with their money. I was also in charge of certain marketing aspects of our programs. In telling the story of our events, I had to shoot everything from the big picture to the small details.”

After years of shooting in automatic mode, he got serious about photography and took a three-day class on camera basics. That was in 2013—the same year he coordinated a vacation for wounded troops at Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Costa Rica, which became an annual event. He’s since sought as much photography experience and learning as he can.

The photos he takes for Freedom Alliance serve three purposes: (1) donors get to see the work, (2) the troops take home a gallery of memories, and (3) the organization builds its reputation through social media outlets. 

In 2015, Los Sueños Signature Crown Tournament Director Ashley Bretecher asked Pepper if he’d be interested in photographing a leg of their tournament. He was asked to return the following year to shoot all three legs of the tournament. 

The tournament shoot was an amazing experience in itself, but it also benefitted the organization he loves so much. Pepper realized the sport fishing community is deeply patriotic, and many donations and support came from meeting the participants of the tournament.

He now takes unpaid leave from his full-time position at Freedom Alliance to photograph billfish tournaments—an effort he hopes will fuel a brand-new veterans’ program: The Freedom Alliance Offshore Experience.




Cell: 1-757-814-5016
Email: pepper.ailor (at) gmail.com

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