Swift has been collaborating with Portland photographer Brian Larson for several years. He’s shredded with the Swift crew through the Lewis River, Bainbridge Island by way of the Dirty Chilly, up to Abe’s Canyon on Mount St Helen and most recently through the streets and parks of PDX. He makes shooting photos by bike look easy, fun and laid back. We’re big fans, and thought we’d share with you all a little bit about the man behind the camera. 


Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where are you from, how did you end up in Portland and how did you get into bikes?

It’s been quite the journey. It started off in Durango, Colorado—a pretty lauded bike spot. Then my family did this zigzag move—hit Florida for a bit before we landed out West. I grew up mainly in Marin County during those awkward and beyond-fun middle and high school years. College was down in Santa Cruz. After graduation, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I decided to give Portland a shot. We left to chase down some jobs in the Bay Area, but we returned to Portland in 2019. Honestly, we’re here to stay. The bike scene, the coffee, the outdoors—it’s just too good. Bikes have been a part of it since the move to Marin. My dad and I would head up to the hill behind our house in China Camp and ride every weekend. We would hang with some real dirtbag mountain bike guys and ride cutty single track through the hills. The sport has come a long way, and I’ve loved riding all types of bikes since then.

(family dog Chapter greets the Swift Crew at Brian’s Portland home) 

Can you tell us about your Rock Lobster?

It was love at first sight with Rock Lobster back in 1998 when I saw a striking blue beauty in a Mountain Bike Action mag and just knew I had to have one. I managed to get my hands on one in college but had to sell it. Fast forward a bit, and I spotted this frame on Craigslist. I couldn’t resist, and it’s been my ride-or-die ever since. It’s taken me everywhere, from the gnarliest trails to cruising around town. Paul Sadoff is an absolute artist and inspiration.

What kind of riding are you most excited about these days?

Honestly, it’s mostly about the little ones now. Most of my bike time is spent on the bucket bike, ferrying the kids to daycare. Still, I try to sneak in some mountain biking whenever I can. It’s a different pace, but it’s all good.


How did you connect first with Swift?

That was all my friend Derek. He’s founded a fishing gear brand, Reyr, and they teamed up with Swift for a collab. He roped me in to do the photos on a trip to the Lewis River a few years back, and that’s how I met Martina and Jason from Swift. Felt like we were instant friends.


How are you packing your camera equipment?

I’ve got this Zeitgeist bag that’s pretty much become my camera carrier. It’s perfect for bike days because everything’s right there. And when I’m off the bike, I just sling it over my shoulder and go full photojournalist mode.

We know that photography and videography for outdoor brands like Swift wasn’t originally your game plan. Can you tell us a bit about your career trajectory and how you landed in this line of work?

I was on a whole scientist track, and even went to grad school for it. But somewhere along the line, it just didn’t click anymore. I’d been working bike shops since I was 13, so I jumped headfirst back into the bike industry and set my sights on becoming a marketer. After a bit of a career detour through men’s fashion, now I’m doing my own thing as a freelance brand and creative strategist, fitting in shoots when I can. It’s been a wild switch, but I love it.


Outside of bikes you’ve got another pretty unique setup for getting out into the Pacific Northwest Wilds with your family. Can you tell us a bit about The Van?

Ah, the van! It’s a 1971 VW camper. It’s our slow ride to adventure, keeping things chill and letting us soak in all that PNW beauty with the kids each summer. It’s a big part of the dream for us.

Several of us from the Mt St Helen’s shoot were left wondering where you found your sandalwood laundry detergent. We’ve all been scouring the internet. Can you divulge the source?

Oh, that’s all about ZUM Laundry Soap. Their sandalwood is top-notch.