Isaiah Ortiz

1. Where can people follow you online, and who are your followers?

You can follow me on Instagram @isaiah.ortiz_ or at isaiah.ortiz.squarespace.com for pictures of our Earth’s incredible landscapes and cityscapes. While some of my followers are fellow nature lovers, hikers, and photographers, many of my followers are no different than my neighbors.

2. How long have you been actively using social media to share content?

I have been sharing my photographs on social media since 2014, exclusively building a following on Instagram. Instagram’s popularity makes it an excellent platform to share photos and connect to a community of very talented photographers in the southwest and across the world.

3. What led you to begin using social media as a platform, and how do your outdoor adventures fit that platform?

In the beginning I used social media simply to keep up with loved ones and share fun photos of my travels. As time progressed, I fell in love with photography at the same time that I fell in love with exploring the Mojave Desert around my hometown of Las Vegas. The more beauty that I saw in the desert, the more I wanted to share it with my friends, family, and the outdoor community. I find Instagram to be an excellent place to share photos, adventure ideas, and love for the outdoors because many people on the platform also recognize the beauty of nature.

4. What does nature and the outdoors mean to you?

Being outside provides me with a place for me to awe at the beauty of nature. When I’m outside, I feel more connected to the world around me and I can be more present with myself. I feel more positive, balanced, and humble when I’m immersed in the outdoors. As a former Wilderness Ranger with the United States Forest Service, I spent dozens of nights sleeping under the stars and waking up with the sun. My experiences in the wilderness taught me that nature is so much bigger than ourselves. The natural world commands our respect, fills our human desires for exploration, and so much more.

5. How do you think social media and other communications can influence good stewardship of the outdoors?

Social media connects us all in ways that we have never seen before as a society and with this great power comes responsibility to use it as a constructive education tool. Social media can be used as a tool to educate the average person of the importance of looking after our wild spaces. I believe that if people see how beautiful their backyards are, they will be more likely to look after them by keeping them clean and supporting measures to protect these spaces.

6. What else do you want people to know about you?

I moved to Arizona in 2019 and since living here I have quickly realized that Arizona is even more special than I had imagined. Arizona is blessed with some of the most beautiful natural spaces in the United States and it is of great importance for us to protect these spaces in the simplest of ways like picking up a bit of trash or respecting wildlife. I want people to know that everyone has a responsibility to look after our natural spaces, especially in the Sonoran Desert.