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How an Art Student Set the Course for 50 Years of Patagonia Product Photography

'He hung out with us for four years, and out of that came 4,500 photographs, pretty much every one of which was perfect.'

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When Gary Regester walked through the doors of Chouinard Equipment in 1974, he had little idea the photographs he’d take would draw a blueprint for the next half-decade of gear photography.

A student at ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles, Regester was there for a school project. But he kept coming back after his project was complete, shooting photos of, and eventually making friends with, the people who’d become Patagonia’s founding generation.

The resulting body of work — some 4,500 photographs — is naturalistic, journalistic, and, in the words of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, “honest.”

Regester’s work would go on to inform gear photography at Patagonia and across the entire industry. But it serves as a record of those halcyon days when the DNA that would grow Patagonia into a juggernaut was first being encoded. Check it out!

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