Meet John Derting: Photography Influencer & TikTok Star
Behind the lens with influencer photographer John Derting People often think their dreams are unrealistic. The success of John Derting, however, is proof that following your passion pays off. After earning an associate's degree in voice communication, John embarked on a more adventurous path. He jumped from Arkansas State University to Anchorage, Alaska. There he […]

Behind the lens with influencer photographer John Derting

People often think their dreams are unrealistic. The success of John Derting, however, is proof that following your passion pays off. After earning an associate's degree in voice communication, John embarked on a more adventurous path.

He jumped from Arkansas State University to Anchorage, Alaska. There he began capturing videos of the state's pristine natural landscape. His clips regularly take his followers to places few dare to explore, through rugged glaciers, across half-frozen rivers and into dangerously beautiful ice caves.

the self-taught videographer on nature Now has over 1.9 million subscribers on TikTok with a total of 28 million likes. He also shares Reels with his 260K + Instagram followers and posts longer videos on his eponymous name. Youtube channel.

In John's exclusive interview with Mediakix, find out how he got started on social media and what adventures he's planning next.

influencer spotlight travel influencer john derting

1. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to become a nature photographer and travel influencer? What prompted you to pursue a career in videography?

One day 7 months ago I was taking underwater photos and decided to take a video instead. It was half over half under the river ice melting video.

It worked really well on both Instagram and my Facebook, getting around 2k views (I only had 2k followers on Instagram and Facebook at the time). Then an old friend I grew up with, Ariel Mullen, sent me a message saying I should create a TikTok and start posting.

I didn't even know what TikTok was at the time. So I uploaded my first underwater video and woke up the next morning to 50k views. Three weeks later - millions of views and 100,000 subscribers. Two months later - 1.9 million subscribers and over a billion views on my most used hashtag, #Alaska.

I film every day the weather is nice and I will lie down in frozen rivers if that means I have the stinky photo. My most viewed video had 71 million views.

tiktok travel influencer

2. What has been the biggest obstacle to growing your social media audience and how did you overcome it?

Mine was sure when Trump wanted to ban TikTok. My account growth went from 50,000 new subscribers per day to less than 500. I was sure I was banned from the shadows or something, but my account has since been seen on the For You page. .

It was also a big hit when India banned TikTok. This is when I really started learning Instagram Reels and had much more consistent success gaining 260K followers in 4 months, most of them going organically viral on Instagram.

On Instagram Reels, your fans actually see your posts unlike TikTok where you are either favored by the algorithm or forgotten. My best Reel got 23.5 million views on Instagram.

3. Often influencers become famous with nothing but their smartphones. For adventure influencers like you, what gear is needed to produce your quality Instagram and TikTok content?

Okay, I use iPhone GoPro and custom underwater gear that helps keep the image I created stable. Most of the time I don't own high end cinema equipment although a lot of people think I do lol.

influencer travel photography

4. In addition to TikTok, you have started using Instagram Reels. So far, do you have a preference between the two platforms, and if so, why?

Instagram for sure!

They are so much more reliable in promoting your message. You post an "incorrect" video on TikTok and essentially kill your account algorithm that was pushing you around the world.

It's kind of like a level system on TikTok and if you fall off the top viral levels you'll be hard pressed to come back.

On Instagram I can post a boring photo and it is always shown to a ton of users. It might only get 5,000 likes, but my point is that their algorithm is much more forgiving and you still have a good chance of going viral.

Quick round questions:

5. Summer in Alaska or winter?

In the summer, rivers aren't frozen over, and you don't need thousands of dollars in equipment to stay warm.

6. Favorite hiking spot of all time?

Likely Castner's Glacial Ice Cave or back to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

travel influencer interview

7. Scariest moment during the shoot?

Falling into a frozen river and almost dying of hypothermia before reaching my car.

I also nearly froze to death last winter at -45 Fahrenheit just half a mile from my car when a snowstorm cut all visibility and I got lost.

Luckily, I used both sides of a river bed to zigzag down the frozen ice. Every time I walked into a bank, it kept me headed in the right direction.

I really thought I could die. Panic will freeze your ski goggle with fog, then you take it off and everything freezes, even your eyes can't barely open.

adventure influence travel

8. As an influencer, how do you decide which brands to partner with? What are the most important values ​​for you in a brand partnership?

I'm actually very picky and the only brands I've worked with are the ones that closely match my theme (eg Clif Bar or Lume Cube).

9. Which partnership are you most proud of so far and why?

Probably my partnership with Alpine Air Alaska (helicopter travel company) as they allow me to see impossible to reach places deep in the Alaskan wilderness.

10. Many influencers produce content from the comfort of their own homes. Making videos like yours takes a little more courage. What advice would you give to those who aspire to become outdoor adventure influencers?

Get used to being wet and cold and missing your camera gear.

I have lost or broken over 10 GoPro's in six months. I've shot over four terabytes of video at 1080p, which means thousands of hours of shooting stuff I never post.

My advice is to be very picky with every post and I even watch YouTube videos on the cinema and music association to improve my content.

Every video should still be good after I've watched it 10-20 times.

Travel influencer landscape photography

11. Over the next year, what exciting new developments can your viewers expect?

They can expect me to stay motivated by content creation. I'm in the process of making a website to share the LUT (Look Up Tables) presets I use with my audience and hope to travel the world filming the wildest places to see from my engaging vantage point.

12. Is there anything else you would share with people who are new to the influencer space?

If you are new to media I would consider it twice before trying to go viral.

It's a full time job and you are fully responsible for everything lol.

It's certainly not for inconsistent people, because even missing 3-4 days without a post is bad in my opinion.

tiktok influencer trip

The post office Meet John Derting: Photography Influencer and TikTok Star appeared first on Mediakix.

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