Outdoorsman Living Life to the Fullest

Outdoorsman Photographer Advocate

Sam at WorkSam Soholt, 30, has lived out of duffle bags and totes since early 2014. He travels 95% of the year working as a professional photographer and videographer in the hunting and outdoor industry. His images allow clients to tell their story visually.

The only material things Sam really needs are a camera and a toothbrush- “one to make a living and the other so clients will want to talk to me.”

For a guy with no formal photography training, Sam has landed world-wide assignments and magazine covers through hard work and networking. He’s traveled across New Zealand, Patagonia, British Columbia, Central Montana, South Dakota and other places taking images and creating lifetime memories. “Every photo puts me back into a specific moment. It’s a great way to keep memories and emotions fresh.”

Becoming an Outdoorsman

A native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and current Montana resident, Sam spent the majority of his time in nature being adventurous. He grew up hunting with father and brother. “There was almost never a question I’d end up doing something in the hunting industry.”

Combining his two passions-hunting and photography-while making a living is the purest form of cultivating a life for himself.

Sam’s is well-educated and disciplined. He earned both bachelors and master’s degrees in business from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. And, he’s a high school and collegiate award-winning track and field athlete.

He’s willing to take career risks and enter new areas with a “trial by fire” approach.

Right Place. Right Time.

Sam learned the basics as a graduate school intern with an Iowa hunting show. He’s watched YouTube videos and dissected photographic images trying to understand how the photographer shot the photo.

He’s met the right people at the right time. His first big break in the industry was shooting for Coast Guard Alaska in Kodiak. “I had $56 to my name when I hopped on the plane. But, I’ve had the support and encouragement to take risks.” He also had the confidence to know he could get a “regular job” if things didn’t work out.

They do work out though. Sam met the editor of Wildfowl Magazine in an Idaho bear camp. He happened to show him a few photos of duck hunting from the previous fall. That meeting landed him a magazine cover shot-a huge deal for photographers.

Not all Bliss Being Outdoorsman

Sam fights the misperception that “life is one big dream” for him. He admits to living an exciting and adventurous lifestyle. However, there are times where he doesn’t care for the more mundane tasks. “I spend more time behind a computer and on the phone than in the field.” This is a job. It’s work.

Outdoorsman with a Cause

For the next year Sam’s living in a bus-one he bought and retrofitted for a cause. It’s his hunting cabin and means to travel to public lands where he spends time hunting, fishing and recreating while capturing and sharing what those lands have to offer.

He’s partnered with like-minded organizations Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and Outdoor Life to capture people’s attention and gain maximum exposure for his cause.

He’s been a bit surprised, however, with how long it takes while driving a bus from Point A to Point B. Yet, he’s committed to the year’s work.

Save Public Land

He’s out to educate citizens on the need to protect public lands. This land is owned by the people of the USA but managed at a state or federal level. “These lands are a free way to connect to nature and spend time in wild places.” Also, losing public lands would be losing his way of life. “I find adventure and relaxation in the wild. I don’t have to ask permission to spend time on those lands.”

Sam says he’s received overwhelming positive support for “what I am up to. People from all over the country and world have reached out in support.” His strongest supporters are sportsmen and women ages 30-60. “This group has done so much to protect wildlife and hunting heritage in the country. It’d be hard to see any of this work being thrown to the wayside.”

Predictably, the loudest opposition stems from resource extraction companies like oil, gas and electric. “These people would like to be the ones to buy up all this land and increase the amount of resources they pull from it.”

Call to Action

If you’re interested in supporting his mission, you can do so by:

  • Following along on Instagram @samsoholt
  • Purchasing a t-shirt. $5 from every sales goes to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers publictees.com.
  • Joining a conservation group like BHA, RMEF, Mule Deer Foundation, etc.


Sam Soholt is chasing his dreams and ambitions. He’s comfortable taking risks on things that may or may not work out. And he’s living up to the quote, “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to live a life.”


SHARE Sam’s story. Tell me yours below.

©Copyright. October 2017. Linda Leier Thomason

All Rights Reserved.

Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together? Complete this form below.












SD Attorney Strikes Balance in Life

Jim M. Wiederrich-36 Year South Dakota Attorney

I’m starting a new series of feature interviews. These people have inspired and/or intrigued me for years. I’ve always wanted to know what drives them and how they’ve “hauled rocks” in their own lives to create meaningful personal and professional lives.

jheadshotMy family and I met Jim in 2013 as participants in the South Dakota Technology Center’s Accelerator Program (Today known as Zeal.).  Jim and a team of lawyers presented business law subject matter during a day’s session.  Having just relocated to Sioux Falls, South Dakota from Charleston, South Carolina,  we were instantly drawn to his demeanor and presence, which fondly reminded us of many Southern statesmen. It was clear he was respected by his peers and admired by those in attendance. Driving home from the day’s session, I recall our family talking about the impression Jim made and telling 18-year-old Alex to follow Jim’s approach to life-one of balance and fairness. Both Ken and I knew Jim would be an ideal role model, even if Alex didn’t choose to practice law. The way  Jim navigated life and interacted with others mirrored our wish for Alex.

Introducing Jim…Hard working, Intelligent & Fair

JimJim has been a South Dakota practicing attorney for 36 years. He and his wife, Karri, are the proud parents of three beautiful, grown daughters: Anne, Lynn and Sara, whom he’s always encouraged to “get good grades, find a great job and build guest quarters for their parents.”

Educational Interests Led to Law School

Jim was raised on a farm south of Tripp, SD and for eight years attended a Bon Homme County one-room country school without running water or indoor plumbing. His favorite elementary school subject was South Dakota history.

Jim enjoyed high school accounting classes and participating on the debate team. As a Tripp High School junior he decided to become a lawyer.

With the encouragement of his parents, he attended the University of South Dakota and earned a BS in accounting (1977), followed by an MBA (1980) and then a Juris Doctorate (1980). He treasures memories of collegiate apartment life, living with three other business majors. And from his college years, he developed a deep appreciation for professors who brought real-life experience to their classrooms. When thinking back on his pre-law-practice days, he remembers them with “a whole lot less responsibility than one carries as an attorney looking out for the best interests of one’s clients.”

After his 1980 graduation, Jim became an associate at Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith®, P.C. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Three years later, he became a shareholder and Board of Directors member of the same firm, where he remains today.

 Practice of Law Over Time

For more than three decades, Jim’s greatest joy as an attorney comes when a client successfully completes creation of a new company or the acquisition of one. “Either way, new jobs are created, and hopefully profits for the owners.”

His most valued career accomplishment was the organization of all of the  POET ethanol plants and operating companies. This included the purchase of real estate, development of construction contracts and marketing and licensing arrangements for 27 operating plants and a dozen operating companies. “These entities have provided thousands of jobs, lessened our dependence on foreign oil and created great wealth for investors.”

As one who wishes to be remembered as an outstanding business practitioner who understood how to negotiate a fair deal and provide great advice to clients on how to manage legal risks, Jim gets frustrated by lawyers not skilled in areas in which they are practicing. “As a result, they take positions that are unreasonable because they don’t have the background and experience to negotiate a fair and reasonable result for their client and mine.”

Jim’s seen plenty of changes in 36 years of practicing law but none greater than the government’s over-regulation of business. “Millions of new laws, ordinances and regulations have been enacted that drive up the cost of doing business beyond what is necessary to protect the public.” Regarding new law school graduates and changes over time, Jim says new graduates are more technologically proficient, which is great for efficiency. However, he cautions that reliance on the Internet, texting and social media can be misleading. “Nothing beats establishing long-term personal relationships through face-to-face interaction.”

Active Community Participant

One of the many benefits of Jim’s career is being able to be actively involved in the growth and development of the Sioux Falls community and surrounding region. Knowing he’s making a difference in the lives of people in the community matters to him. Currently, he’s concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Sioux Falls and providing adequate support to education and access to affordable health care in South Dakota.

Jim strongly believes every member of the Sioux Falls community should be involved in the local United Way and other volunteer activities. He holds the belief that community is made best when businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies coordinate and participate together.

As a man committed to his God, his family, his country and his firm, Jim serves on numerous boards within his church, his church denomination, a local hospital, Chamber of Commerce, United Way and non-profit social service agencies. He’s chosen to make time for these organizations because they provide spiritual care, help local individuals provide for their families and become self-sufficient, and grow the economic base which provides jobs for all in the work force.

In 2014 Jim was awarded the prestigious David Birkeland Memorial award for his community involvement.

Role Model

Jim understands the value of mentorship and role models for young professionals. Just as we tagged him as a role model or mentor for our son, Alex, Jim’s also had a mentor in his life: Judge Stuart Tiede who practiced at Woods Fuller prior to his 2001 appointment to the Second Judicial Circuit Court in South Dakota. “Stuart was truly a student of the law and did not settle for an adequate answer, but always the right answer to the problem at hand.”

Balance in Life + Final Thoughts

Mound of colorJim strives to achieve balance in his life between work and play. It’s likely most don’t know his favorite free time activity is flower gardening, that his favorite place today is vacationing on Maui, Hawaii or that he’s eager to visit Australia.

He’d like his legacy for his girls to be that he put his family’s needs first, had great judgement and compassion and was always available to listen or provide advice when asked. And, he’d like to thank his wife for managing the household while he spent considerable time devoted to the practice of law and volunteering in the community.

In spite of his busy career and heavy volunteer schedule, he never missed his children’s activities or time with his spouse. Remarkable priorities and balance.

Great Father. Devoted Husband. Outstanding Citizen. Accomplished Attorney. Role Model and Mentor: Jim Wiederrich.

 Share with those blessed to know and work with Jim and those who could learn from his choices in life.

Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together? Complete this form below.


©Copyright. June 2016. Linda Leier Thomason

All Rights Reserved.