AJ Van de Water


AJ has been shaping his career out of his love for photography since he received his first camera in 2001. Since then, he has been working non-stop to continue building his dream career. He’s worked from Seattle to southern California, shooting everything from cars to weddings. Now, he’s opened his own commercial photography business, FOTORNR X. AJ loves that, as a photographer, he has the opportunity to capture meaningful stories. As a wedding photographer, he was present for moments when even family wasn’t, and with his commercial business, he is able to dive deep into the story of a brand.

As a freelance adventure photographer, he goes where the business takes him. His truck is his office, and he needs to be able to rely on its power system. His vacation trips with the family can last two to four days, but his work trips can last up to two weeks, so his power system has to keep up with his busy lifestyle. Installing RELiON batteries has ensured his truck is set up with enough energy to keep his cameras, equipment, and tools charged all day, every day, so that he can easily and reliably reach remote destinations to take the most powerful pictures.

AJ’s power system includes:

AJ has a 2022 Ram 3500 that carries his Hawk Limited Edition Woolrich four-wheel camper. In the camper, he has three RELION RB52-LT (low temperature) batteries. He uses these batteries to power his fridge and heater and to charge his laptops, cameras, and mountain bikes. The batteries are charged by either his truck or his solar power system. His fridge and heater have to work overnight, when there is no sunlight to charge the batteries, which makes stored energy really important to him. As AJ has expanded his business capabilities, energy capacity has become exceedingly necessary, and he is thankful for RELiON for helping him choose the optimal battery solution for his needs.

What AJ loves about photography:

“I love the freedom that comes with being a freelance photographer - I get to choose which jobs I want to work, and which I don’t. I am able to choose projects where I truly think there is a story worth telling and I’m the right guy to tell it. With video now, it’s even better, you can feel like you were there. I like being a part of creating and sharing moments that are important to people. Social media has made sharing these moments even faster, which also makes my job more important. It’s a lot of fun crafting these stories, but it’s also a lot of responsibility. Having someone trust you enough to tell their stories through photography is a really powerful thing.”

Why AJ switched to lithium:

“I built my rig to be something that would last. I started looking into lithium because I heard about their long lifespan and durability. I didn’t want to spend time having to maintain and replace my batteries, and I needed to rely on them all day and all night without worry. As I researched, I found that lithium was the best option to meet all of my needs.”

Why AJ chose RELiON:

“I had a few buddies start using RELiON batteries and a close friend of mine suggested I look into them for my system. Then, the shop (Basils Garage) who I approached to do my electrical upgrade, recommended RELiON as well. That’s what is important to me - recommendations from real people about real experiences. I know that these guys have worked not only with the batteries, but with the customer service team at RELiON as well, and they only had great things to say. Since I installed my RELiON batteries, I’ve had the same experience. Whenever I have a question, I know I can reach out and speak with someone who truly cares about the customer.

My batteries have been top-notch too. I can run them down to zero percent and not worry about damaging the battery life. When I was using lead-acid, I had to be careful not to let them get past 25 percent before recharging them, so I have a lot more capacity now. Additionally, how fast they charge still astounds me. Last week on a work trip, I had to charge all my cameras and laptops and really put my battery capacity to the test. I couldn’t believe I didn’t run out of power once, and it was largely because of how fast they can recharge.”

How has RELiON allowed AJ to challenge his limits:

“To me, what’s special about RELiON batteries is their Low Temperature line. I use three of the LT Series batteries and I can’t overstate how much it has helped. You need that heating element when you’re up in those colder elevations for days at a time. This has really helped me be able to get to places others can’t, and it sets me apart.”

What does AJ recommend to people considering switching to lithium:

“Every day I get questions from people on Instagram about the equipment I use, and RELiON batteries are always something people are curious about. I always say that these batteries are one of the best decisions I have made when outfitting my camper, and I recommend that everyone builds theirs with RELiON as well. They’re lightweight, they last long, and they charge so fast, it seems effortless to keep them topped off. Every step of the process was easy - dealing with RELiON’s employees was a breeze, installing them was straightforward, and I haven’t had any hiccups since. If you need reliable power, RELiON is the way to go.”