Actual footage of how I became a freelance adventure photographer.Read More
The Americas have a rich cultural legacy stretching back more than13,000 years (there is some evidence that human habitation began much farther back than even that).
No mere monolith Native Americans present to the world as a diverse people as varied as any found on earth.
A myriad of diversities is found both in their traditional lifeways and in how they have adapted to colonial incursion while spending more than 500 years under siege and fighting for their existence.
As a photographer, as an American, and as a human being I have long held a profound respect for Native America who, since time immemorial, have stewarded, shaped, and defined this land that I love.
Whenever possible I strive to reach out to local indigenous people in the areas where I am working, to show my respect, to ask their blessing, and to document their continued presence so that, in my own small way, I can be an ally by bearing witness to the great works they still do and are seldom given credit for.
The images you see below are from people originating in the Great Plains, The Salish Sea, and The Koyukon River areas.
It was my privilege to be granted their permission(all photographers should ask permission first) to photograph them in their “Regalia,” which is profoundly personal clothing designed to express and to reinforce their individual and cultural identities.
There are few places left in the world that are truly remote, truly wild; Gates Of The Arctic is one such place. Hundreds of miles from the nearest road (for now) and completely free from trails access to this wilderness requires either a lengthy hike off the Dalton Highway or a pricey drop by Sea-Plane (Hmm, Lake-Plane?). Once inside the park you are on your own, you could theoretically walk for months across this park, which is larger than Belgium, and not see anyone. It is populated by wolves, bears, caribou, and a myriad of other animals who will be all around you, even if you are unlikely to see any more of them than their tracks.
In the summer of 2018 I was fortunate enough to visit this park on a scouting trip for a new book. As is the car with all the best adventures, things quickly went sideways (in a very controlled and well prepared for manner) resulting in one of the most convoluted and directionless meanders I have ever taken, it was sublime. I was able to see and photograph the park from some of its glorious peaks to one of its most goregeous river valleys.
Beginning in summer of 2019 I am launching a project to photograph the park and to design a visual guidebook to visiting it. I hope you enjoy these pictures from our scouting trip.