Where did you grow up?
Grew up in Grand Rapids, Ohio, a small rural town on the Maumee River near Toledo.
How long have you been shooting photos/video?
I've been shooting digital for 11 years now and film for a few years before that.
What got you into what you're doing?
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that loved camping and we spent a lot of my childhood camping around Michigan and taking trips out west. I knew I wanted to live near the mountains and the longer I lived in Colorado the more I knew I wanted to work in them too. That progression led me from working retail and IT to full-time outdoor photography leading workshops, guiding, and more.
What type of running do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I grew up running cross-country in high school but didn't really get back into it until 2010 when I started trail running then ultra-running in 2012. I actually started ultra-running as a way to more quickly scout photo locations and it turned into a passion with the benefit of a lot of amazing trips. I don't race more than a few times a year but I love adventure runs; so far I've run long distances through the Grand Canyon, Tetons, Zion, Bryce, and all over Colorado.
Are you working on any interesting projects or have any trips coming up?
This summer I plan to hike the Colorado Trail with my dog Koda, from Denver to Durango, and I hope to work on a film project in conjunction. This will be my longest backpacking trek by far and I'm really looking forward to the challenge.
What are some of your favorite past projects or trips?
I've been fortunate to travel a lot the past 8 years and I've have a lot of incredible experiences as a result. My most memorable experience is witnessing the Northern Lights for a week in Iceland in the winter of 2015. It's beyond stunning to watch the aurora flowing and cascading like a river over jagged peaks and ethereal ice. The project I'm most proud of is a 5-year time-lapse of fall in Colorado that I just completed last season: https://vimeo.com/187935649.
When you think of a tough adventure is there a past trip that comes to mind?
Wow, there are probably quite a few tough adventures I could think of related to ultra-running. Just this last spring I organized a run from the East Portal to Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park, that was full of record rain, snow, ice, and tons of mud. We ended up having to bail at mile 36 because the mud was getting too deep and our energy was already sapped.
I'm really looking forward to working with 686 and bringing the perspective of an outdoor photographer into the development of their technical apparel. Shooting in all types of weather and locations means my gear gets used hard and wears fast, leaving a lot of potential for improvements big and small.
- Now is the time to advocate for your public lands, so much of what we do and where we recreate relies on caring for the amazing access we have to a breadth of incredibly diverse terrain.
Follow Jason at @jason_j_hatfield