Back on the Mo

by Fire Girl Jess on April 17, 2015

Meet Mr. Brown.

Meet Mr. Brown.

When the invite for a run up to the Missouri River came at about 7PM the day prior, I was stoked. Bozeman guides Kent Stock and Jacob Hinshaw were heading up the see what was shaking on the river and had room for a third—and were kind enough to extend an offer. As good fishing days often seem to be, it was long; I was up at 5AM and made it back to bed after 1AM this morning. Lack of sleep generally means it’s been a good day.

Huge thanks to Ken and Jacob for letting me bum a ride in the boat and hang for the day… it was beyond nice to get into some healthy Missouri River fish and to be back on that water. No matter how much time I spend on it, that river will never cease to amaze me.

Enough words… on to the top edit from yesterday’s trip. The next few weeks are going to be a wild ride, so check back for updates.

Thumbs up from Jacob while Ken looks on, net at the ready.

Thumbs up from Jacob while Ken looks on, net at the ready.

Ken's boat is brings its A-game.

Ken’s boat is brings its A-game.

What we like to see.

What we like to see.

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Latest Published Pieces, and Hell or High Water

by Fire Girl Jess on April 13, 2015

Inside front cover, TRCP 2014 Annual Report. Fishing off Sanibel, FL.

Inside front cover, TRCP 2014 Annual Report. Fishing off Sanibel, FL.

Hey all. Time for a quick break from the battery charging, lens filter stacking, fly line cleaning, and checklist checking to throw a post up here. Flying out to Bozeman Wednesday AM, so the next update will be from the road. Have a week of shooting for Fire Girl clients, then bumping over to Missoula for the Orvis Guide Rendezvous (hope to see some of you there!), then back to SW Montana for a week of shooting for Orvis. I’ll be taking over the Orvis Instagram feed for that last week, so be sure to keep an eye out!

Back to living out of a suitcase. Loving it.

Delaware River stonefly.

Delaware River stonefly.

In other news, things keep ticking along on the freelance side. Pick up the latest copy of The Drake for a writing / photo combo about Russia and vodka. I was thrilled to contribute the inside front cover image to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s 2014 Annual Report. And there’s more cooking.

Just spent this past weekend at the Hell or High Water event, held at West Branch Angler on the Delaware River. It’s a regional kick off for the season, and despite cool weather there was a fair turnout. Taught some Fly Fishing 101 classes, mingled, and got a quick float in on Sunday. Read about it in this week’s Vermont Chronicles on Chi Wulff. Huge thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi, and to all of the FF101 participants who braved the wind and chilly weather for some casting instruction.

Cheers, guys. Next post coming your way from Montana.

Drake Magazine, Spring 2015.

Drake Magazine, Spring 2015.

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Today’s Chi Wulff Vermont Chronicles

by Fire Girl Jess on April 5, 2015

Shuttling rigs on a spring day. Missouri River, Montana.

Shuttling rigs on a spring day. Missouri River, Montana.

Back on Chi Wulff this week with the last installment in The Vermont Chronicles. Some spring-y photos, a bit of Easter reminiscing, and a brief lay down of April’s travel calendar. (A.k.a. ten days until I head back home to Montana… it’s about damn time.)

For my Northeastern readers, head on over to West Branch Angler on the Delaware River near Hancock, New York this next weekend for the Hell or High Water Fly Fishing Festival. I’ll be around teaching basic fly-fishing lessons… drop by and say hi! Then it’s back to Vermont for two days before heading out on assignment to Montana.

Hope everyone is enjoying some sunshine and time with family today. I’m camped in organizing camera and fishing gear, and drinking coffee like there’s no tomorrow. Cheers, y’all.

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The Mighty ‘Mo Featured in Fieldsports UK

by Fire Girl Jess on March 29, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 9.25.57 AMAs much as I love those publications and clients I’ve been working with for years, there’s always a little thrill that comes from a new collaboration. Working with new editors, new layout designs, and a new voice is always challenging, exciting, and just plain fun. And there’s something extra enjoyable when it’s a truly international outlet.

COVER APRIL MAYSo it was a true pleasure to bring a place dear to my heart—Montana’s Missouri River—to a UK audience in the latest issue of Fieldsports magazine. The feature includes a host of images, mostly captured during my season documenting life on the river, and a written essay that, so far, is getting some pretty awesome feedback. (Huge thanks to those of you have who provided said feedback.)

They say it’s far easier to tell a story you’ve lived, to talk of places you’ve seen and things you’ve experienced firsthand. I’d push it a step further and say you can’t write—really write—without experiencing something. Research can only take you so far, and at some point you’ve got to be throwing that streamer, rowing that Adipose skiff, running those shuttles, dodging that hail. And then you can write the hell out of it.

And it’s freaking fun.

Huge thanks to the editorial staff at Fieldsports for making this such an enjoyable collaboration. Already looking forward to the next project. And thanks to everyone—in Montana, the UK, and everywhere in between—who actually reads the words, looks into the photos, and provides thoughtful feedback. You guys make it all worthwhile.

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New Commercial Work and Project Prep

by Fire Girl Jess on March 23, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 6.56.10 PM

An email from Orvis—leading with a Fire Girl image.

Sometimes when we’re waiting on something we get impatient and the days seem to blur together. I’m in that mode right now… mid-April brings the start of a busy few months of assignments, and I’m in prep / plan / production mode right now. After a flurry that lasted a few weeks, plans are pretty well laid out, logistics in place and I’m just damned edgy.

Some people aren’t meant to stay in one place for very long, I reckon. I’ve never done well sitting still. Give me action. Give me work. Give me a camera and an open horizon.

Storytelling copy for Orvis.

Storytelling copy for Orvis.

And so I plan, work like a maniac in the hours between, and pace my apartment, staring at the skating rink that is my parking lot and cursing temperatures that still aren’t topping out above freezing. A good friend sent me a picture from home country today—Montana’s mighty Missouri River, in fact—and it was green. That wicked green that’s so bright you think you’re eyes can’t really be reading it right. The boys were still swathed in layers; waders and fleece and jackets, but you know spring is coming. Color has arrived in full force, and there’s water to be rowed.

I’ll post a schedule soon about where I’ll be in the coming few months, and the projects that are taking me around and about. There’s some good stuff cooking, and I’m excited to see it come together.

In the meantime, more and more assets from the Orvis shoot last November in Belize are being used—every day I see another Fire Girl image on the website, in an email, in a catalog. More copy pops up; another story told. That’s the best part—the stories being told. Whether with words or with images, it’s those stories that make it all worthwhile in the end, that keep me pacing this damn apartment. It’s a big, big world out there.

So here’s to telling stories, and living them.

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Orvis Catalog Cover

by Fire Girl Jess on March 16, 2015

IMG_5416Excited to see that, after muddling through months of images in Orvis emails, on the web, and in catalogs, I’ve finally made it onto the cover. Ironically, the cover of a men’s catalog (not the fishing book), but as the circulation is larger than the fishing book I’ll roll with it. Hey, something new, right?

The cover shot is looking down from the Temple of the Sun God, at the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha not all that far from Belize City. Our small advance team was scouting locations for the fashion shoot this day, and IMG_5415I couldn’t resist a little hike to the top. Something awesome about looking out over the tropic forest and wondering what lies within.

Huge thanks to the creative folks at Orvis for putting all these assets together. Inside, you can read a fantastic story from Ali at El Pescador Lodge which I was also able to shoot the images for. And that inside cover shot of the two models looking at the map? I try to stay away from posed model photography, but if they are actually doing something, well, fire away.

More clips to come; this campaign is everywhere right now, from the Orvis home page to an email series to several catalogs. Nice to dream of tropical places when it’s still cold and grey out!

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On-the-Water Photography Tips

by Fire Girl Jess on March 15, 2015

 There are still images to be made in the monotone seasons. For this early spring shot in central Montana, I looked for strong lines leading into the frame. Composition is key.


There are still images to be made in the monotone seasons. For this early spring shot in central Montana, I looked for strong lines leading into the frame. Composition is key.

The Ides of March. Slowly, oh-so-slowly, we are meandering toward spring. Someday we’ll be wet wading, wearing tee shirts, and throwing dry flies. And photographing something with color (novel concept right now, as the world is rather black, brown and white.)

This week on The Vermont Chronicles we talk about three basic tenets of waterside photography—really, any photography—and how to make the most of your photo opportunities this fishing season. We’ve all got quite a job cut out for us; how do we capture the awesomeness of the outdoors in pixels? How do we bring the horizon into the camera?

Head on over to Chi Wulff for a few tips and tricks.

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