Wrapping Up 2016

by Fire Girl Jess on December 31, 2016

This year has been a wild one. I had a day of flights across the U.S. earlier this week, and found myself wondering just how in the hell we’re already nudging into 2017. It seems like just last month I was prepping to spend the entire month of January on the road, taking pictures and telling stories. Somehow over the course of the past year my calendar tells me I’ve ridden Mi-8s and chased tarpon in Cuba, dodged overly-friendly sharks and photographed mahi-mahi in Samoa, trekked into the Montana backcountry on horseback in pursuit of native Yellowstone cutthroat, survived helping put on the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show in Orlando, and a number of other adventures that still kind of make me tilt my head and think, “oh, that happened.”

Bozeman is… Bozeman. For now it serves as a home base; a place to do laundry, clean camera gear and edit images before the next project. I won’t be here forever by any means, but for the moment I’m working and learning while partnering with Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures and the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. Both the fly-fishing industry and the greater creative world are quirky ones, and I find when the two combine things to get weird. And fun. As I enter into my eighth year of working as a freelance outdoor photographer and journalist, I’m learning the most important thing is to be able to laugh it off. Always be able to laugh it off. And put things into perspective.

My work is still fairly evenly divided to photography and writing — I don’t think I’d ever be able to leave on behind, and it’s a productive package to offer clients. Both aspects leverage to tell a complete story… there are some things hard to put into words but possible to capture with the camera, and some feelings that can never be fully articulated through the camera, but a few well-chosen words can get the point across. It’s forever a game of give-and-take, and one I’m learning to thoroughly enjoy.

I love fly-fishing — I’ve grown up in this world and will never leave it — but I find fishing has become more of a reason to travel than anything. It takes me to places I’d otherwise never see; introduces me to people I’d otherwise never meet. It’s a funny old world, as the saying goes, and I’m incredibly grateful for the incredible people I’ve been able to meet in 2016. So many incredible people from so many walks of life… so many stories to be told! I’ll forever be thankful for the people who let me know their world for a day, for a week — however long the assignment takes.

And thanks to the clients, editors, partners, anglers, and everyone else who makes this odd little way of life possible. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you, and here’s to many new projects in the year to come!

At the end of the day, it’s all about telling the stories that need to be told. And I look forward to seeing what stories 2017 brings!


Tags: Random Bits

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