Announcement: Joining the Keepemwet Ambassador Team

by Fire Girl Jess on December 22, 2017

I’m pleased to announce I’ve formally joined the Ambassador Team at Keepemwet Fishing! I’ve followed Keepemwet Fishing since its inception, and firmly believe this is an initiative the industry needs to get behind. Whether I’m teaching fishing photography workshops or shooting for commercial clients, the keepemwet principals apply — and photos of fish in situ are so much more interesting than the traditional ‘grip and grins’.

I’m thrilled to be part of the Ambassador team and support this movement.

When shooting fish, keep these tips in mind, and remember to get creative with your photography… it’ll pay off in your images!

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Fieldsports UK Feature: Japan’s Golden Char

by Fire Girl Jess on December 14, 2017

Thrilled to see this piece hit the streets, and in Fieldsports’ storied holiday “fireside” issue. I had an incredible trip venturing to Hokkaido this past October to document the emerging fly-fishing scene in this rural, cultured land. Huge thanks to everyone on the ground in Japan who helped make this possible — I look forward to venturing back to this incredible place some day, rod in hand!

Part of the beauty of travel is the way it reminds us of universal constants:

Some truths are quite simple. One I learned along ago, is that fishermen, regardless of the language they speak or if they ply their trade in fresh or saltwater, are truly the same the world around. One rainy morning, I find myself in the backseat of a Toyota, Nofuji and Takada talking quietly in Japanese in the front as we trail a military convoy through the countryside. We stop at a countryside pit toilet for a break and, after a stroll around, I look back to see both men peering over the edge of a bridge down the road, looking into the river below. I laugh, realizing it’s a familiar sight I’ve now seen on several continents. Regardless of language, regardless of location, fishermen will always look to the water.

Read the full piece on my website.

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Taste of Winter

by Fire Girl Jess on December 13, 2017

“I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape—the loneliness of it—the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it—the whole story dosen’t show.” -Andrew Wyeth

We’re getting out fair share of powder these days, and early mornings are rewarded with quiet country lanes and snow-laden trees. While I’d always prefer flip-flops and hot summer sun on my face, it’s hard not to get into the spirit of things.

And even if I don’t have the “big camera” along for a ride, my beaten old iPhone 5 will make do.

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Equestrian: An Athletic Partnership | Life Refined Magazine

by Fire Girl Jess on December 4, 2017

Really loved writing this piece (and pulling images from my own archives) on luxury lifestyle / wealth management publication Life Refined. Long ago in a galaxy far away, I used to make a living on this side of the equestrian world, and it’s still near and dear. The feeling of being atop 1,600 pounds of horse over a five-foot jump isn’t easily described, but I gave it a go:

“It’s oddly quiet as 1,600 pounds of horse flies six feet into the air, clearing the massive jump with ease. The one-two-three beat of the canter is broken by a sharp intake of breath—the only sign of the impressive effort taking place on the grassy field before me—and then the massive bay horse lands with a similar expulsion of air, ears already pricked toward the next fence further down the field. The nimble beat resumes as horse and rider make their way to the next obstacle, the coiled energy of every stride somehow reminiscent of a large, predatory cat…

[Final paragraph] Ears pricked, nostrils flaring, pace quietly competent, a large gray horse canters past in the warm-up ring, looking for all the world like he’s clocking in for a day of work. Work that he loves, work that he knows. There’s an ease to the way his alert ears flick back and forth from his rider to the surroundings, like he’s taking in the scenery while keeping the job foremost in his mind. Seasoned riders say some horses are bred to the job and do, indeed, love to work, claiming that the mounts get bored without the challenge of work. Taking in the ring before me, filled with several top-level horses from around the world, I can’t help but agree.”

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Eagle Review Storytelling Project

by Fire Girl Jess on December 2, 2017

I’m always looking to work with new, fresh and innovative clients in new marketplaces. To that end, it’s been interesting to undertake a series of interviews for European sporting travel resource Eagle Review. The Eagle Review team has done a great job in committing to parallax scrolling storytelling, and it’s been fun to see this piece come together.

The first interview is on Swedish hunter and angler Jessica Knecht. Here’s a snippet:

The athletic Swede has outdoor pursuits in her blood. Most members of her family hunt and fish, including her mother who has just started to join the rest of the family in the field. Her boyfriend Nils is also an avid outdoorsman, and Jessica notes the relationship has a few benefits. “One of my favorite kind of hunts is hunting for black grouse in snow-covered landscapes,” she shares. “Jämtland, where Nils comes from, has excellent opportunities to hunt for these beautiful birds!”

Jessica’s skills are not limited to hunting, however, and she also credits her father with her fishing skills. While fly-fishing is a new undertaking, she’s quickly growing within the sport and enjoys the process, noting, “Practice makes perfect! I still have a lot to learn, but that’s also what makes it fun.” She always ensures she has a cell phone nearby to capture the moment, adding it’s the one thing she’ll never leave home without.

Give the brief article a read, and look for more to come in this series.

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Seasons

by Fire Girl Jess on November 29, 2017

We’re nearly to December (how did that happen, anyway?) and I’ve been sorting through a bevy of images for contest entry season. It’s always an interesting exercise to go back through the past year’s trips and publications, reflect on how the hell did we pull that off, think of good times with solid people and just be grateful for the ability to be able to do this weird career. Somehow the 70-hour workweeks seem oh-so-worth it when I step back and think about the people I’ve met along the way!

As days shorten (it got dark before 5PM today here in Montana after an icy day), it’s easy to daydream about warm summer days. Long evening cruises on the SUP, dry fly fishing, flip-flops and tank tops sound mighty fine right now, but I’ll snuggle in my down coat, drink a load more coffee and keep on pressing through paperwork.

Seasons. Both in nature and in our work.

Want to follow along on new adventures and see some old gems from shoots past? Follow along on Instagram!

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On Assignment for the Montana Department of Agriculture

by Fire Girl Jess on November 11, 2017

It’s been a busy week running around the region shooting a series of assignments for the Montana Department of Agriculture. From local beef served in Livingston elementary schools to MAP Brewing in Bozeman to Montana Cross Farms in Twin Bridges, it’s been a change of pace from my normal fish-centric fare. Montana Cross was a personal favorite — felt fantastic to be back on a working farm and outside… made me miss my stall-mucking, hay-bucking childhood.

Thanks to icy roads and the fact that winter has decided to arrive full-force here in Montana, it was less fun to be driving around, but low and slow is the name of the game, and gets it done. Had a couple days of dawn patrol hunting this week as well — somehow it’s easier to get out of bed at 4:30AM, even in the snow and darkness, if there’s game to be chased. About to head down to Texas for a few weeks of work… eager for a bit of sunshine and warm temps already!

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