We had so much fun in Belize teaching an On-the-Water Photography Workshop for Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, that we’ve decided to add more dates for 2017. I’ll be teaching in Belize and in Idaho, but we’ve also added a Cuba workshop in October.

BELIZE
Ambergris Caye – Out-Island Workshop
June 2017

IDAHO / U.S. WEST
August 2017

CUBA
October 2017

We’ll cover topics including:

• Creative composition for outdoor photographers
• Effectively using circular polarizers and ND filters
• Underwater photography: equipment and techniques
• Night photography: stars and light painting
• Proper fish handling techniques and shooting great “hero” shots
• Packing and travel advice for outdoor photographers
• Recommended “kit” and equipment lists for fishing photographers
• Sunrise and sunset shooting techniques
• Travel photography: Food, fishing, people, places and things
• File handling: downloading, labeling, editing and organizing
• Social media techniques for the independent outdoor photographer
• Nighttime photo walks
• Daily (evening) photo critique for all participants

Who Should Attend:
Everyone! Whether you just purchased your first camera and are wondering what all those buttons are for, or you’re a seasoned amateur to intermediate photographer wanting to make the most of your fishing and travel photography, this workshop will advance your skill level and improve your photos in the field. With several working professional photographers instructing, we’re able (and happy) to teach and accommodate photographers of any skill level. The diversity of instruction and a curriculum designed specifically for outdoor, travel and fishing photography, this workshop will help you to “up your game” and make the most of your future fishing trips.

Have questions on photography gear? Wondering how to juggle fishing gear and camera equipment in the boat? Do your fishing photos always lack that something special? Want to learn how to best showcase the unique species you’re going to chase in 2017?

This is an awesome chance to get some in-the-field experience with professional, working photographers. Come join us on the water, and level up both your photography and your fishing skills! Email me or call for more information!

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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!

 

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Havana Streets in Martha Stewart Weddings

by Fire Girl Jess on December 12, 2016

It was a chilly, rainy day in Havana this past January when, during an afternoon layover in between fly-fishing destinations while shooting for Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures, I wandered across this small courtyard and lovely statue. The rain kept the streets largely empty, and I swear the fresh drizzle perked up the vivid colors of the buildings even more.

Whenever I’m traveling for assignment, I always try to find time to explore the local area… even though most days I’m on some form of water. Some day I’d like to go back and spend more than a few hours wandering Havana’s streets, but this little taste before flying out to the next fishing destination had me hooked.

Happy to see this image appear as a full page in Martha Stewart Weddings, and also on the company’s website.

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Moscow Foto Awards Show in Crimea

by Fire Girl Jess on December 8, 2016

I was thrilled in June to learn I was a winner for the Moscow International Foto Awards with a Montana High School Rodeo photography essay I shot here in Bozeman several years ago. We had torrential spring rain the night before the first go-round, creating a veritable “mud soup” in the arena, but the Montana men and women took it in stride and got it done.

To date, this is one of my favorite rodeos I’ve photographed, and this summer it was fun to return to the same arena to shoot the Bozeman Stampede PRCA Rodeo.

I just found out the images will be displayed at a gallery show in the Franco Crimean Republican Scientific Library in Simferopol, Crimea, 13th December 2016 – 10th January 2017. It’s always thrilling to have images showcase in a new country, especially these so close to my heart as these! Thanks to the Moscow International Foto Awards team, and everyone who has made this show possible.

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The Art of Happiness in Mountain Outlaw

by Fire Girl Jess on December 2, 2016

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Mountain Outlaw just dropped their winter issue, and I was thrilled to see this image of Tea Rai leading off a feature on “The Art of Happiness.”
 

While exploring Anaa Atoll with Costa Sunglasses and The IndiFly Foundation, we took a day away from the fish and learned the sport of “patia fa” from the locals — throwing specially-built spears at a coconut suspended high on a pole. It was an afternoon of laughter, relaxation, and wholly new experiences. I can’t thank the people of Anaa enough for welcoming our motley little group with open arms!

Read the full winter issue of Mountain Outlaw here.

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The best part about travel is the people you meet and the places you see. Fishing is an excuse to travel, and the sport in of itself generates some truly fantastic storytelling opportunities. I’ve been lucky enough to explore a bit of the South Pacific over the past few years, and when Bjorn over at “Bonefish on the Brain” asked if I would mind doing an interview on the subject, I was more than happy to oblige. (And had some convenient airplane time in which to sit and answer questions!)

Here’s a snippet:

Bjorn: You shoot some mean photos. I’m wondering what sort of considerations you take when you head somewhere so remote in order to not have the whole trip go sideways on you.

Jess: Something always goes sideways; that’s a given. On this trip, I ended up in the little atoll clinic (luckily the rotating, listing French nurse was there at the time) with toe and foot infections from coral cuts. I ended up losing both toenails and by the end of the trip I could barely fit my feet into my flip-flops for the flight home. Part of the game, and there’s no question in my mind the images were worth it.

In planning any shoot, I sit down with the client beforehand and develop a shot list so I know what their “must have” shots are. This list can be as short as a half a page and as long as ten. If logistics allow, I sit down every evening with clients while on location to review shots and ensure they like what they are seeing. Typically we do it the first day or two, then they know they’re comfortable with what we’re shooting and it’s less of a worry. It’s always a good sign when the client starts to bring beer to the photo review.

I’m lucky to travel frequently enough to have developed a “gear list” with items I know I’ll need. It varies location by location and job by job, of course, but the basics stay the same. I take meticulous care of cameras on location — in saltwater locations they get swiped down with a damp cloth then dried each night, lenses and filters carefully cleaned, batteries charged, and memory cards backed up three times then cleared. If I don’t have time to do all that and sleep, then I don’t get sleep. It’s pretty simple.

You can read the full interview here. Thanks again to Bjorn for the opportunity!

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Report: YD Belize On-the-Water Photo School Week

by Fire Girl Jess on October 30, 2016

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Just back from a fantastic week teaching at the Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures first-ever On-the-Water Photography Workshop in Belize. We had a fantastic group along, and stayed busy with fishing, catamaran rides, snorkeling, exploring local towns, classroom sessions (complete with ceviche and Belikins) and evening reviews.

I’m already on another job (down in Jackson, WY for a few days) and will write up a more complete report later, but for now here are a few images from the trip. We’re looking at making this a series of workshops — stay tuned for information on future dates / locations!

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