I had the opportunity to live in the West Kootenays for two years and it was eye opening for me in comparison to the dull city live in Calgary, Alberta. This is where a lot of my photography got it’s roots. In the process I stubmled upon so many talented photographers out in BC and Blake Jorgeson is one of them. I’ve been following Blake’s work for awhile now and couldn’t resist doing a featured article with him. Since I left BC back home to Alberta, his feed has been a breathe of fresh air. I cannot wait to get back out there. Let’s get to know Blake!
Blake! Welcome to Featured Pixels. Let’s start with the obvious question; Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a professional mountain sport and lifestyle photographer living in Whistler British Columbia. I moved there when I was 18 from Hamilton/toronto area and have never looked back. I am now 37.
I did not do any formal photography education. I really just wanted to be a ski bum and had no intention of going to school. I guess you could say I have a degree in that which may be way more important for what I do. I have since taken quite a few technical and professional development courses that have helped quite a bit.
I have been shooting full time professionally since I was 23. I guess thats 14 years now! I was into art and painting in high school and then when I moved out to Whistler I switched to photography. I had nowhere to paint and wanted to document all the amazing things I was doing with my friends. I guess you could say I have been into sports and landscape since the very beginning.
So what got you into photography? How would you classify your style?
I don’t know how I got started in photography. I guess I just started one day in high school.
I always say my style is very environmentally oriented. Even though I am shooting athletes the location is always the star. THe athlete brings alive these locations and the relationship between the two and what its like to be there I think is what I am always looking for.
The obvious question that everyone wants to know is; What gear do you deploy?
I use all nikon gear for 35mm. D4, D3s, and D3. I also have a hasselbald and have been know to use a linhoff 617 for panaramics.
I always say my most important piece of photography equipment is my brain. It really does make the biggest difference.
I would say my favourite lens is my 300 2.8 I use all pro foto lighting equipment. 7b with 2 heads and and acute 600.
What is your choice of weapon for post-processing?
I use lightroom mostly, on my Mac. I have been getting on Nikons software with control points lately as well. I am not very computer savvy.
I really only use photoshop to work on images that I will print myself. I would like to get a really good smaller camera like a leica m8 at some point.
Can you tell us a bit about what inspires you and what your favorite project to work on was?
Nothing really inspires me more than getting out there and taking photos. I come up with new ideas simply by being out there. Seeing something that maybe you don’t get that day but remember it for the future. I am always looking to shoot something in a way that I have not shot it before in a way that will intrigue the viewer. Everything changes from year to year and there is always new looks, perspectives, and people to work with that help progress the look of the photos. I am also always impressed by other peoples photos and always wish I could take photos like everybody else. Funny how I you can really only take yours.
I don’t know there have been so many! I really liked working on the Olympics and the Stanley Cup Finals. I mostly like doing a heli ski shoot with a good crew like right now. I can never seem to get enough of it and I think most of my images that I am know for are those ones.
If there was one photographer you would be stoked to have your portrait taken by, who would it be?
I think Helmet Newton
When out in the field do you have any assistants or second shooters?
I use an assistant pretty regularly. People forget that a huge part of the job is getting around in the backcountry and dealing with harsh weather and temperatures. It usually takes two people to carry and set the equipment and they both need to be able to get around. I post info and photos of all the trips and jobs I do. As well as some updates during trips. Its always good in this industry to let everybody where you are and who you are working with at that moment.
What are your current thoughts on the photography industry?
The most challenging part about being an artist is turning what you want to do into a business. Your success and longevity directly relates to weather you can figure this out. All the other things you need to know just come naturally by doing it year after year. The industry seems to be changing more than ever. Frr advertising photography I think it has the most to do with how photos are displayed in print and the ever changing internet. I think video is changing and pushing photography quite a bit.
Do you belong to any photography groups or organizations?
I belong to the AMP and PPOC
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I hope I’m doing exactly the same thing. More adventures and more amazing photos.
If I had one wish I could really use some work on my body! This job is not getting any easier and I am not getting any younger!
Find more of Blake Jorgenson’s work at the following outlets: