Cascade Flight-14.jpg

Above All

above all

A new vantage in the continuous pursuit of perspective.

In today’s social media crazed society, there are a lot of misconceptions about the every day life of photographers. In the age of viral influencers, many friends have asked how often I fly around cities in helicopters because, well, “that’s what Instagram photographers do.”

Allow me to clear a few things up here:

1) I’ve never flown in a helicopter.
2) I vehemently avoid cities.
3) I’m a photographer; I use Instagram (as well as several other forms of social media)—I’m not an “Instagram photographer.”

What the hell does that last part even mean? …Forget about it, that’s a conversation for another day.

Cascade Flight-9.jpg

In Pursuit of Perspective

Climbing mountains involves you in a micro aspect; flying over them unlocks the macro perspective.

It may surprise some of you to know I don’t own a drone (another common assumption). In fact, I’ve never even flown one. Living in my truck, flying is a rare form of transportation typically reserved for my once-a-year red-eye flight home to Vermont. But following a family event on a sunrise commercial flight from St. George to LAX, the shadows of the desert caught my eye—through a hazy window, I started clicking the shutter; an hour and a half later above Los Angeles, I hadn’t put my camera down.

Cascade Flight-78.jpg

above the clouds

I suddenly understood the recent surge in aerial photography. For ninety minutes, I was on autopilot—creativity and adrenaline took the wheel and the world of photography felt as creatively vast and boundless as it had when I first began. In the pursuit of perspective, I had unlocked a whole new dimension to explore.

Trouble was, I rarely flew. Commercial flights were rare and chartered sight-seeing flights were financially out of the question.

I was brimming with newfound creative motivation, but had a lurking suspicion this was a one hit wonder.

However, photography—as with most careers—is not always about what you know, but who you know. En route to a project in Northern British Columbia (see: North of Nowhere), I made a stop in Seattle. A friend had recently earned his private pilot’s license and was itching to get in the air. I was more than willing to take a couple shots of him for the opportunity to ride shotgun. We knew our itinerary would be governed by the fickle weather of the Pacific Northwest, but if I knew one thing about Cameron, his passion for mountains meant we would take any window we could to fly over the high peaks of the Cascades.

Turns out, we got our window. And we went big.

Cascade Flight-4.jpg

Sea to Sky

A final loop over the San Juan’s before heading back to Seattle.