I always look forward to seeing new SmugMug Films. They always feature such fascinating photographers with amazing work. This time around, it’s mountain sports and lifestyle photographer Blake Jorgenson. Often found waist deep in snow waiting for the right combination of light and action to capture the perfect shot. The Cold Open sees Blake talk about his work and passion for photography and adventure.
As we have come to expect from SmugMug Films, the cinematography is rather impressive. We see Blake go through the motions of a typical photo shoot, with a bag and strobe strapped to his back as he snowmobiles across the cold white desert.
It’s a tough job for which one really has to be passionate about in order to participate. As much as I’d love to do it and as much fun as it looks, I know I wouldn’t be able to do it. I just don’t have the energy to keep up any more. But Blake obviously does, and the results he gets make it well worth dealing with all the cold and wet and wind. At least for him.
When Blake was 16, his mother took him on vacation from Toronto to Whistler. He immediately fell in love, and at 18 went back to move there permanently. He was surrounded by everything that he loved. Mountains, adventure, and a community that loved it just as much as he did. He started out returning skis to a ski shop in the evening and shooting pictures during the day.
This was a time before cell phones, and before the Internet. He got to meet a lot of people and learn very quickly. He submitted to some work and started getting published within a couple of years. At the age of 25 he was shooting full time.
He’s still there in Whistler, and when the snow comes, he’s the last person you’ll see huddled around a nice warm fire. He’ll be off in the middle of nowhere in the snow photographing skiers and snowboarders.
He doesn’t see his work as “my photographs”. As far as he’s concerned they’re “our photographs”, a team effort for all involved. It’s a shared vision, and if any of them were not there, the image could not be created. The idea for that image wouldn’t even be there.
The location and the work seem to form a symbiotic relationship.
Adventure has a lot to do with your personality and whether you like to be in control or […] not be in control and have things left up to chance.
And that unknown, and that kind of desire to percevere in that unknown is ultimately what creates really great photographs. And really great experiences that makes it super addicting.
That allows me to keep going in my photography. The lifestyle pushes the photography, and vice versa.
You can find out more about Blake on his website and more about the film over on SmugMug as well as another recent interview with Blake. It’s well worth a watch if you’re into this kind of photography or even if you just want to look at the beautiful snowy scenery.