One Helluva Year!

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The past year has been a wild ride, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We produced more photography, in more locations and for a wider variety of clientele than ever before. From the depths of Zion canyons, to remote mountains of New Zealand and Alaska’s Arctic Coastline. It looks like 2015 is going to continue on that theme (we’re putting this post together in between assignments in Japan). Here are a few highlights from the past year. Ok, there’s a lot. We tried to narrow it down; honest.

Cheers | Matt & Agnes Hage

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We started off last year with something out of the ordinary for us: a winter lifestyle shoot for the apparel brand Smartwool based around an epic snow bike adventure. For a week, our crew of seven rode from cabin to cabin across a little know mountain range in Alaska’s Arctic. The shenanigans and good times lasted all the way until the wee hours of the final night. Even at twenty below.

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In the spring we traveled ‘down under’ for an assignment with Backpacker Magazine. Editor Rachel Zurer had queried Kiwis in the know on the most outstanding hut in all of New Zealand. The answer turned into one of the most audacious ‘backpacking’ shoots of our lives and certainly a trip we’ll never forget.

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At home in Alaska, we took advantage of short windows of choice conditions during a particularly fickle ski season to produce backcountry work for the Japanese outdoor brand MontBell. We were forced to explore some new options, as most of our tried and true locations remained in horrendous shape. This turned out to be a good thing.

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Mountain biking continued to be a theme and we wrapped up the spring with a multi-day bike-packing shoot for Therm-a-Rest along the famed Kokopelli Trail. The 142-mile ride spans the astonishing landscape between the desert communities of Fruita and Moab.

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Summer took off with a dozen back-to-back assignments in the Western United States. We went from having never been to Zion National Park to shooting three commercial jobs around that park. Our favorite has to be the three-day canyon trek through The Barracks we shot for Outdoor Research. Every bend on this ‘wet hike’ is absolutely jaw dropping.

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In the height of summer, we traveled down to Smartwool’s home base in Steamboat Springs for a really fun commercial shoot. The theme for the active lifestyle campaign was bringing the workout to the mountains. Which is pretty easy to do in the heart of Colorado.

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After a weekend of hard work in the mountains above town, the crew took it on down to Steamboat for a wrap up party and casual lifestyle shoot. It felt more like documenting a good time with friends than a photoshoot.

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Another National Park that has long been on our hit list has been Great Basin. We were excited to finally match up these rugged, high desert mountains with an advertising shoot for Gregory Packs this summer. Awesome alpine camping, perfect trails and spectacular light!

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The Ruby Mountains are a small unassuming range tucked up in the Northeast corner of Nevada. You could drive through this area your whole life and never think twice about these mountains. You’d be missing out on an abundance of beautiful alpine lakes and a trail that follows their rugged crest. It was the perfect venue for our ultralight backpacking shoot for Snow Peak this summer.

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We got to collaborate with an amazing friend this year to produce some work for her Lululemon ambassadorship. Tonia and her husband Justin are two of the most fun-loving people we know. So of course what was planned as a few hour photoshoot turned into one helluva night.

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Earlier in the year, we sat down with the creative team at Black Diamond to talk about an upcoming shoot for their catalog. They asked us to pick a rugged, remote mountain traverse that we’ve always wanted to do. Our answer was a week-long cross-country trek across Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains.

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Come fall we had moved our base ops into the Sierra Nevada for the autumn alpine season. CAMP athlete Nate Smith and Sarah Morris met up with us a quick climbing shoot for that brand. Working on that project with Nate at various locations over the fall, we’ve accepted that whatever we do together will involve topping out by headlamp.

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We wrapped up the year with an early winter shoot in the communities along Alaska’s northern coastline. For a week we traveled as part of a lightweight production team to the Iñupiat villages on the Arctic Ocean and Chukchi Sea. The photography and video project was a campaign for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, one of the largest Native corporations in the Alaska.

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Lastly, we’re pretty stoked with the latest addition to the HagePhoto mobile ops. After shopping around all summer, we finally found a travel trailer that fit us perfectly. Check out our new Airstream International. After a few years of consistently being on the road in the Western United States 100 days or more, we were very ready to find a little home away from home.

And of course you can follow our latest travels and adventures on Facebook and Instagram