Hey! Will Day here. I’m an adventure photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska, and I’m stoked to be interning with HagePhoto this spring. Over the past two years, photography has become an increasingly prominent passion in my life, and as I am finishing a degree in Outdoor Studies at Alaska Pacific University, it’s clear to me that the place where photography intertwines with the outdoors is where I will begin my career.
Two years ago, I was one of six students trekking across the Talkeetna Mountain Range under the educational eyes of three excellent backcountry-savvy instructors. It was a trip of firsts… the first time I’d spent three weeks away from the mind-numbing buzz of civilization, my first time in the Alaskan wilderness, and the first time I’d handled more than a point and shoot camera.
Keith, my girlfriend – Penny’s – father, was an avid photographer, who spent a great deal of time capturing the greater Cincinnati area. When he passed away several years ago, he left his cameras and much of his photo gear to her.
I’ve been fascinated with the craft of capturing light since a good friend walked me through our high school’s dark room. Yet, like so many other wonderful hobbies, the initial monetary shell out associated with serious photography kept me from ever really dipping more than my toes into the photo world. So, when Penny offered to graciously lend me one of her father’s cameras for the Talkeetna trip, I leapt (delicately of course – given the deeply sentimental value attached to the device) at the chance.
Since the trek that fall, I’ve had a camera with me every time I’ve ventured beyond Anchorage city limits – over glaciers in the Chugach Mountains; up the granitic crags of Squamish, B.C.; and even along the Outer Exuma Cays (Bahamian for “islands”). For who knows what reason, I’m always finding excuses to pack the darn thing when I travel… “Oh, we’re skiing in Girdwood today? Better bring the camera… trail running in Colorado? Guess I’ll be running with this awkwardly heavy camera bouncing against my chest… brilliant.” Yea, sometimes it’s an inconvenient and self-deprecating addiction, but inevitably it’s almost always worth the hassle.
Last fall, one of my instructors at APU suggested I contact Matt and Agnes regarding a semester-long adventure photography internship. Now, after discussing the idea with Matt and preparing to shadow the Hages, I am about to plunge headlong into the world of self-employed adventure photography. Over the next few months, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how self-marketing, networking, editing and actually taking photos combine to successfully make a living with a camera.
Follow along on my adventures and travels with HagePhoto this spring at:
And stay tuned for a website in the works
A few more photos