We’re truly fortunate to live this life. Sure, it’s a lot of work to run your own production business. But when we look back at what we’ve accomplished last year and where we’ve been, it’s hard to hold a grudge against all those 16 hour days and endless stream of airports. It was tough to pinpoint our favorites of 2015. Well, except for one particular bit of news (spoiler alert!). The year was absolutely chock full of the adventures, opportunities and challenges that make doing what we do so satisfying. It wasn’t easy to cull down the list, but here’s what we decided were our absolutely faves.
Wishing you the best in the New Year!
Matt & Agnes Hage
Last year began with us dodging the dismal winter that plagued the American West by traveling overseas to produce our ski and winter lifestyle work. We returned to Japan to shoot projects for Black Diamond and Cascade Designs. Immediately afterward we were invited to India and Kashmir for an editorial project.
Our home state of Alaska continues to be our favorite place to be in winter. With the ‘turn’ skiing in shambles, we focused more on touring. To produce our winter work for Montbell, we embarked on a week-long ski traverse in Denali National Park.
One of our favorite aspects of this business are the connections you make. We’ve been fortunate to have the continued support of our sponsors: Ninkasi Brewing, Adventure Appetites, GoalZero and Backpacker’s Pantry. And this summer we got to welcome Orion Coolers and Big Truck to the HageLife party.
The more we explore the Southwest, the more amazing places make it onto our ‘must do’ list. The Maze district in Canyonlands National Park has been one of those places. We got the chance to dive into the labyrinth of canyons on a shoot for Therm-a-Rest last spring. Thanks to Supai Adventure Gear for the ultralight packrafts. They’re the perfect tool for crossing the Colorado River.
Alaska’s Prince William Sound provided the backdrop for a couple of our commercial shoots this summer (Patagonia, Polartec, Therm-a-Rest, Stio) as well as a 10-day kayaking adventure from Whittier to Valdez. An extended period of high pressure and hot temps allowed our crew to swim nearly every day on that traverse. Unheard of in PWS.
Repeat customers are the key to any successful business and we’re stoked that we continue to shoot for many of our clients year after year. Gregory Mountain Products brought us in again last summer to shoot a four-part campaign that showcased their new pack line in everything from mountain biking to a family backpacking trip.
We also continued to produce fresh work for Black Diamond last summer. A week of peak-bagging in the Palisade Basin of the Sierra Nevada was a favorite. Back in Alaska, we embarked on a hut to hut traverse across the rugged Talkeetna Mountains for Mountain Hardwear. And actually went looking for the cold and wet to shoot new rainwear for Patagonia.
This fall also marked a year since we added an Airstream travel trailer to our mobile ops. With a full kitchen, fridge, hot shower and wifi, it makes working on the road feel more like home. Wrapping up a shoot and then setting up shop in some spectacular location for the post production work definitely a favorite.
But even with all the travel to magnificent places and the continued success of our business, the news we got late last fall is our favorite aspect of 2015. Starting our own family is sure to be the grandest adventure of all time. Think we’re going to need a bigger Airstream…