When we first came across Jamieson Caskenette's photography, we asked ourselves: "is there anywhere in Alberta this guy hasn't seen?!?"
He travels far and wide, often leaving the beaten path or trail to capture some of the most majestic vistas, be they prairie or alpine.
A professional chef by trade, Caskenette told us he's never one to follow trends, and his photography reflects that. Instead, he lets the scenery speak for itself and presents a literal picture of this amazing province in its true and natural form.
Jamieson was kind enough to answer some questions for us and share a few of his photos:
Q: Where did you grow up and where do you currently live?
A: I grew up in Hamilton, Ont. I came to Banff in May of 2000 on a summer work contract, and like many Banffites, have called it home ever since. Banff is truly a fantastic place to live and I can’t imagine a better place to raise a family!
Q: How long have you been shooting photos?
A: I bought my first DSLR in 2008 for a trip to Africa and foolishly assumed I would be a great photographer because of the camera. I subsequently traded the camera for a set of golf clubs! Fast forward to 2013, my lovely wife Christi bought me a DSLR for my birthday and I have been “all in” with photography ever since.
Q: Where is your favourite place to shoot photos and what are your favourite type of photos to take?
A: I really enjoy shooting in the mountains, particularly the alpine. The landscape changes dramatically from season to season. I try to get off the main trails so I can get a unique perspective that many people may never get the chance to see. Landscape photography is my first love, however, I am really enjoying shooting environmental portraits lately.
Check out more of Jamieson's work. Interview continues below:
Q: Do you shoot photos professionally, or just for fun?
A: If you mean, do I earn part of my income taking photographs.. yes I do. I have shot for a couple backcountry lodges and several construction projects and have really enjoyed the process of building relationships with my clients. It’s definitely not a direction I thought I would go but I’m excited to see what the future holds for me as a photographer.
Q: What about Alberta inspires you?
A: The fact that Alberta has all four seasons. The same place can look incredibly different throughout the year. This allows for so many variations and compositions of the landscape, even if it’s a location I have photographed several times previously. Alberta is also home to some really dramatic weather. All in all, a photographer has plenty to work with here.
Q: What’s the most unusual, remarkable thing you’ve ever had happen while taking photos?
A: This isn’t necessarily unusual but is a remarkably lucky story. I was shooting an old grain elevator near Chauvin, Alberta at sunset and heard a train coming in the distance. This was the shot I had envisioned and in a rush, swapped lenses. As I switched the lens, I put the other one on the back bumper of the truck I was driving. Following the excitementt, I packed up and drove back to the hotel I was staying at an hour away. Once I was home, I gathered my gear out of the truck and realized I had left my lens on the bumper! Having to work in four hours, I rolled the dice and decided to try my luck in the morning that the lens would still be where I had left it. Thankfully it was on the side of the road, exactly where I thought it would be.
Q: Have you ever found yourself in a scary situation while shooting?
A: Last September, I spent four days at Purcell Mountain Lodge in B.C. I was out hiking and photographing one afternoon and on returning to the lodge I nearly walked into the resident Grizzly Bear Bella and her two cubs. I couldn’t have been more than 20 yards from the bears and had I not stopped for a drink on the trail ten minutes earlier, I would have probably tripped over them! It was an incredible experience that definitely elevated my heart rate.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not taking photos?
A: For me, a day isn’t complete without spending quality time with my amazing wife Christi and goofy little six month old daughter Ivie. I also love spending time outdoors whether it be cycling, hiking or skiing.
Q: Is there anything else we should know?
A: I have worked as a professional chef for the past 17 years. I try to use the same principles of creativity in cooking in how I approach photography. I tend to stay away from the flavour of the day (anything trendy) and keep things as natural and simple as I can. I think nature speaks for itself, and like food, in my experience it’s always better to let the “ingredients” do the talking. All of the photographers I look up to have a timeless quality inherent to their work, and my hope is, my photographs will also stand the test of time.
Follow more of Jamieson's work here:
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