Those who live in mountainous places can attest to the unique feel of these colder climates. As the summer ebbs, the fog begins to cover the lakes and the mountains don their snowy caps once more. Sun-Valley-based photographer Hillary Maybery, is familiar with the untouched beauty of these idyllic landscapes and has dedicated her life to photographing and living an active outdoor lifestyle. In a recent assignment for outerwear brand Ariat, she captures an array of activities that encapsulate the feel of Fall in the mountains of Idaho.
Initially, Hillary didn’t take a direct route toward photography and instead pursued a professional snowboarding career for over ten years. Her love of wild places eventually directed her back to her artistic pursuits, and she now spends all her time documenting the joy of experiencing nature.
Making my home in Sun Valley, Idaho I’ve become very passionate about documenting the outdoor lifestyle and taking photographs of people when they’re at their personal peaks!
Hillary has worked for Ariat prior to this assignment and feels her photographic style compliments the brand’s authentic outdoor identity. She knew the client needed the images both for their own website along with providing their retail outlets, Bass Pro Shop and Cabelas, with promotional content for their new seasonal line. After speaking with the creative team, she produced a checklist that would provide Ariat with striking images that showed the apparel in use.
The goal was to capture the essence of outdoor lifestyle with movement and action in the country while highlighting the durability, quality and comfort of Ariat’s apparel.
While the images were intended for Ariat’s Fall release, Hillary needed to shoot the assignment a few months prior to give the client’s marketing team time to process the photos. This meant that their cold-weather shoot occurred in the hot summer months, making it difficult for the talent and team to create the feel they needed. She worked with producer, Jennifer Diehl, to find creative solutions that would mimic the colder settings.
Jennifer and I scouted location spots that had a Fall look to it. Not easy in the middle of June when everything is so green and hot!
To combat some of the heat, Hillary and the team began shooting at dawn to capture the crisp-blue skies and golden sunrise as it stretched across the mountains. While the summer months do warm up by midday, the cold hasn’t quite lifted in the morning, which luckily created a foggy effect that benefited the tone of her images.
My favorite part with every shoot -waking up in the dark around 4am to get to location, set up and watching the sunrise – prettiest time of the day for a photoshoot!
Hillary’s knowledge of the area helped her and the team source locations that fit the context of the shoot. The project occurred over two days of shooting, taking the team to six separate locations along the Idaho mountains. They journeyed from lakes to valleys and horse-filled pastures, finding an array of autumnal activities that highlight the versatility of the apparel.
We came away with quite a few different looks and most importantly, got through the full lineup of products we were hoping to shoot.
Because Hillary was working under a tight deadline to capture the images, she relied on the creative team Ariat pulled together for the project to help the production run smoothly. Working out of a big RV, the team came equipped with all the necessary equipment and props that make for an efficient and productive shoot.
It went very smoothly – we had a huge team that were the best of the best!
While Hillary’s body of work focuses on active, outdoor lifestyle imagery, this project differed in that she worked with professional talent instead of documenting real-life subjects. She appreciated their expertise and worked with them to bring her authentic style to a commercial setting
A lot of my work is with real people, so this shoot was a change of pace! The talent knew how to keep moving, posing, what to do with their hands, and how to give a great face for the camera.
Hillary credits the success of the project as a result of the collaboration of all involved. She thrives in an environment where each individual works together to produce a shared vision and revels in the real moments that happen along the way.
We had lots of funny sarcastic conversations that helped the long days pass with ease. I was grateful to be surrounded by hard-working professionals with good input, who wanted to achieve the best results!