Anyone who knows Minnesota-based photographer Jamey Guy knows that he’s no stranger to the outdoors. He thrives in the wilderness, and he’s a pro at creating rustic, American imagery in a natural environment. Jamey’s latest personal project combines his love for the outdoors with his passion for photography, highlighting the remote Voyageurs National Park in Northern Minnesota. The park is not as well known as Yellowstone or Yosemite, mostly because it’s not easy to get to, but it’s a pretty unique place. There’s a large Bald Eagle population, and easy access to view their nests. Additionally, a few places within the park are only accessible by boat or plane. This includes the Kettle Falls Hotel (located about 15 miles away from the nearest road), where Jamey’s been working on his series for the last couple of years. For him, it’s the ideal location to camp, fish and enjoy the great outdoors with his family.
There is nothing quite like Northern Minnesota. Outrageous landscapes, friendly people and amazing locations. You feel like you are in a 1950s Brown and Bigelow calendar series. There’s an organic, Norman Rockwell, Americana feel to the area that I really enjoy shooting.
This project was an opportunity for Jamey to try new things with no concerns or restrictions, indulge his love for photography, and make some great personal work.
It may sound odd, but I think [personal work] is a great way to relax creatively. There are no outside pressures to shoot the very best image you’ve ever shot. You can slow down, not worry about what you get, and step out of your box a little. Besides thwarting the dreaded burn out, it’s fun to dance sometimes when nobody’s watching.
Despite being on vacation, Jamey’s shoot wasn’t necessarily all that easy:
There were some serious challenges in this shoot: a flat tire, dead batteries, blowing a fuse at a most unfortunate moment, then having my camera knocked into the livewell—completely submerging it!
Jamey’s father-in-law—who as a boy spent family vacations going to Voyageurs’ Lake Kabetogama—turned him onto the park, suggesting it as a little-known vacation destination.
There is a serene rustic beauty about Voyageurs Park, that feels so unique to Northern Minnesota. You can have complete silence that is rarely broken but by the occasional fishing boat rolling across the lake. It’s rare to even hear a plane passing by. Still not bastardized by putt-putt golf courses and tacky T-shirt shops. It’s just a great place to unplug and spend time with family. No TV’s, poor cell service… internet only if you really, really had to have it … it’s summed up in a sign painting on one of the old resorts that say’s “catch a few memories,” thats why we will continue to visit the park.
Jamey has plans to shoot a test up at Voyageurs later this summer/early fall to build up a couple of spots in his portfolio. Right now, he’s submitting the images to magazines as a photo essay.
As far as what he learned?
Cameras don’t float, and Nikons are very rugged cameras!
Check out more of Jamey’s work on his website, jameyguyphoto.com.