Jeff Schultzis creating a photographic and audio chronicle of Alaska’s people & places
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About Jeff Schultz
Alaska is a magical place like no other. Its light, geography, and people have captivated me for decades. I simply haven’t encountered another place that holds the extremes and adventure I see and photograph here. People tend not to understand it until they experience it for themselves. I want my work to bring you here, whether it’s for the first time, or you're Alaska born and bred.
As a photographic artist, I am constantly trying new ideas to make my photography fresh and that much more unique. In 2019, as I was approaching my 39th stint volunteering as the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race’s official photographer, I felt burnt out photographing sled dogs. I needed a new angle.
Thanks to a nudge from a couple of photo-friends, I found a new angle. I began making intimate portraits of the volunteers, mushers, spectators, and dogs involved in the race, a project I called “FACES OF IDITAROD”. I recorded the subjects answering four basic questions, and I included their voices (audio and text) on the project site with their images. (Check out the results of the project site HERE.) FACES OF IDITAROD not only ignited my creativity; it was a huge success with the subjects and the race’s fan base.
Beyond the Iditarod, I am applying the angle I found shooting FACES OF IDITAROD to everyday people and locations around the 49th state, expanding a project I call FACES OF ALASKA which you can view HERE.
The FACES OF ALASKA project goes beyond the simple social media posts. Here I share more and deeper information about the subject by posting text and audio of the subject. FACES OF ALASKA includes a section called “PLACES” which shows additional, in-depth images from Alaska locations, including the back-story to making the images.
I share a lot of images on social media all year long. But it seems the images are then “lost to the digital vapor” after they are posted. I even have a hard time finding them on my own social media pages. I’m hoping to change a good portion of that with this new site and project FACES OF ALASKA. It is becoming a repository of images and stories for the world to freely enjoy.
The way photographers and other artists make a living has evolved over time. It’s much harder to make a living creating art because of the digital age. Nearly everything is on-line and “FREE” these days.
Documenting Alaskan lives and lands is an expensive and extremely time-consuming privilege. Alaska is ⅕ the size of the lower 48 states, and accessing the remote communities and geographies I’m interested in often requires extensive travel time and cost. My Patreon helps me get to those places and share my images for free with the world on social media and the new Faces of Alaska & Faces of Iditarod websites.
I’ve created this Patreon page as a response to wonderful friends and viewers who have asked how they can support my work. I would love to welcome you as a patron.
All the best & sincerely,