Jason Hummel Alpine state of mind

Every year I spend more time in a tent than in my own bed. Everywhere I go my camera is a constant companion. With it attached to my chest harness, I often joke that if I could get pregnant, I’d be well prepared for carrying the extra weight. But the truth is, I never get used to the extra weight.

When I’m out for a week or more, I’m carrying everything that I need on my back. That includes crampons, ropes and axes, tents, sleeping bags and food. Then you add the ski gear. Our backpacks can get real heavy, real fast. I’ve carried well over 80 pounds on big trips.

The challenge with photography when you have so much weight is to keep motivated. The best images often come when the group is the most tired and scared, especially when ski or splitboard mountaineering. As photographers, we need to prepare ourselves for taking images when we really don’t want to do anything but take care of ourselves. Even with the inherent difficulties, I love the fact that I get to take imagery of people doing activities that they love and are passionate about. When I join them on those adventures, my imagery allows me to be a storyteller. There isn’t any greater pleasure in my life than doing that.