I moved north in 1978, fell into a life of commercial fishing, trapping, dog mushing and cut a lot of firewood to feed the woodstove in my white wall canvas tent. My wife, Cheryl, was a lifelong Alaskan, and we met in 1980 when she hired me to fish in her new venture,a salmon fishing operation on a remote Aleutian island. We lived in a wall tent, fished in an open skiff, and I came to recognize a companion that I wanted for the rest of my life.
We were a couple by the time we hit the mainland in autumn, and after a winter of mushing dogs and running traplines in the Brooks Range, we married. Even before we met, Cheryl packed a manual Olympus, a couple of lenses and Kodachrome. In the late 1980s we lugged a VHS-C video camera with us and captured footage of resident foxes, whales, bears, wolves, caribou–the ever-changing sea and the storms.
The years have rolled on since our first days together on that windswept beach, but our mutual quest to collect strong imagery, dig hard for the right words and churn out compelling stories has never waned. We spend our best days afoot with our cameras, playing in the light of Alaska’s drama. Our evenings are warmed by fire and wine, and we review, edit and color our shots. With each new dawn comes the unfolding of an unwritten scene, in a story of our making, as we live together in our words and our imagery.