This week we’re hearing from Jovell Rennie. Rennie is an Anchorage based photographer who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, but was raised in Alaska. Despite growing up in Anchorage, he never spent much time in the outdoors, until his passion for photography inspired him to start exploring what the state has to offer.
RENNIE: Shooting film exclusively for a while, the whole process is slower. It’s more conscious decisions as to what I want to photograph versus spray and pray that I get something. People want to just churn stuff out. Quick, quick, quick. That I don’t love that.
There’s no specific thing… I can’t really identify in some work what is is that I like to photograph. I just have a feeling. And if I like it then, I shoot it. I’d rather take the shot and the figure out how much I like it later than walk away and be nagging myself like, “Dang! I should’ve just taken it anyway.”
Even now, I have a really hard time making a business out of it because it feels weird getting paid to do what you love in a sense. You almost feel guilty. So the community stuff, that’s one of my overall goals. To go beyond just social interaction online and really kinda rally people together around a shared interest or a common passion. Because life’s no fun when you just live it behind a screen. You gotta go that step further. Social media is about cultivating true friendships and really taking that outside, you know.
We went to McHugh Creek, and in the winter they close off the gate, so we parked at the bottom of the hill and we walk up the hill. It was really icy so I’m holding on to the railing and it took us, anybody who’s been to McHugh Creek knows that it takes you 2-3 minutes to walk up that hill. It took us probably 22 minutes to get up that hill with how icy it was, and when I got to the top, I tried to take a photo. I slipped and I slid on the ice all the way back down to the beginning of the parking lot. It sucks but you’ve just gotta get back up and keep climbing up the hill. And that’s what makes me think of Alaska is icy roads roads that just put you on your butt, but you just gotta decide if you wanna live with it and keep climbing or stay at the bottom of the hill.