Photography by Garrett King, Words by Garrett King and Lauren Hyde @laurenrenehyde
Garrett is the talented photographer and videographer behind the lens over at @shortstache. His work constantly bends the traditional rules and pushes the boundaries of the craft, and his “let’s try something new” attitude has created new trends on social media, challenging us to keep up. More than that, he’s the type of guy who couldn’t be happier to wander through the forests of the Pacific Northwest with his dog, Mella (@mellathepup), and chat to whoever may join him along the way about what he loves most: adventure.
Garrett’s passion for exploring the unknown and reinterpreting the well-known through his own unique lens has led him to move from Texas to Colorado to Washington in recent years, establishing real relationships with fellow creatives across the country and beyond, and contributing to a more authentic community on social media. We managed to catch up with Garrett in between trips abroad, quality time with Mella, and building furniture for his new home in Mill Creek, WA to talk with him about community, creativity, and Canadian winters.
Winter: for me, it’s a season to recharge and reflect on my creative process. The colder, darker, shorter days are a marked departure from the warmer months, when being outside for hours on end and exploring the back country is not only effortless, but the definition of a dream job. Getting out to shoot in the winter is a mental and physical challenge. Temperatures are frigid. The weather is unpredictable: storms can blow in with no notice and throw your whole day off-balance. The light is weak and fleeting, if there is any at all. Equipment shuts down unexpectedly, and your fingers are so frozen they can barely function well enough to press down on the shutter release. Sure, there’s something to be said for the beauty of the sparkling snow, the sunlight glinting off faraway mountain peaks, and the promise of a warm fire to sit in front of at the end of a day out adventuring. But you have to really push yourself to get outside in the first place when your alarm goes off and it’s pitch-black outside your window, the air in your bedroom is so chilly that you can hardly bring yourself to get out from under the covers, and the unpredictability of the weather forecast means there’s no guarantee that a day’s work will yield any tangible results.
So I try to find new ways to stay motivated during this part of the year, to adjust to the circumstances at hand and grow as an artist. This is the time that truly defines who I am as a creative. The time that I use to challenge my skillset, practice different shooting and editing techniques, be adaptive, and respond to different or unexpected situations and opportunities.
Last year, I travelled up to Alberta in the dead of winter. It was my first-ever trip to Canada, and it was a new experience, to say the least. It was insanely cold, it was dark all the time, and all the sights I wanted to see were hours and hours apart from each other, so most of the week was spent on the frozen road. Luckily, I had fantastic company in Scott and Davey (@scottcbakken, @davey_gravy). Having never met in person, the three of us instantly connected over shared passions and had a blast exploring their backyard. Social media has fostered a creative community that is truly a blessing. Thanks to platforms like Instagram, I’ve been able to meet and become friends with people from all over the world. Now that I travel more often than I find myself at home, I feel so fortunate to have the ability to reach out to the online community and meaningfully connect with anyone, anywhere, any time. What a beautiful thing that is. And the beauty of the Alberta Rockies, well, that speaks for itself.