Artist Spotlight—Jason Loftus

This week we step into the captivating realm of the wild with Jason Loftus, a seasoned wildlife photographer whose lens captures the untamed beauty of nature in its purest form. As a co-host of the upcoming podcast "Beyond the Wild," Jason shares his expertise, passion, and firsthand experiences, inviting listeners on a journey that transcends the boundaries of conventional wildlife exploration. Delving into Jason's photography journey, we posed a series of questions to gain insight into his experiences and perspectives. 

What inspired you to become a wildlife photographer?

I have always been very active in outdoor activities, from camping, hiking, fishing, riding and hunting. It's hard to spend that much time outdoors experiencing such incredible things without wanting to share those things with others. That started the obsession which quickly turned into a passionate addiction, haha. I got my first taste of wildlife photography here in Utah on Antelope Island and I knew from that moment on, Wildlife would be my focus. I do enjoy photography of all kinds, including landscapes, lifestyle, products and people but my passion lies in Wildlife for sure.

Where has wildlife photography taken you? What has been your favorite place to photograph wildlife so far?

I am so fortunate to be able to chase this passion and spend so much quality time doing it. I have a very loving and supportive family who also enjoy coming along from time to time to experience the amazing things I get to experience and capture. I have been all over the West here in the US, including: Utah, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, California, New Mexico and beyond. I get to spend quite a bit of time in multiple National Parks each year as well.

Lately my journeys for photography have extended beyond the borders of the US into Canada and most recently to Svlabard, Norway to photograph the arctic wildlife which call those islands home. Probably my favorite location I've been to so far has been my trip in 2022 to Africa for safari with my wife and my youngest son, Hunter. But my favorite place to be year after year is in the Elk Woods during the Elk Rut.

Can you tell us about your favorite photo you've captured and how you captured it?

It was an amazing morning in the Elk woods, the light was absolutely incredible, the Elk were very active during a time frame referred to as the "heat of the rut" where most of the cows are in estrus and ready to receive. This drives a ton of activity in the herds which makes for some amazing behavioral photography. I was spending my time focused on one specific bull getting the shots I wanted when I saw a specific scenario starting to potentially unfold. The meadow I was in was surrounded by thick woods and ran a mile long from East to West. This meant that the light filled the meadow in the mornings but kept the wooded area on the edges of the meadow in the shade.

The Bull was riding that shadow line in and out of the light making for some very dramatic lighting situations with a very dark background. I was hoping for the bull to stop on the edge of the shadow and look into the light and let a bugle rip. Knowing how wishful my thinking was, I hung in there waiting for that specific shot to unfold. It paid off as he stopped right on the edge of the shade line and literally turned his head into the light and let out a bugle. I was awestruck snapping away as this all came together. The experience alone was incredible, but that image kind of became a signature image for me and led me down a path of a specific style of photography and lighting I tend to look for whenever I am in the field. It also was my first newsstand cover image and was the very first cover image of North American Elk Magazine.

Since you're a co-host on Beyond The Wild Podcast. Can you give us an inside scoop of what we can expect to hear?

We are all very excited to be partnering with Pictureline as the title sponsor for this new venture. We love to talk about all things photography from gear and technology to experiences like I mentioned above in the field. We will have guests on from time to time where we love to get to know them better and hear about their journey and experiences in photography.

We will discuss relevant topics that affect all photographers and different ways to make money in the photography profession. We will have pro-tips from time to time and our favorite episodes are always the ones where we get to discuss recent photography trips sharing our experiences in the field. As a matter of fact, our very first episode, which is launching very soon, is all about our incredible adventure to Svalbard.

What's your number one piece of advice for those looking to get started in wildlife photography?

For me it's always 3 things: 1) learn to shoot in manual as early as possible so you have as much creative control as possible with your tools, including shooting in RAW. 2) Get out and shoot as much as possible! There is no substitute for the school of hard knocks, so get out and try things and see what works and what doesn't. 3) Go to Pictureline to get your gear! They have hands down the very best knowledgeable staff and customer support around and I guarantee you'll be taken care of each and every time.

Thank you, Jason, for taking the time to provide us with a glimpse into your remarkable journey. To learn more about Jason and his wildlife encounters, make sure to subscribe to the Beyond the Wild podcast! You can also follow him on Instagram.
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1 comment

Pax Ransom

Pax Ransom

Jason is a absolute AMAZING Photographer. I look forward and I’m excited to hear more about Beyond The Wild Podcast. I’m going to get out there and start shooting in Raw ;)

Thanks Jason 🤩

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