Documenting to inspire
Cameraman Jake Latendresse has a well-earned reputation for capturing the essence of life in the great outdoors. Whether it’s stalking bears with a bow hunter in Canada, scaling peaks near his home in Colorado, or following duck hunters to the other side
Jake joined legendary duck hunter Ramsay Russell and Ryan Bassham from Sitka to document their hunts in South Australia and Victoria with Glenn Falla’s guiding service, Falla’s Waterfowl Outfitters. “It didn’t take much to get me here, Ramsey twisted my arm only a little bit,” he joked.
Jake made it his mission to learn the language (asking for dead horse on his pies and greeting everyone with g’day mate) but he will not be attempting Vegemite again any time soon. It was however, the only bitter taste left from his Aussie adventure.
“The story I will tell friends is of the duck hunting community here. Honestly, I didn’t know it was as connected as it is. I didn’t realise how similar it would be, familiar is probably a better word for it,” he said. “I’ve been reaching out to the world on social media saying people should come here, for no other reason than they need to see what is going on here, because it is a unique opportunity.”
As usual, Jake’s main mission in Australia was to capture compelling footage.
It takes a certain amount of bravery (and a good insurance policy) to wade into a swamp with a high-end digital cinema camera, a digital SLR and a bunch of lenses, but Jake is up for the challenge.
You can take all the care in the world, but you also have to take risks to capture the moments that matter to the story. “Ramsey wanted to create some stories on his duck hunting adventures around the world and flattered me by asking me to help,” Jake said. “I’m glad I am here because this is a tremendous trip.”
Jake wants the best for his clients but there is another, underlying motivation driving all his work; the need
to tell real stories.
“I see it as very important. I don’t know the exact percentages but a large proportion of the population lives vicariously through other people’s experiences,” he said. “It used to be through magazines or television but the explosion of social media has intensified the vicarious curiosity of people. “My stories are not just about hunting, they are life stories, which happen to be about people who hunt because I’m an advocate for the activity of hunting, but there is so much more to it than that.”
Portraying hunting well helps to inform and educate the vast majority of people who have no connection to hunting, and will never choose to experience it for themselves.
Of course, hunters the world over will lap it up, and some will be inspired enough to embark on their own adventure to hunt ducks in Australia. Jake isn’t done with the island continent either. “I know there’s so much more of Australia left to see,” he said. “Really, when it comes down to it, you peel this camo off and I’m just a wildlife and adventure enthusiast, always have been, and from childhood I’ve been interested in Australia and Africa. “Even in the United States there is such diversity and variety of things we can do. I live in Colorado and pinch myself when I’m driving the kids to school and look up at two 14 000 ft peaks. Then I come to Australia, or Mongolia or Africa and I have to pinch myself, I never take it for granted because not everyone gets to do what we do.”
You can check out more of Jake’s work by searching for Latendresse Media Collective.
Jake Latendresse on location in South Australia
Photo; Jess Delorenzo Photo; Brandon Fien