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Beaver Dam, Kentucky

Great North Collective

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Great North Collective

Christophe Chaisson

Throughout this Winter Issue there is a collection of astounding images of the beautiful natural landscape of our Northern neighbor, Canada. All of these images have been collected and created by a group of traveling creatives and photographers called Great North Collective. We asked two of the chief members of the group to share with us a little about the history of the group and their effort.

David Guenther of Rowan Jane Photography was one of the founding members of Great North Collective, the group of photographers and other creative individuals who are capturing the landscapes of wild and natural Canada and creating a portfolio of it online and through Instagram. David says he first had the idea a couple years before he started his adventures, but it was something that had to start at the right time with the right people.

He found the Collective in a group of old friends, wedding clients, and new friends and began his adventures after discovering their amazing work on Instagram. “Ryan is a good friend is always up for a bit of adventure,” Guenther says, “so that just made sense. Chris was a wedding client of mine, and Mike was his groomsman, so after that I kept up with them online and connected with their landscapes.” Using their existing adventures, and combining it with his own idea, Great North Collective was born. 

Dave started Instagramming landscapes and documenting the Canadian terrain about a year and a half ago. “I travel around a lot for my work as a photographer,” he says, “so Instagram was just a good way to keep creative and document these beautiful places I was going.” The typical photo trip for the Collective is usually a random drive in a certain direction, the group has a region in mind and they drive there documenting their adventures and resting moment to moment. “While we'd like to be roughing it a bit,”David jokes, “it's tough to camp in the Canadian Rockies in winter with camera gear. So in that case it's hotels or B&Bs.” Aside from taking photos of each other, the Collective just enjoys their time together exploring, driving, walking or hiking. “It's nothing too extreme, but we just try to see as much as we can while we're out there,” he says. 

David’s favorite adventure with Great North Collective so far has been a wedding on Vancouver Island last year and he shot with his family joining him. “We spent a week just exploring and relaxing,” he says. “I get to shoot a lot in the Rockies, but it felt different on the Island with my wife and girls with me.” The group's goal is to shoot every part of Canada, but David says he would most like to go to the Yukon and the Maritimes. “This country is so massive and beautiful,” he laughs, “I just want to see it all.” For now, Great North Collective is taking every opportunity they can to document the landscape of Canada and bring together a solid group of photographers, and an inspiring collection of images. “Beyond that, we've got a few other plans in the works, but we'll see where this wild journey takes us all.”