Photoshoots with Flying Cameras, Bulldozers & World Class Athletes [plus Other Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Antics from my Aspen Campaign]

Snow cats. Flying cameras and world-class athletes.  Couple-o-sunrises. One of the most unique locations I’ve found in my career (a coal mine?!) and a superfun campaign for one of the top mountain destinations in the world…here’s behind the scenes for my most recent campaign to drop –> Aspen.


This past March, you might have caught wind of my live updates while shooting the 2013-2014 campaign for my friends at Aspen/Snowmass ski resort. In the midst of the controlled chaos of a high-altitude photoshoot, while obsessing over the weather, we were able to share a few the scenes photos. chasejarvis_aspen
Today we’re dropping “ChaseJarvisRAW: Aspen/Snowmass Behind the Scenes” timed to coincide with the launch of the campaign in action sports magazines worldwide. We’re also sharing those ads below (See below for a few examples with the original photos) before they land in magazines and on billboards worldwide.

As is always the case with a project of this scope, the story behind the final imagery is something I enjoy sharing via the photos or videos themselves.

Last March, we rolled into Aspen with a fast-n-light crew of six of my Seattle-based team to join Aspen’s marketing + media teams and their creative agency Factory Labs) To produce this video and the images below, we coordinated around 45 people and quite the pile of gear in an unpredictable, high-altitude, always-changing environment over a span of 5 days. Standard challenges apply

Working in an alpine environment can be difficult, but there’s another challenge to shooting in Aspen: telling a unique story about one of the most written about, filmed and photographed places on Earth. So we ventured north from Aspen into the Roaring Fork valley looking for a new angle. And we found it.

Backstory on our unique location and how it tied to the campaign. Aspen Skiing Company is one of America’s most outspoken corporations on climate change, and it backs up its talk with innovative efforts to both mitigate its own pollution and to model climate-friendly business practices. That’s smart, forward thinking for an industry that depends on consistent snowfall for its survival – so we incorporated this into on of our shoot locations….
ChaseJarvis_Davenport20130312_Aspen_1_AAA9873 So here’s the crazy part – Aspen’s newest addition to their sustainability program is based at the Elk Creek Coal Mine. How does that make sense you say? Here’s how it works: First, Aspen BUILT & OWNS A system that captures methane emissions vented from mine (a mine that has been under operation for a long time – no going back on that) and uses this gas to generate electricity, which is fed into the grid. NOT the coal, but capturing the energy put off by the off gassing. By preventing the methane—a greenhouse gas twenty three times more harmful that carbon dioxide—from entering the atmosphere, the project eliminates three times the carbon pollution that Aspen Skiing Company creates each year. Boom. If that’s not thinking outside-the-box then I don’t know what is. It also happened to be a perfect place to find a unique photograph. So we went to the mine to capture a gritty, industrial snow shoot with this, what I consider a unique backstory, about how Aspen is being inventive around how it invests in clean power.

Shooting on location in the mountains comes with the usual crazy challenges: cold weather, even colder hands and feet, crazy wind, scorching sun and altitude, but shooting at a coal mine with skiers and snowboarders – that was a first for me as a professional and a wicked creative way to tell this great story. And were the bulldozers, cranes, choppers and other nifty things we needed to build the shoot.

But that is what makes Aspen great – they do things differently and allow the artists that work with and for them to operate that way too. While some of my previous BTS videos show that originality, we wanted the focus of this video to be the ways we captured the photos, the people, the athletes and the action. We skied, hiked, snow-catted, ate, drank, danced, piled gravel and pipes and laughed our way through this job – a helluva a lot work, but even more fun. Hope you enjoy. Here are some of the images and the final ad creatives:




If you’ve ever wondered what we use for a video and photo shoot like this…here are the essentials on our GEAR LIST:
[Available from Adorama]

// (2) Nikon D4 bodies
Nikon 14-24mm f2.8
24-70mm f2.8
70-200mm f2.8

// BTS camera kit:
Canon 5D MarkIII, 16-35mm f2.8, 24-105mm f4, 70-200mm f4, 35mm f1.4

// Sony F3 35mm f2, 50mm f2, 85mm f2
// Kessler CineSlider
kessler pocket dolly
kessler electra drive for timelapses

// (1) Octa-copter

// (7) GoPro Hero 3s – strapped to my head, my leg, to an octo-copter…and more.

// Broncolor Scoro 3200S
(2)Broncolor Unilite 1600,

Some other nuts and bolts from the shoot that are not obvious from the BTS vid, but that you might be interested to know:

// The Elk Coal Creek Mine/Aspen initiative is the first project west of Mississippi to turn coal-mine methane into electricity,

// Among the many shredders we worked with is legendary Chris Davenport, one of the best skiers of all time. Chris has climbed and skied all 50+ 14,000 peaks in Colorado in one year and recently skied off Everest. Follow him here @steepskiing. Total badass. Consummate pro. And he’s in Washington DC lobbying for climate solutions as you read this.

// We shot the entire campaign and video in 5 days

// Aspen is releasing a 6-part series to go with this campaign video – tune in here.

Also – final note. MY GOODNESS is the band responsible for the rocking tunes in the video. Three songs in the video: Check your Bones, Lost in the Soul and Cold Feet Killer. If you dig the tunes, you can listen to an entire live performance they did shot by cjLIVE here in video form, and you can also stream the performance on soundcloud here. Please enjoy – take a listen, and share with your friends.

Learn more about My Goodness here -

chasejarvis_chrisdavenport ChaseJarvis_snowboarder_aspenchasejarvis_Aspen_Photoshoot



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30 Responses to Photoshoots with Flying Cameras, Bulldozers & World Class Athletes [plus Other Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Antics from my Aspen Campaign]

  1. Brandon Tigrett October 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing these behind the scenes vids, and the accompanying articles. Great article and photos Chase. For sure doing a little adventuring through the phoenix mountains this weekend to get some awesome photos.

    • Chase October 7, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      Good luck on your journey in the mountains Brandon. I never stop getting excited when I head for the hills – with or without a camera!

  2. Glorin October 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Great stuff!!! especially the composed covers…!

    • Chase October 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Yeah – the hope was tthat it would help illustrate how we shoot with the end use in mind for copy etc. We almost always have mockups either on set or as reference for the final composition. Super essential when shooting ad stuff…. It’s always more than just the photo….

  3. faisal October 2, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    One of the most beautiful pics seen in latest time. Wonderful.

  4. Terry October 2, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Just checked out the ASPEN SNOWMASS Video….. Wow! Really hard to find a adjective that can sum up the stellar photography/production that created this video! Awesome work!!! Peter Jackson… watch out, there is a new jedi in town and his name is Chase Jarvis!!

    • Chase October 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

      **blush. the day i have peter jackson’s accolades is the day I’ll wake up from a deep dreamy sleep. That said, I can’t think of focusing on one film long enough to get that result. I’ve done a few TV shows and damn if even that 26 min format doesn’t drive me batty cause it’s so loooongggggg.

  5. Andrew C October 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    Love it! Awesome photos and love the backstory. Also, always appreciate when you share what gear you were using specific to the shoot!

  6. Jasmine* October 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    So awesome. That is all.

  7. steviechris October 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    yet another great article Chase! Always inspired by your work! Heading to Denver this weekend to shoot then to go do some early season riding and hopefully get some great shots in the meantime! This just boosted my excitement!

  8. Jchauhan Photography October 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Love watching these videos and just getting inspired without even leaving the room

  9. jake November 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    you and your team, such an inspiration. thanks for always sharing your experiences with me and the world.

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