In June I had the opportunity to photograph Whistler, British Columbia, for an online feature for National Geographic Travel and Destination Canada. I spent a busy, beautiful week photographing in Whistler, which was made all the more rewarding by being teamed up with illustrator and animator Rachel Ryle and producer Carmen Kerr of Storm Films. Rachel kept us laughing, Carmen kept us on schedule, and through it all, I kept on clicking. We hiked, biked, zip lined, rode ATVs, soaked up art, dined well, and crisscrossed the region on a jam-packed schedule.
Visit the National Geographic website to see our article and be sure to watch the darling animation created by Rachel that sums up our experience using her illustrations and my photos. It was a treat to work with two creative powerhouses and I’m happy to share the final product, plus a few more of my favorite images below. Enjoy the fruits of our labors and I hope you get inspired to visit Whistler!
Whistler Village is the focal point of the region and the jumping-off point for endless outdoor adventures. The pedestrian-only streets are lined with shops, restaurants, bars, galleries, and museums.
An American family embraces the sports theme at the Olympic Plaza in Whistler Village while playing a game of football.
Whistler is a mountain bikers paradise and I loved seeing people riding up to the outdoor cafes, resting their helmets on the table, and grabbing a beer. Here two couples eat at Fernie’s, or El Furniture Warehouse.
Small plates at Bar Oso in Whistler Village include the fresh charcuterie board (a must!), warm olives with Marcona olives, and blistered shishito peppers.
At Bar Oso, I spotted this attractive young couple and they were happy to let me photograph them. Later they told me that they were grateful I’d provided a little levity during the first meeting of the young woman’s boyfriend with her parents!
The Raven Room, owned by two local couples, is one of my favorite restaurants in Whistler. Not only do they serve inventive cocktails (like this Negroni served over Campari and blood orange gelato), but also because they have a seasonal, local, ethically sourced (and delicious) menu.
I was a bit too busy photographing to be able to partake in the sauna and baths at Scandinave Spa, but on my next visit, I’m dedicating an entire day to enjoy this place!
Most mornings I was up with the summer sun to photograph at one of the many lakes in the Whistler region. Pictured is a relaxing morning on Alta Lake.
Rachel Ryle hikes through the sun-dappled forest on the Cheakamus Lake Trail.
These mountain bikers moved to Whistler to enjoy the abundant trails and the generous community of female riders empowering each other.
I can officially add being able to photograph while ziplining (and screaming with delight) to my resume. We headed out with Superfly Ziplines and spent an afternoon flying above the treetops.
Zipline riders carry their trolleys from line to line on the multi-ride circuit on Rainbow Mountain.
My family sells Polaris ATVs so I felt quite at home hitting the rocky trail on an RZR Tour with the Adventure Group. Though I wasn’t so comfortable being attacked by mosquitoes when I got out to photograph other riders on the route!
The Train Wreck Hike is a short hike leading to graffiti-covered railroad cars.
Rachel Ryle‘s logo is a tiny red heart and she decided that she could “leave her heart” in Whistler by adding her drawing to one of the railroad cars at the Train Wreck Hike.
The Audain Art Museum houses a permanent collection of artwork from British Columbia and is known for its innovative architecture.
The Audain Art Museum holds an impressive collection of First Nations and contemporary artwork.
Vallea Lumina is a night walk through an old-growth forest that tells chapters of a multi-sensory story via illumination and projections. I had been a bit skeptical about what this experience would be like, but it was one of the most magical human-created experiences I’ve ever been to. I have to admit that when I stepped into this scene, which was buzzing with laser lights like fireflies and pulsing with ambient music, I was completely moved.
Dream team calling it a wrap! Thanks for a lovely assignment, Rachel Ryle and Carmen Kerr.