Andrew Pavlidis and Bec Kilpatrick of Akamina aren’t garden-variety photographers – because “mountain-variety” would be a more accurate descriptor. Since meeting six years ago, when both hiking the Akamina trail in Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta), the duo has travelled Canada and the world in search of that perfect shot.
Andrew and Bec take inspiration for their photography (and, in Bec’s case, illustration) from the incredible places surrounding Calgary, their home base. “With the Rocky Mountains at our doorstep, there’s so much to explore,” Andrew explains, adding that they feel lucky to be able to embark on adventures so near to home. “Canadian landscapes are so unique and embedded in the culture and we love being able to celebrate that through our photography and design.”
It’s not easy to get photos like these. Bec and Andrew hike up mountains with bursting bags of outdoor gear and cameras, setting up camp wherever they can find flat ground. Cold nights roughing it in a tent are worth it come morning. “Watching the sun rise from these points makes for amazing photos, but the experience itself is enough to keep you hunting for the next mountain to climb.”
Andrew and Bec are avid bloggers and Instagram users. The platforms allow them to share the images that inspire them with a global audience, as well as impart information about their process, new work, and upcoming events. Social media also puts them in touch with their fans. “We have met some of the most amazing, like-minded people through Instagram.”
The duo’s favourite photos are those that capture a memory of a particular special moment or experience. One example: “Icelandic Road.” After a long drive along the south coast of Iceland in terrible weather, Bec and Andrew realized that they had passed the turn to their intended destination, and spent hours retracing their route. They took the same road the next day, in markedly improved weather. “We had no idea of the view we’d missed the previous day. The valley completely opened up to reveal the scene you see in the photograph. Looking into the photo still feels like magic.”
In “Sleeping Under the Stars,” the camera is focussed on the duo’s tent, illuminated from within on the south island of New Zealand. It gives a sense of a landscape photographer’s day-to-day life “hiking up to remote mountain peaks, setting up for the night and waking up early to catch first light.” When Andrew and Bec capture a special scene like this one, it serves as a reminder that “the happiest moments are often the simplest.” Their hope is that their photos remind viewers of their own happy adventures – or, better still, inspire them to get out and enjoy the outdoors too.
Images courtesy of Akamina