Interview with photographer and filmmaker Jeff Simpson
US American Jeff Simpson (39) combines his job and passion as a photographer, filmmaker and hunter with his eye for unique moments in the wilderness.
What came first, photography or hunting?
I think hunting was first. I have memories of my grandpa taking me out to Wyoming when I was only 6 to hunt antelope, but photography was not far behind.
And how did you get started with photography and film?
When I was 8 years old, my mother entered an image I took of my dad fishing alongside a pond near our house. It was a nice sunset image that had him silhouetted and it ended up winning. I guess that would qualify as the beginning of my love for the lens.
What is your connection between hunting and photography/film?
I love them both. I started filming hunts back in 2005. What I wanted to do was represent the sport the best I could…in a way that was in line with the passion that drove me outdoors every chance I could be.
Are there some images that are especially dear to you?
That’s a tricky question. I really love Landscape and Wildlife photography. I have a few different elk images that are among my favorites, but I have one snow goose shot that is really nice. There are so many birds captured in the frame that it’s like looking at an abstract painting.
Why do you use ZEISS products for both photography/film and hunting?
ZEISS glass is the end goal for me. On the hunting side, I appreciate the clarity and low light performance. It’s an advantage each time you use your binos or scope. Some of these hunts are really tough, so having great glass saves me steps and I appreciate it. When it comes to photography, the images I get from my ZEISS glass simply make me look better. The accuracy is incredible and I really appreciate them as I take images into the post production process.
What’s so special about ZEISS products?
Performance. Every ZEISS product I have performs beyond my expectations. I wish more products would do that for me.
Each place has its own story and I like to see the beauty
in it and share it through the images I capture.
Do you photograph/film during hunts, or do you separate you job from you hobby?
I have been filming and photographing while I hunt for a long time now, but I try to have one hunt a year that is just for me. No camera.
In which countries have you already been active?
I have shot all over the world. Europe, Canada, US, South America and South Africa.
What is your favorite region for hunting and photography/film?
To hunt, I love my home state of Kansas. Managing my farm for mature whitetail to hunt and photo is a life long journey. I’m not sure I truly have a favorite place for photography. Each place has its own story and I like to see the beauty in it and share it through the images I capture.
What makes your photography unique?
Storytelling and realism is what I look for most in my images. Style wise, I have a strong passion for black and white images.
Where did your work already appear?
My work has appeared in multiple mainstream and outdoor magazines and national TV networks such as ESPN, National Geographic and the Outdoor Channel.
Have you won awards for your work?
Most recent award was for the YETI commercial ‘Sword for a Nose’. We won best commercial in the outdoor industry. I was the field producer and camera operator for the spot.