Dog Sledding: How the Races Helped One Photographer Come Back From the Dark

Documentary photographers have the opportunity to see the world in ways the everyday photographer may never understand. With the ability to chronicle events, they can tell stories from inside the action. However, this can also take a toll on the mind, making even the most hopeful person become cynical. 

Photojournalist Katie Orlinsky photographs extreme situations surrounding the lives of people everyday. She captures intimate moments within the circumstances surrounding the area: "I want the photographs I'm taking to make people feel things, because when I'm taking them, I'm feeling things," she said during the video. After all the coverage of conflict and losing friends, she became disillusioned. She wanted to find that passion once again, as her heart was no longer in it. 

On a trip to Alaska, she found that spark that she feared was lost. Covering the Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome, she found she could capture inspiring work that wasn't anchored by grief. She could cover the inspiring stories of female mushers who are completely self-sufficient in the race during extreme conditions, showing the light and strength in her photography. Inspired and passionate once again, she won a Magnum grant to continue a long-term project on climate change in Alaska. 

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1 Comment

Elan Govan's picture

Great story