Matthew Hahnel
(@matthewhahnel)

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Travel, Adventure and Lifestyle Photographer Visiting each of the 59 US National Parks in 2017 Business: info@matthewhahnel.com

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Photos and Videos posted by matthewhahnel

Not a lot to say about this image other than it’s a place that’s special to me. Jackson Hole has a feeling of home that not many places replicate for me. Things aligned on this particular morning and we got some beautiful light break through the cloud on the horizon just about sunrise. I’m interested in the places give you this feeling.. it can be some grand and dramatic place, but it can also be the small hill at the back of your town at sunset. With all the insane places that I have been lucky enough to visit, I find often is the ones I least expected that leave me wanting more. Let me know yours! #whpplanetearth Taken on the @sonyalpha A7R III and 70-200 lens #alphacollective

It’s almost that time folks. Good views, good friends, good times. Sometimes even cheesecake at the top after a long hike 🤤 Stoked for the snow to melt and to start checking off places from a list that has become WAY too long... though I guess it’s not a bad thing this state has enough to see to last a few lifetimes. Definitely going to try and fit as many of them as possible into this one.

If I could describe Alaska in a few words, it would be “on another level”. It has similarities to states in the lower 48, but it’s almost as if Alaska took those similarities and said “how can we make this bigger and more likely to kill you?”. The mountains are bigger, the mosquitoes are sized like birds and there’s some MONSTER bears up there. If you speak to any native Alaskan who spends time outdoors (most of them), they are almost guaranteed to know someone who has had a close-call with a bear, or much worse. Because of this, hiking in Alaska definitely is a unique experience. Your senses are heightened, and any sound out of the ordinary is magnified. It doesn’t help that so many of the hikes have you bashing through head-high brush, limiting what you can actually see. With that said, if you come prepared (bear spray, making lots of noise, proper food storage etc), you will be rewarded with some of the most magnificent scenery anywhere to be found in the world. This particular scene was one of our favorites on a trip to Alaska last summer. We hiked up in what was mostly beautiful weather, but things quickly changed as we approached our destination higher up in the mountains. It started to rain relentlessly, so we quickly set up our tent and spent the rest of the night hunkered up in there to stay dry. We typically avoid sleeping in huts as they often have mice, which means I don’t sleep. We set our alarms for sunrise, waking up to the sound of more rain pattering on the tent.. but as luck would have it, just after sunrise the clouds cleared, leaving this beautiful low hanging cloud in the valley below. Alaska never makes it easy on you, but at least the juice is always more than worth the squeeze.

It's easy to look at someone's Instagram and be jealous. We've all been there. I get messages all the time from people saying how jealous they are of my life. The thing is, no one's life is perfect. Although you might scroll through Instagram and be bombarded with photos of paradise, people flying around in helicopters and nice butts, Instagram is a highlight reel of everyone's lives. Truthfully, I have spent the last 2 weeks inside on my computer for 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you are a freelancer, you feel like there are no breaks. Your success relies solely upon how much you are willing to put into your work, and the moment you try to take a break, you feel guilty. Renee and I spend more time at home and working 10+ hours a day, stressing over deadlines than we do outside taking photos. I've worked many jobs and never felt the same amount of pressure, stress and uncertainty as I do with this one.. but with all of that said, I wouldn't change it for the world. Freelancing isn't for everyone, but if its your calling, you cannot imagine doing anything else. The drive to continue to live on your own terms keeps you focused during those long stints in front of the computer writing emails that you most likely won't get a response to, editing photos for hours that you have no idea if anyone will like (or if the Instagram algorithm will show to people) and following up on invoices you sent out months ago that haven't been paid. This isn't supposed to be a sob story... I just want everyone out there to know that it's not all happy days and everyone on Instagram doesn't poop rainbows. We all have different callings, so be happy with where you are. If you aren't, work and work until you are. You are capable of reaching your goals if you want them bad enough I guarantee it. Anyway, this photo was taken on the trip that kicked it all off for me back in 2016. I was fired from my job and we both decided to leave Colorado and make this whole photography thing a career. Nearly three of the best years of our lives later here we are, a few more wrinkles but with a hell of a lot of great memories. Thanks to each and every one of your for being a part of the ride 🍻

This photo was taken during our road-trip to every national park in 2017, but for some reason I never got around to sharing it here. This was one of my favorite hikes of the whole 7 months. We walked thousands of feet from the valley floor to reach this INCREDIBLE view over an ice field that seemed to stretch forever. Alaska is so incredibly wild and so incredibly beautiful. Cannot wait to get back and explore this area more in the future. Renee and I share some of our favorite camping spots in our book that will be up for pre-sale shortly, and this is one of them! Some places truly have to be seen to be believed 😍

Back on our National Parks road-trip in 2017 @reneeroaming and I had to split up one morning to capture different areas. We had limited time to photograph Death Valley, and we wanted to capture as much of it as possible. She went up to this vantage point, while I went down to capture Badwater Basin (the lowest spot in the US, below sea level). While I was happy with the images that I captured, I was just a little jealous of Renee’s view from 5500 feet up above where I was. So, on our recent van trip back to Death Valley, we made sure to both visit together this time. It was a beautiful sunrise. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right. The wind was minimal and the light glorious. Thanks for the show Mother Nature, you a real one. The original image that Renee captured from here made it into our book about our road trip to all US National Parks. The book release date is approaching, and we will be announcing pre-sale information shortly! Make sure to keep an eye on mine and @reneeroaming stories to stay up-to-date if you are interested 🍻

As a lot of you would know, Renee and I recently spent a week traveling along the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. We were absolutely blown away by the beautiful coastline and rugged mountains that stretch almost the entire length of the west coast. Although we saw SO much, we feel like we have unfinished business in Ireland, and can’t wait to get back to dig deeper into this amazing country that has SO much to offer. Swipe to check out some other images we captured during the trip which I haven’t gotten around to sharing yet 🤙🏻 @thewildatlanticway @tourismireland #loveireland #wildatlanticway

While I’m stoked for summer hiking, I honestly dislike most things about summer other than the easier access to the mountains. I’m not a fan of hot weather, I hate mosquitos, I really dislike the incredibly long daylight hours and the summer holiday crowds can be bananas in certain places. I’m also not a fan of clear, blue sky days. Fall is where it’s at for me, the best of everything that I enjoy about getting outside. Although I’m going to absolutely make the best of the benefits of summer, that’s not going to stop me dreaming about fall sunsets like these. Perfect temperatures, moody skies and getting back down the mountain in time for a good meal before everything closes 😜 Photo taken on the @sonyalpha A7R III and 24-70 2.8 at 1/125, f8, ISO 400 - #bealpha #alphacollective

Sand dunes are one of my favorite subjects to shoot, but they are immensely challenging as a photographer. Firstly, these dunes are popular.. so there are a lot of footprints around (which don’t look good in the photos) unless you hike a long way. Hiking isn’t easy in the sand with a heavy backpack on. Secondly, you can’t just put your backpack down to change lenses (unless you want a bag full of sand, which obviously isn’t good when you have camera gear in there!). Thirdly, wind. As if the first two issues weren’t bad enough, the wind can make everything 100x worse, and it was quite windy this evening. After the sun set, we retreated to our van and drove to the closest showers to scrub all of the sand out of our hair and ears. Makes for some pretty nice photos though 🤤

These were good times exploring a new part of my home country a few years ago. Anybody else feel like time seems to fly by faster and faster each year? Crazy to think that we are about to hit April already 🤯 @eddiebauer #ebcontributor #liveyouradventure

Renee and I just returned from an awesome 2 week road-trip around the southwest. We planned this and booked flights less than a week before we left, with no plan in mind other than to get back to a part of the country we hadn’t visited since 2017 on the National Parks road-trip. Having rented a van, it was so fun to live the van life again and have the freedom to go wherever we want, whenever we wanted. Although we love having a home base in Seattle, fun little trips like this I feel are the perfect balance for us in terms of home time and travel. Anyway, excited to share some of my favorite images of the trip over the next couple of weeks, hope you guys enjoy! This photo was taken on the @sonyalpha A7R III and 100-400. Settings were 1/125, f13, ISO 320. #alphacollective #bealpha #ourplanetdaily #earthpix #naturegram #travelstoke

This is the second photo I'm posting from a recent trip to the incredible country of Ireland. We saw many beautiful places along the #wildatlanticway.. but this is one that stuck with me. Classiebawn Castle sits perched on the top of a large hill and overlooks lush Irish countryside, Benbulben (the mountain you can faintly see behind) and the crashing waves of the Atlantic. I remember standing there and imagining the occupants sitting by the window and watching the sun set over the ocean. Not a bad place to call home. @TourismIreland @TheWildAtlanticWay #sponsored #loveireland