We caught up with photographer and competitive trail runner Jake to hear what fuels his adventures and how he manages to spend most days running around mountains.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
I’m Jake Baggaley, an adventure and food photographer based on the south coast of England. I am also a competitive trail runner, and love spending as much time as possible in the mountains. I run adventure blog @everydayadventureuk and creative studio www.thewilds.studio
From a trail runner to an adventure photographer, are we right in thinking you spend most of your time outdoors? What does an average day look like for you?
Its a real mix of time outdoors shooting, running or adventuring and time behind the computer editing and dealing with emails and admin. I’ll always start the day as early as I can, catching the sunrise with a morning run, then coffee and breakfast before heading to work. There really is no average day, over the next month I have shoots in Provence and the mountains of Chamonix and in between them in Snowdonia, the Peak District and tonnes more of the UK’s beautiful national parks. Thats what I love most about what I do, no two days are the same.
What objects, books and materials can we find on your ‘desk’?
Aside from the standard stuff, I always have the latest copy of @anotherescape for inspiration, I also have a collection of rocks from the top of mountains or from shoots that have been significant to me (my wife won’t let me keep them at home) Although I didn’t bring one home from my shoot in Chernobyl…
What keeps you inspired? Do you have any creative rituals to help you before you start a shoot?
I’ll always try and get out for a run on the trails, even if its just a short one it really helps clear my head and get ready for a day behind the computer editing, if I’m shooting outdoors anyway its normally an early start anyway and so my only ritual there is just to make sure I have the kit I need to shoot and enough snacks to keep my energy up!
How did you come to hear about and work with Real Handful?
I saw Real Handful at The Big Feastival last year and was drawn in by the awesome branding and packaging and when I learnt more I loved that the small team put so much hard work into these amazing snacks, so when Lizzie reached out about working together I was definitely keen to get involved!
Jake on a trail run
Could you tell us a bit about your trail running and what sorts of foods you fuel up on to help give you energy on the go?
I started running a few years ago just try and get in better shape but quickly grew tired of the monotony of road running, there was so much focus on pace and speed. Then I signed up to a @maverickrace trail running race and almost instantly was hooked on the trails. My training plan changes based on what adventures I have coming up, but mostly I aim for between 50-100km a week with a minimum of 1000m ascent within that as i’m mostly training to be in the mountains! At the moment I’m training for a couple of running camps I am shooting out in Chamonix, I need to run along with the team up in the high mountains whilst carrying all my gear, running ahead and scrambling up the cliffs to get the best angles so its a real test of my fitness to be able to do that two weekends in a row!
Food wise, I’m vegan which can make things quite difficult picking up snack on the road, particularly in certain countries or more out of the way places in the UK, so I always make sure I’ve packed enough for longer days, mostly something with quick and easy to eat while on the move.
Can you share any advice that has shaped your career to date?
The only advice I can think of is don’t give up on what you want to do even if it seems impossible, When I left uni I had to work part time in a camping shop for way longer than I’d have liked to while I tried to build up my freelance work, but if id have given up every month I wasn’t earning enough or every time I didn’t get enough jobs I wouldn’t get to have as much fun running around the mountains as I do these days, and I’d probably still be working in that camping shop!
Do you have any book, film, restaurant or location recommendations for the readers?
Too many to list –
A book that I loved recently is ’the desert and the sea’ a fascinating account of a journalist who was taken hostage by Somalian pirates, it covers his capture, his time in captivity and his eventual release and is a really interesting insight into the world of both captor and captive!
We also just finished watching the dramatisation of the Chernobyl disaster, its fantastically well made and moving portrayal of one of the worlds worst nuclear accident. This was particularly meaningful to me as I have photographed a social documentary series on families living within the radiated exclusion zone.
Jake hanging out in the mountains
Restaurant wise the Ethicurean near Bristol left a really impression when I visited there, I’d recommend that to anyone.
What snack can you not live without?
Peanut butter, on everything, all the time!