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Creative Director: Matthew Bates
Senior Associate Photo Editor: Genny Fullerton
Art Director: Jacqueline McCaffery

Photographer: Jason Florio

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Heidi: What is the biggest challenge in doing an assignment like this?
Jason: For me the biggest challenge was the often constant sprinting and shooting, at times for 8 hours, covering up to 15 miles a day for 4 days! Running ahead of the hikers to shoot them coming towards me in the landscape. Running to catch up with them as I shot something along the way or waiting for them to become small figures in the environment .Shoot, then sprint to re-join them. Shoot, sprint, shoot.

Did you pitch this story or did they assign this to you?
Backpacker magazine approached me. The photo editor Julia Vandenoever had seen my work and also heard I had made a 930km expedition by foot in The Gambia, West Africa in 2009 with my wife, so thought I’d be a good candidate for such an assignment

Who are your backpacking companions? Was the writer one of them?
Yes, I was with the writer, Dennis Lewon who is Executive Editor at Backpacker. Dennis was a pleasure to walk/run and work with. I really enjoy working along-side writers on assignments as you have another set of eyes and ears and especially in Dennis’s case where he was the main character in many of the images, which we crafted together in number of instances. The other two folks were David Landis and his wife Anna, two intrepid young Americans, who co-founded the ‘Jesus Trail’ route. They both brought extensive knowledge of the area with them, so I not only got to enjoy the scenery and culture, but gained great insight into the area during biblical as well as modern times from them.

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  1. Good stuff, nice mix of peaceful, action, urban and detail shots.
    Always been a fan of Florio’s work
    Have a good weekend

  2. Nice to see Backpacker get some recognition here.

  3. Great work. Really like the choices. Cudos on being in shape to be able to haul gear and put it out there physically.

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