Then and Now
In addition to creating fine art photography, I operate a tourism and media business in Alaska. Here’s the long and winding road:
I take a leave of absence from my consulting job in Boston to climb Mt. McKinley, fall in love with Alaska, and move here five years later.
Six months after coming up with the idea for Alaska Channel TV, we launch in Anchorage. Segments include footage I hiked for weeks to acquire. Hours after launch, I get a call from an advertiser who says it’s working—customers are already coming in!
After months of hell culminating in 3 consecutive all-nighters, we finally get our first print publication off to the printer. The 128-page Alaska Activities Guide debuts with hand-painted maps and dozens of my photos.
Though I registered the domain in 1995, only now does Alaska.org go live, and with a mere 5 pages. My long education in digital marketing begins. 15 years and many rebuilds later, the site grows to 30,000 pages and 15 million pageviews a year!
At my wife Yael’s initiative, Alaska Channel TV expands to Denali, Fairbanks, and other towns across Alaska. It’s a lot of work to create original TV programming for each town, but Yael takes charge.
Unlike the web, where we entered late, we enter mobile early with The Alaska App. The GPS-driven travel guide has everything under the sun: audio guides, live weather cams, even a tool to share wildlife sightings. It becomes the #1 Alaska travel app.
The Anchorage Airport asks to be featured on our mobile app…then they ask us to take over part of the advertising in their terminal. Two years later, we become their exclusive advertising concessionaire!
The State of Alaska no longer wants to print an official state map. They reach an agreement with us to step into the void. We find rock star cartographers and design “The Alaska Map.” 100,000 are printed each year.
Thirty-three years after stepping foot in Alaska for the first time, I launch a fine art photography site. Back then, I would take my pictures of Alaska back to my home in the Lower 48, and they would give me inspiration and solace. Today, I live in Alaska and share my pictures to give the same back to others.