Photographing Idaho: A PetaPixel Travel Document with Chris and Jordan

Photographing Idaho: A PetaPixel Travel Document with Chris and Jordan

Hop in the car and ride along with Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake as they embark on an adventure-filled road trip through Idaho. From the Canadian border to Twin Falls, the pair soak up the region’s visual splendor, capture some epic photos, enjoy its incredible food, and meet the wonderful people who call the state home.

After crossing the border from Canada into Northern Idaho, the pair arrived at the beautiful shores of Sandpoint, where they sought out the fall colors and waterfalls of the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Picture of Idaho

After the hiking and kayaking had taken their toll, the hungry duo arrived at Candle in the Woods: a five-star dining experience led by chef David Adlard that can only be described as unique and unforgettable.

Picture of Idaho

Picture of Idaho

The next morning, the team drove to the town of McCall on the shores of Payette Lake. However, the lake is not what they came for. No, instead they rode an all-terrain Polaris RZR into the mountains, slowed only by a giant sheep traffic jam.

Picture of Idaho

Picture of Idaho

They also explored historic White Bird to learn the history of the Nez Perce tribe and finished while attending the famous Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Ketchum.

What an adventure

The video, shot in the fall of 2023, was the result of a whirlwind ride that doubled the size of PetaPixelTypical video production team. Joined by Travel Editor Michael Bonocore and myself, Chris and Jordan moved from the Canadian border across the state over the course of a week so they could see, photograph and enjoy the Idaho landscape along with all that it has to offer. to offer. .

There was a lot to see and while a week might sound like a lot of time, we could easily have spent twice as much and still not seen everything the state has to offer.

Picture of Idaho

Picture of Idaho

Some of my most vivid travel memories involve the insane beauty of the scenery. Idaho, at least the regions we drove through, is extremely mountainous, and while the roads tended to hide in and around them, we were almost always surrounded by stunningly beautiful cliffs, rugged hills, and vast forests.

And the aforementioned ATV trip into the mountains made for some amazing photos – both of the region and of ourselves.

Photography publications usually focus on equipment and technical information, but PetaPixel historically it has mixed this perspective with art, adventure and culture. It is rooted in our philosophy and this project stands as a prime example of the importance of remembering why we as a photographer take a camera.

Photographing Idaho
Photo by Michael Bonocore
Photographing Idaho
Photo by Michael Bonocore
Photo by Michael Bonocore
Photographing Idaho
Photo by Michael Bonocore
Photographing Idaho
Photo by Michael Bonocore

While we can detail what cameras Chris took his photos with and what Jordan and I used to make the video, we felt like it took away from the point of the project. It’s not about what we used, it’s about what we caught.

Freed from proof boards and sample galleries, we were allowed to photograph only the region, its beauty, its food and – most importantly – its people.

Picture of Idaho

I don’t think I’ve ever participated in a project that had such a diverse range of topics. Chris photographed landscapes, portraits, food and wildlife. It experienced indoor and outdoor events, and some of the most beautiful natural light I’ve ever seen.

Picture of Idaho

I’ll leave you with Chris’ thoughts as he reflected on his time in Idaho, and I hope it inspires you to visit new places, meet new people, and of course, photograph it all .

Jordan and I had a great trip. Idaho turned out to be a great place to visit and I was just blown away by how beautiful the state is and how many different things there are to photograph.

I was really looking to rekindle my love for photography and Idaho did not disappoint. The amazing scenery I was expecting, but we also met such interesting people and I love the portraits I got of them. I will miss all the people who welcomed us and showed us what Idaho means to them.

There was also food photography and astrophotography and I even managed to document a sheep festival and the people that bring it all together.

I even managed to fish a little, but not as much as I would have liked! All the more reason to come back and explore what else the state of Idaho has to offer. There are so many more pictures waiting to be captured, so many more places I want to visit, and I can’t think of a better or more beautiful place to bring a camera, drive and to let myself wander and lose myself in the beauty around you.

Picture of Idaho
Photo by Jaron Schneider

Picture of Idaho

Picture of Idaho


This project was created in partnership with Visit Idaho. Regardless of the time of year, Idaho is easily one of the most beautiful and exciting places to visit, especially for photographers. Go to Visit Idaho and plan your epic Idaho road trip today.

Photos by Chris Niccolls unless otherwise noted.

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