Meet Loki the Wolfdog
How'd you and Loki find each other?
I picked up Loki in Utah, driving about 28hrs round trip through a massive snowstorm. You might say it was our first adventure.
You've grown your audience to a massive reach and Loki has become a legend. How did it all happen?
I began the account at the end of November in 2013. I was up in Lander, WY hanging with some friends and my friend took a photo of Loki standing in front of a frozen waterfall in Sinks canyon. Folks had been hassling me for a while about making Loki his own account. After that hike and shot though, I said what the heck why not. If you look far enough back on our feed, you'll see the photo, it's one of the first I posted.
As far as how it grew: it's hard to point to any one thing. We started shooting with GoPros, making backcountry skiing videos and what not. I absolutely love seeing Loki charge in the snow, so we took a new approach to putting together little backcountry skiing shorts. Loki as the subject, the skiers as the supporting roles if any at all. People really loved seeing that primal beauty. Soon Loki became known as the GoPro dog, and we began working closer with GoPro which was a blessing for exposure. Shortly after, a photo I took of Loki and I in a hammock. After I posted, my friend texted me the next day and told me we were on the front page of Reddit. I didn't know what Reddit was, and when I looked, it still seemed like a weird page I didn't understand, so I thought nothing of it. Well apparently I don't get it, because within a couple days we gained 50k followers. Apparently, there wasn't many photos of a dog and a guy sleeping in a hammock before that one made it's way around the internet. Soon after, I had websites contacting me for interviews about our travels. The main jist of the articles was about a guy who hated seeing dogs locked away in the backyard, so he took his pup everywhere with him. About six weeks later, we had about 600k followers..
What tips or advice would you give someone starting out that is trying to make a name for themselves?
After reading this question I've rewritten my answer several times. Let me first start by saying, I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunities it's given us, and I know I don't feel I deserve them. I have no earthly clue, no set recipe. I have very little knowledge of cameras and editing. Mostly, I'm incredibly thankful to God for creating Loki to be huge beautiful creature people enjoy watching, and I'm thankful to Loki for the most patient and gentle dog I've ever known.
This is what's currently been on my mind about social media though: Instagram accounts have all different focuses and grow for all different reasons. Often times, folks(myself included) wanting to grow an Instagram account seem to focus on taking incredible photos with incredible cameras in incredible places. But at the end of the day, to me, it's not about how technically amazing the photo is. It's about how much heart, story, personality, and especially relatableness(is that a word?) you can see through an image, just as much as the rating it might receive from a photography critic. To me, it doesn't matter if it was taken on a phone or a Leica. In fact, this has been on my mind so much that last night, I posted a photo of Loki on my personal instagram that I purposefully took with my phone as a reminder to myself that it's about the story and the everyday moments over the mountaintop experiences and perfect images. The image quality is poor, and it would have taken me 30 seconds to grab my actual camera and a good lens for the low light conditions. It's a photo of Loki asleep in a sleeping bag on my living room floor with the caption "sleepover." I was reminded of all the times as a kid I slept on living room floors in my camo cheap sleeping bag at friends' houses, and knew that many other people had that same experience, and I hoped to remind them of that. The photo had good engagement and will likely be one of my most liked photos this year.
If you think of some of the bands that have made the most impact on society:, Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews, etc. They aren't the most talented musicians or the beautiful voices. They are folks who can come out with music, time after time, that is often simple, relatable, and resonates with society.
What's a typical day look like for you?
Since I quit my 9-5 in November 2016. There hasn't been a typical day. I haven't found a rhythm to life yet which has been totally weird. I'm not complaining by any means. It feels a little like college when I had very little time commitments outside of class, but a million projects and papers at any given moment.
What's your all-time favorite adventure you'd been on?
I can't say. To me, it's more about the relationship I have with Loki,the closeness and connection, then where we are and what we are doing.
I would like the reader to know though, that if you see Loki and are interested in bringing home a wolfdog or even a northern breed in general. Do your research. Loki is a low content wolfdog which means is more dog than wolf and even being low content, he was very difficult to train. He tore the house up, escaped from the yard, and he's got an intense prey drive. There is no one in my life that I trust with Loki because of those things, therefore I never leave him or travel without him, which has been a huge sacrifice. The same can be true of any northern breed, huskies, malamutes, etc. They are majestic creatures, but they don't receive love by hearing high pitched happy human voices telling them they are a "good dog" or pats on the head like an aussie or a golden retriever would. They receive love and feel fulfilled by getting out, exploring, heavy exercise, and things of that nature.
Get my life organized.