Intensely Inuit: Photographer captures life in remote Alaska

A four wheeler kicks up dirt driving through the rural Alaska village of Quinhagak.
Courtesy Brian Adams
 Sometimes success begets success, so Anchorage photographer Brian Adams will spend a full year visiting two dozen villages to document the people and places of rural Alaska.

Sound familiar? It should.


Adams’ 2013 book “I Am Alaskan” was a provocative mix of portraiture and fine art that depicts the people who make up the Alaska mosaic. Few of the photos are straightforward portraits. Adams paid as much attention to the settings and backgrounds as he did to the people. Viewers get a sense of both the person and the place. Adams calls it “environmental portrait photography.”

Now he’s taking that effort a step further with help from the Inuit Circumpolar Council, which commissioned Adams after seeing “I Am Alaskan.” Before long, “I Am Inuit” was born.

Kelly Eningowuk of the Alaska arm of the ICC liked the idea of combining Adams’ portraiture approach with the street photography style ofHumans of New York. Humans of New York is a series that includes interviews with everyday New Yorkers, and photographer Brandon Stanton gained a measure of popularity with his series on social media, which has gone on to become something of a nationwide phenomenon.

Taking a cue from Humans of New York, Adams will turn his focus to selected groups of Alaska Native people — Inupiat, Yup’ik, Cup’ik and St. Lawrence Island Yupik — living in remote villages, capturing them in their everyday environment along with quotes from interviews.

“What I’m looking for is usually people in their landscape, their place,” he said. “I’m basically exploring who lives in Alaska and where they choose to live. That’s very interesting to me.”

full story at Alaska Dispatch News