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  • Josh White

The Locals, Episode 2: "Community"

Wow! I can't believe how much of a success episode 01 of The Locals was! Even more exciting was the fact that so many people got behind the project in terms of coming out to shoot on their free time and answer a bunch of questions about our friend Tim. People have been contacting me to make more suggestions about who Stay Wild should cover next and it's amazing to see so many people nominated for their love of the outdoors and pushing others to get out there as well.

When I started this project I had a pretty solid plan as to what I wanted the series to represent and how I wanted to make you, the viewer feel when you see these short documentary films. The main purpose is to show you that you can have some pretty epic adventures in your own backyard while getting a reset from the constant need to be "plugged in".

Episode 02 took me up to Huntsville, Ontario. A gorgeous town that triples in size in the summer months thanks to the cottagers coming up from the greater Toronto area. The town sits just south of the West Gate of Algonquin park, and this is where Joel Jones calls home. I was introduced to Joel's work through a friend of a friend on instagram. He is an incredible landscape and portrait photographer capturing his trips into the Algonquin backcountry, but although his work is incredible it wasn't his photography that made me want to feature him in the second episode of "The Locals". Joel had started posting instagram stories about a year ago talking about wanting to start some meetups in the Huntsville area. He recognized the winter months can be super isolating for small business owners and creatives like himself.

There wasn't much of a community for creatives and he wanted to change that...

In Joel's words,

"I originally started these meetups in a studio space. I'd reach out to people for an evening of good conversation. These Hike Meetups are a continuation of that through the connections I've made with people who I now consider great friends."

I got up to Huntsville around 10:45 on Friday morning and met up with Nate Smith (IG @natemuskoka) over at Algonquin Outfitters to find out where the best spots to shoot scenics of the town. After shooting some beautiful drone footage I drove to meet Joel for the first time in person. We spent the afternoon shooting interviews and B-roll around his property and when the good light was gone I checked into the Holiday Inn Express to charge the batteries, backup footage and get some sleep.

I woke up the next morning to a chilly -17 degrees celsius but there was minimal wind to make it bone chilling cold. The entrance to Algonquin park is about 30 minutes north of Huntsville so after grabbing some more scenics I drove to the trailhead where I would meet Joel and see how many people would come out to the meetup. Even though it was cold over 25 people showed up!

Check out The Locals, Episode 2: "Community" below.


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