Whitefish-based professional freelance photographer Chuck Haney is a self-described opportunist.
As scenes unfold in front of his camera lens, Chaney has a knack for capturing the spirit of the people, and beauty and light that has Montana’s indelible, and eloquent, stamp.
“Flathead Impressions” is his new publication highlighting the Flathead Valley’s photogenic towns, people and incredible natural scenery in vibrant full-color images. Jam-packed with informative captions by Chris Peterson, editor of the Hungry Horse News, and 113 full-color photographs, Haney’s newest book includes iconic shots of Glacier National Park, the Mission Mountains, Kalispell, Polson, Whitefish, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Flathead Reservation and more.
Haney’s photos show discovery and an open mind for what turns a singular Montana moment into an unforgettable image. His subjects display the kind of easygoing spontaneity that is only captured with patience and professional discipline. His unique ability to, in his words, “capture that illusive light” and know how it will transpose onto an image is evident throughout his work.
Haney’s passion for photography is stoked by his passion for recreating in the great outdoors. A bicyclist, kayaker, skier and hiker, he’s traveled through wild landscapes across America and internationally. His critically acclaimed outdoor and wildlife photography has appeared in many leading publications and garnered him numerous awards.
Haney started taking pictures in his 20s when he wanted to document his 1989 cross-country solo bike tour. After his trip, he returned to his home state of Ohio before ending up in Whitefish, where he found a job working at a local bike shop. He was lucky to have Glacier National Park as his backyard. Back then, he began taking slides, started submitting them and soon was being published nationally.
“My last ‘real’ job was with the post office,” Haney joked.
He’d taken several trips to eastern Montana by then and Farcountry Press, based in Helena, was interested in publishing a large coffee-table book on the entire state. They contacted him and, together with images by Helena-based photographer John Reddy, “Wild and Beautiful Montana” was published in 1999.
“That was my first big break,” he said.
Fifteen books later, Haney has published large pictorials on Montana, as well as books on San Francisco, the Badlands and three on North Dakota — “bestsellers,” he said, adding “probably because there’s no competition.”
He proposed his 16th book, “Flathead Impressions,” to Farcountry Press to showcase some of his images taken over the last decade, with most taken in the last couple of years.
“I wanted to photograph people in the landscapes I know and love best to show what it’s like to live in such a beautiful area,” Haney said. “For most of us it’s because we want to be outdoors in nature and for the recreational opportunities that make it so enjoyable to live here.”
This winter Haney will be heading to Banff, Alberta, and also to Death Valley and back to Ireland to teach a class next fall.
He also enjoys teaching a series of popular photography workshops across the country each year. He has two scheduled in Glacier Park in 2019 — July 11 to 15 and Oct. 21 to 25. For more information or to register visit www.chuckhaney.com
“Flathead Impressions” can be purchased at local bookstores and on his website.