We hooked up with professional photographer and snowboarder Max Howard on his journey up to the Lake District, UK and the 2021 Kendal Mountain Festival. Check out the inspirational Q & A below!
My name is Max Howard and I am a freelance photographer, based just outside of London.
What did you do before you got into photography and could earn a living from it?
My last proper job before going freelance full time was my role as Park Manger at a local snow dome. Not a bad job in the grand scheme of things, I just got paid to make jumps and ride with my mates…
When did you first hear about Mizu and what made you do a MIZU Mission?
Mizu has been on my radar for quite some time. Coming from a snowboard background, I had always seen these bottles popping up on my feed and in store. It wasn’t until my friends at Stitches and Steel (an incredible van life brand) had a custom order of bottles made that I totally got what the hype was about. I’m never without a bottle and I’ve had my m8 bottle for the last 2 years. It comes with me everywhere. When the guys at Mizu reached out to ask if I wanted to take part in a Mizu mission, I was over the moon!
Where did the Mission take you and why did you choose this destination?
This mission took me to the Kendal Mountain Festival in the lake district. A weekend of adventure films, hikes, brands and more. The perfect place to test out some of the Mizu range and find some inspiration for adventures, for content and for style.
Can you share a few highlights with us?
My highlight was our hike around Haweswater reservoir for sure. I had seen a photo overlooking the peninsula, with some incredible pine trees lining the water. I was determined to try and get the shot myself, in my own style. We set off in glorious sunshine but about 30 mins into the first ascent, the clouds rolled in… the remainder of the 5hr hike was in a thick fog making for super dramatic scenes throughout the hike. When we finally reached the photo spot we were soaked and pretty cold. The clouds had rolled in and had almost covered the peninsula that I was so desperate to shoot. We opened up our hot flask of coffee and waited it out until we got a slight break to take the shot. It’s not perfect but the adventure that went along with it is what made it a great photograph.
What inspires you to get outdoors and explore?
I think photography has a huge part to play. I’m always out trying to get the next best shot and living so close to London makes me venture out to further lands to explore new and exciting, more varied landscapes.
Reusing can be hard while on the go. Do you have any tips to help make going reusable a little bit easier while on the road?
I hate to be so on the nose but for sure bottles and flasks makes a huge difference… the amount of coffee stops you can end up taking on long drives is silly. Just filling up a large flask with some freshly made, home ground coffee saves you money and a ton of cups.
What was your favourite MIZU product/s on this mission and why?
My favourite was the V5 insulated bottle for sure. Small enough to fit in your jacket pocket and kept my tea hot for hours! This one will be coming with me every day.
What does “Enjoy the journey, leave nothing behind” mean to you?
To me it’s just about respecting the spaces we’re lucky enough to enjoy. When I see rubbish littering all these incredible locations it’s so upsetting. Just pick up your shit!
Do you have advice for others to inspire them to continue their own mission in reducing single-use plastics?
My biggest advice it to go and grab yourself a steel water bottle and treat it as much a part of your everyday carry as you would your phone. I am honestly so much more hydrated since using one and have saved buying so many plastic water bottles when out and about. I never know where I’ll end up, so it’s a great staple, no matter the adventure. I also love how they scratch and dent as they age and really tell a story. It’s probably the smallest thing you can do to help reduce single use plastics but it was the first step for me and I'm not looking back.
Check out more of Max's amazing photography on his Instagram: @max.hwrd