I first discovered hiker and nature photographer, Allyson Jones, when searching for local hiking posts to feature on the Hike the World IG page. She captured some of my favorite trails in such a unique way that I wanted to learn more about how she takes those breathtaking images. I can easily see how she inspires people to hit their local trails more often and to up their outdoor photography game.
She recently created a business called “The Hiker’s Compass”, a monthly subscription package highlighting the best of what New Jersey State Forests have to offer. The packages include nature themed goodies, maps and information on local NJ hiking areas. Her packages are like her- fun and creative- and would appeal to beginner and expert outdoor enthusiasts alike. I found her inspiring and I hope you learn more about who she is by reading her story and checking out her gorgeous photos.
Hey there, I’m Ally, nature lover and newbie photographer. Growing up in Vernon Township, I was surrounded by trails, plants and wildlife, which became my comfort zone. Along with living in nature my Grandparents inspired gardening, bird watching and even photography at a young age for me. I would plant flowers and rhubarb with my Grandpa and bird watch with my Grandma.
They also gave me my first Polaroid camera (90s kids where you at) which led to me taking photography classes in high school. Although at the time I saw it as just spending time with them, which it most definitely was, it sparked a subconscious passion that I didn’t know was there until I became older.
Unfortunately, I’ve always been an anxious person. I dislike large crowds and need my own personal space and time to do certain tasks. It escalated when I went to college in a more urban area. I was unaware at the time about how much my environment affected me. I just thought it was stress from classes or that it was normal. I was trying natural ways to relieve my anxiety instead of taking medication.
As I was doing research I saw someone on my Instagram selling their Nikon, which reminded me of my past love for taking photos. I bought it from them and went outside and was instantly reminded of how happy it made me. When I go on a hike or a small walk in the woods, it forces me to stay present in the moment, focus on my shots, and be aware of my surroundings. There’s no time to worry about the future or my anxiety, it’s just me and the trail! It re-lit a desire to travel, capture and explore new trails. I personally love the Adirondack area, but am planning trips out west soon. Another new venture I am learning is plant identification and foraging. My grandpa and I have taken classes and it truly is something that I feel like everyone should know!
Most recently I’ve been inspired to create “The Hiker’s Compass” a monthly subscription package featuring New Jersey State Forests. The subscription includes a postcard featuring photographs of the Forest, hiking info, together with many nature themed accessories. I truly wanted something dedicated to nature lovers like myself! Its something anyone of any outdoor level can enjoy; whether your New Year’s resolution is to enjoy the outdoors more or you are an experienced mountaineer I feel this subscription is for you!
You can also follow Allyson on IG @thehikerscompass.
Interested in becoming an ambassador for Hike the World? Click here for more information.