BigLife BigShot: Cole Buckhart

Words by Cole Buckhart 

They are the travelers. The light-chasers. The rules-be-damned adventurers. They capture an experience. They fix a moment. They bring focus to life in a way that expands and distills. They are magic-makers and they bring paradise to us.

They are the photographers out there living the BigLife and we salute them here.

Cole Buckhart is a Jackson-based photographer who focuses on all things mountain majestic. Follow him on Instagram @cole.mgkra and learn his ways at

Behind the images, in Cole’s words:


After spending the first 30 years of my life in my hometown of San Francisco, it was time to get out of the city. I moved in with a friend in Jackson, Wyoming 2 years ago after packing everything I could fit into my car. I worked as a graphic designer in the Bay Area for 10 years in entertainment and nightlife design as well as for a video game company, before continuing my design career in Jackson with Orijin Media. Beyond graphic design I’ve also had the opportunity to pursue photography and have been learning more about video making process.

I bought my first DSRL, a Nikon D300 just over 2 years ago and began teaching myself how to use it. I began taking photos around the Bay Area, with a plethora of world famous landmarks, there was plenty to practice on. Once I moved to Jackson and began spending my weekends hiking in the backcountry and camping in range of Teton views, I upgraded to a Canon 6D (which I love!) and my photography really began to take off. My love of the outdoors and adventuring all around the Jackson Hole area merged seamlessly with my new found love of photography. My camp and adventure photos began picking up features from various Instagram accounts which lead to some gear ambassadorships and a number of professional photography opportunities. 

After I felt really comfortable with landscape and adventure photography I began branching out to portrait photography. I started working with a few local bloggers and fashion stores in the area and built enough of a portrait portfolio that I now have two weddings under my belt and another this spring.

Photography has taken me to a remote mountain hot spring resort, a flight over the Tetons, into the heart Yellowstone during winter and helped me engage more with my surroundings and experiences. I encourage anyone interested in photography to go ahead and get that first camera and shoot the hell out of it. The best thing you can do as a new photographer is shoot everything, all the time. Be the one who always has a camera, shoots your cousin’s senior portraits and documents family outings, you never know where it’ll take you.