Mathieu Dupuis Photography
Many would consider witnessing the aurora borealis dance across a Northwest Territory sky, exploring untouched Cree territory in Baie-James, Northern Québec, or taking in the sweeping maritime landscapes of the Magdalen Islands dream adventures. But for Mathieu Dupuis, these extraordinary locations are all in a day’s work.
A professional photographer based in Montreal, QC, Dupuis studied commercial photography, and has been fortunate enough to combine it with his passion for travel and adventure. His breathtaking work has appeared in various books and magazines, including National Geographic, with whom he has recently embarked on an assignment of a lifetime. Dupuis explains, “I recently started a project that was very dear to me in a market that I’m well-established in, which is Québec. It’s a type of ‘on-the-road’ project with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4 to encourage people to discover spectacular places and experience a bit of adventure.”
Dupuis is the quintessential Canadian outdoorsman. When he talks about his work and travel, his eyes shine and face animates. “Photography is the key to all worlds. It allows me to go places no one else can go and to have a special relationship with the destination. I’m passionate about nature, meeting people, cultures, and people inviting me to see their world. For me, it’s something that’s very precious. I work very hard to be at the right place at the perfect moment,” explains Dupuis.
While travel and adventure often sound glamorous, Dupuis’ assignments have him up early, home late, and frequently on the road, often to far-off locations for weeks at a time. Dupuis long dreamed of owning the ultimate 4-wheel-drive vehicle that he could modify into a photography base camp. He explains, “When you do travel photography, you work in a lot of different conditions. In the city, but also in remote locations. I wasn’t able to find a vehicle that met those requirements. Then Mercedes-Benz introduced the Sprinter 4x4, which was, in my opinion, the most suitable vehicle, my dream vehicle.”
Clearly one to turn dreams into reality, Dupuis embarked on an upfit project for his Sprinter 4x4, customizing it to fit his unique needs. “I always enjoyed the van life, and life on the road. This desire has always remained a part of me. When the Sprinter 4x4 came out, for me, it was like a revelation to do the project that I had dreamed of for so long. Having a vehicle that I can configure with spaces that I can lock, adapting the security to my needs, for me, is essential. And the Sprinter 4x4 provides me with the opportunity to design the interior how I want it. It’s extraordinary.”
Keeping camera equipment secure isn’t his only concern. Dupuis requires a vehicle that can get him anywhere, one in which he can work and sleep. “I wanted a vehicle that was completely independent. So I installed solar panels on the roof, which allow me to charge my computer or batteries, and a furnace, which allows me to sleep in temperatures as low as -35 degrees. And with off-roading capabilities and the rack on the roof with a platform, so I can take photos from the roof… The possibilities are endless.”
And those possibilities allow him to go places most can’t, “I often go to very remote locations and what surprises me the most is the capability on the road. When conditions deteriorate, when it’s icy, you feel safe and durable on the road in the Sprinter 4x4.” Dupuis recalls a time driving to a work commitment, when road conditions became dangerous, “The road was closed due to significant snow accumulation. The authorities saw that my vehicle could get through it and let me pass, so that I wouldn't be late for my work meeting. One of the most important aspects of my business is reliability, being on time, being in the right place with my equipment. This is an example of how the Sprinter 4x4 is perfect for me.”
When discussing his Sprinter 4x4, Dupuis lights up just as he does when talking work and travel, “There are vehicles that inspire you to travel, mythical vehicles that make you want to hit the road. That’s what happened to me with the Sprinter 4x4. It allows me to have a connection with what I love – photography and travelling. I really feel that I can experience the destination like never before.” And now that he’s added the Sprinter 4x4 to his kit, nothing will stop him from taking more extraordinary trips. As he reflects on the next assignment that will take him on a journey across Québec, it’s evident he’s turning another dream into reality, “It’s something that’s totally in line with what I want to do with the Sprinter 4x4: Live the destination.”