Jason H Harper

Harper Portfolio

A few favorite stories

A few pieces of magazine writing over the years of which I’m proud — and that are deeply personal.


Cowboy Genes

A rugged Wyoming dude ranch tests citified Jason Harper against his homesteading heritageCondé Nast Traveler magazine (print, August 2002)

Excerpt: My family is from a desert valley in northern New Mexico. My great-grandfather bought what would become the Harper Ranch in 1907, after traveling from Missouri by wagon train. He immediately purchased his first cattle. My granddad, John Harrington Harper, known as J. H., was born in the bedroom of that ranch house in 1914. Almost seventy-nine years later, he would die of a heart attack two rooms away, slicing bread in the kitchen early in the morning. Granddad, who was always annoyed at my late-sleeping ways when there was work to be done, which there always was, jokingly condemned, “People die in bed.” He, no surprise, did not.

URL: http://www.jasonhharper.com/travel/171/cowboy-genes/


Land of the Thunder Dragon

How the Tiny Nation of Bhutan Embraced Tourism Without Sacrificing Its Environment and Culture — Robb Report magazine (print and digital, November 2019)

We continue clambering up the mountain slope to the 16th-century Chorten Ningpo monastery, where 30 young monks live and learn. We have breakfast with the disciples and their principal, Lama Nado. We eat outside, and the food is delicious: red rice, chilies and eggs. I ask the lama about Buddhism and its connection to environmentalism. “Our beliefs are actually quite similar to science,” he replies. “Disturb the deities who live in nature and you disturb the balance. We must protect nature.”

URL: https://robbreport.com/travel/destinations/bhutan-himalayas-tourism-2881504/


Truck Tales

A Homecoming on Wheels Automobile Magazine (digital and print, November 2013)

Trucks and family and generations. It’s a country song, all right, and I don’t even care for the genre. I live in New York City, a very different America from New Mexico. But I’ve come home, as prodigal sons do, and this time I’ve brought along my own son … We blew through the dark desert under a swarm of startle-bright stars and arrived as the sun did. I trundled Max upstairs to my father’s bedroom and held him aloft like the Lion King — cheesy, but it felt right. My dad rubbed his sleep-stained eyes and gawped. So did Max, taking in the six-foot-three form of my dad, a former pro football player. Holy God, but do things come round.

URL: https://www.automobilemag.com/news/truck-tales-a-gmc-homecoming/


In the Footfalls of Greek Gods

Exploring Greece’s Dodecanese by Sail and Bike Robb Report magazine (print and digital, January 2019)

Excerpt: A village of gleaming white walls and brilliant blue shutters is perched on the very edge of the abyss. It’s a fantastical sight, yet another Greek myth. I’m soon off my bike and being handed a very real lemonade by the owner of a café. His family has been here generations, he says, and I ask what it’s like to live on top of an active volcano. Doesn’t he worry? “We worry 365 days a year, 24 hours a day,” he says, then smiles. “But look at our view.”

URL: https://robbreport.com/travel/destinations/cycle-sail-tour-best-way-explore-greek-isles-2837431/

Jason H. Harper Portfolio


Client: Chevrolet

Campaign: “Winter driving and preparedness tips”

2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Assets created: Top 10 list appropriate for use in topical news and TV stories, video with tips in English and Spanish, video B-roll, photos for use in news stories.

Results: Chevy used it as a basis of a national rollout on safety and preparedness for the upcoming winter season. Saw 100-plus national and local stories in print, TV broadcast, and digital that included the tips, videos, or video assets.

Client: Preparation Concierge

Work: Top-to-bottom creation, road-mapping, & user interface of Preparation Concierge, an informational website devoted emergency preparedness.

Work includes all written content, design of landing and individual pages, art, design, and UI.

Detail worth noting: To see particularly effective landing pages — choose-your-own-adventure style! — see The Simple Disaster Plan and the web of pages that extend from it. This section was a major page driver with very sticky content.

Results: Preparation Concierge received extensive press in publications like Popular Mechanics, Cool Hunting, and MotorTrend. It has recently been acquired by another disaster-related company.


Robb Report: Not a Toy: Why People Pay 5 Figures for Insanely Detailed Models of Their Favorite Cars

Robb Report: How the Tiny Nation of Bhutan Embraced Tourism Without Sacrificing Its Environment and Culture

All stories in Robb Report

Cool Hunting: Dinosaur Bones, Calamity and Gear: Exploring the Gobi Desert

All stories in Cool Hunting

The Verge: The agony and ecstasy of the modern, high-tech car

All stories on The Verge


Harper ideated, scripted, and served as creative director on these shoots, as well as interfacing with clients.

Bentley Motors: Introducing the GT Speed Black

When Bentley introduced its super-exclusive Black models, it wanted to reach an audience it often ignores: Women. The company turned to Harper to come up with a video that spoke to a larger audience in a novel way. (Note: Don’t assume it’s the dude who’s the race driver!)

Two-minute GT Black launch video:

Audi USA: Do Supercars Retire?

When Audi introduced its second-generation R8 supercar, it struggled with a way to differentiate between the two models (they looked awfully similar). The company needed something splashy and unexpected for its social media and YouTube channels.

Harper came up with a fun concept that asks: What does a supercar do in its golden years? (One hint… it golfs by tearing a putting green to smithereens.)

 “Behind the scenes” whisper campaign (one minute):

Official “passing the baton” marketing video (two minutes):

Oh the magazines

I’ve written for more than a few. Car mags and lifestyle pubs. Travel publications and adventure publications. Some of my favorite stories…

Truck Tales, Automobile Magazine

Mazda’s Magic Race cars, The Verge

Cowboy Genes, Condé Nast Traveler

Morocco to the Max, Condé Nast Traveler

Rally story, Road & Track Magazine

Rally story, Men’s Journal

Singer 911, The Verge



The best cars I’ve ever driven

I’m always asked. And this is a vastly abbreviated list. And mostly so I can just remind myself…

McLaren P1 GTR

Porsche Carrera GT

Porsche 918

Audi R18 LMP1 car that won Le Mans

Mazda RX-792P Prototype race car (1991 model year)

McLaren 675 LT

Ferrari 458 Challenge Car

F1 Arrows race car

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

Porsche 911 AWD Reimagined by Singer

Lancia O37 rally car

Shark fin: Lancia 037 rally car in Martini livery. Delicious.

Shark fin: Lancia 037 rally car in Martini livery. Delicious.