Well folks this is a big one for me. When I first started in photography I was drawn to shooting skiing because of my love for the outdoors and my passion for skiing. I didn’t know much about photography or business, but I had a dream and wanted to work hard to get there. I had a goal to get the cover of Powder Magazine as do most ski photographers and knew that If I was persistent that it would eventually happen. I have landed many covers in the last few years, but none have been as rewarding to see as this one. Walking into the super market and buying my own copy was awesome. I wanted to tell the lady at the cash register that that was my photo on the cover, but I didn’t think she would really get it.
This cover represents many things that are key in my photographic career. What is that you might ask? Well, First Powder is number one. Always has been and always will be. Getting the cover was the first goal I set with my very first ski photo and feels amazing to complete. Two, working hard, being creative and always looking for new angles to shoot will get you shots that people want. This shot was taken in late march on a high pressure day when most the snow was baked and there was not much going on. I had seen this rock while skiing by a few days before and thought that focusing on a skier and the castle and not so much the snow would make an interesting shot. The sun had just popped up over the castle and having someone that could jib off the rock would be a lot more interesting than a strait air. Many photos have been published at Alta and it is not the easiest to come up with new angles, but if you spend a little time looking around those angles are there. Third is persistence. I have sent countless photos to Powder Magazine over the last 5 years and you never know what might capture the eye of the editor. Playing a numbers game and improving your skills can ultimately land you a cover.
Many thanks to everyone who have shot with me over the years and who have helped me become a better photographer.
Last summer I had found a slab of rock that made for a perfect wall ride. It took quite a bit of work to remove a few tons of rock from the landing, but after a few days of work and some sore hands we had it ready. We Did multiple shoots throughout the summer. Towards the fall I asked Pro Mountain biker Eric Porter to come out and session it. Lucky for me Haro had just made him his own pro model bike. They were looking for a photo for an add and this was just the right spot. It had snowed a little the night before, but nothing that a few of us couldn’t clear in a few minutes. This is an angle that I had tried to shoot before and had never nailed it. I had been shooting with Pocketwizards new Mini and TTl system and had not worked all the kinks out, but with a few adjustments we got everything firing right and as the sun started to set it turned to magic. The rock is near vertical and it is quite the commitment to go all the way up. Props to Eric who came with his game face and Killed it when he probably should have been home with his pregnant wife who was due at any time.
There is nothing more rewarding in photography than to see your photo get published, (except maybe getting paid for it.) I can still remember the excitement of the first photo I ever had published. It was a small 1/4 page picture In Couloir Magazine. It was a skiing photo of a trip my friends and I did to Mt. Timpanogos well before I knew how to ski or take photos. But somehow I had made a submission and it was published. I had no Idea, but one of my friends called me on the phone and said ” Dude, you have a picture in Couloir”. I was so excited! I scrambled to find a copy of it. I went to every store I could think of to try and find a copy, but no one had one. Only subscription holders had received them. Finally I got my hands on one and I felt like I was on top of the world , if only for a moment. Years later and after hundreds of photos published I still get that feeling every now and then. Today I had that feeling that I felt that first day. I am fortunate enough to have landed the cover of Bike Magazine’s cover for June 2010. Bike Magazine is one of the most recognized bike mags in the world and I feel honored to have my photo representing their magazine. Special thanks to Jon Huntsman for lending me his talent and hitting Hollywood 20 times for this shot.
One of my all time favorite shots is this one of JT Holmes. I had gone out with Julian carr, Drew Stoeckline and JT to shoot this air. I had already taken photos of Julian and Drew and they had both been taken vertical. I didn’t want my third shot to look the same. This cliff Drop was about 160 feet and I really didn’t want to cut off the bottom of the cliff or landing and i was having a hard time convincing myself to shoot this horizontally. I didn’t think it would look as good, but I went for it anyway. To my astonishment this shot came out amazing. Who knew,but I liked this angle the best out of all the angles I had shot that cliff from. This was a great lesson to me. Shooting both vertical and horizontal can change the way the photo looks dramatically. Take the time to try and shoot both views and see how it can change your shot.
Well I just went to look in my mailbox and to my surprise I have the cover of the Last issue of Backcountry magazine. This is my Second Cover with Backcountry in the last two y ears. Special props to Jeff Campbell for getting this shot. This was taken Last year on a crappy day, but we figured that we could get some cool shots in the Heart of Darkness. We Did our first Rap to find that there was no snow to ski on even in the middle of the chute. Lucky for us someone that had done it a few days before us had left a nut placed in for a second rapell. When we finally got to the snow the light was just coming into the chute and made perfect light for shooting. Special thanks to Mammut for providing us we a sweet rope and Harnesses to get the job done. Even though this was such a crappy snow day, it was on of the most exciting days of shooting last year.
I dropped by Wasatch Touring yesterday to have my boots worked on and while I was walking by the magazine rack I saw this. When I first got into ski photography I didn’t really know anyone and didn’t have any athletes to shoot. I had Meet a amazing skier named Jason West that was interested in shooting with me and so our journey began. Jason has photographed with me since the start of my photographic career and knows me better than anyone. He and I have toured many mountain ranges all over the world, Seen many sunrises on top of the wasatch and he saved my life in an avalanche. He has become one of my best friends and I can’t think of any telemark skier that deserves a cover more than he dose. You would never know that jason steps up to the plate like he dose when it comes to hucking cliffs. while He is humble and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he will send it bigger than anyone. We have had many photos published through the years and we always tease each other that we are slacking because he hasn’t got a cover yet. Well, We have reached our goal and I look forward to many more days of shooting with you Jason. Congratulations!