Working as a photographer you get to walk the fine line between chaos and order. Taking time to plan in advance to eliminate risks and unknowns, while embracing the chaos that creative work thrives in, and the not so predictable worlds of Skiing and Mountain Biking. The Banff Photographer Shootout epitomized the conflicting worlds of (dis)organization in the life of a ski photographer.
A little background on the event: this was the first year of the Banff Photographer Shootout, a competition where you have 7 days to shoot, edit, and create a slideshow, which is then pitted against 5 other photographers. (Same idea as Deep Summer/Deep Winter in Whistler)
24 Hours before the competition started: Every rider, assistant, location, carefully planned out to work efficiently with people I wanted to, in the places I wanted to. Itinerary set. Then:
-35 wind chill in Calgary
The worst avalanche conditions in 30 years.
Highway closures adding hundreds of kilometers and many hours to traveling times.
Equipment acting unpredictably from extremely variable temperatures and humidity levels.
Riders getting injured.
Melting Levels near the peaks of lots of mountains.
Its events like the Banff Shootout that remind you, no matter how well you have a shoot organized, a team’s ability to act spontaneously, and create innovative solutions on short notice proves to be more valuable. Through all the madness my team of athletes managed to pull off some great work, and our slideshow won the event. Although I’m the one behind the lens pushing the button, the creativity, positive attitude, and skill of each of the athletes determined our success.
More pictures from the slideshow night, and some of the competing photographer’s slideshows Click here