This was the big show. The biggest of big shows for me, it’s something I’ve aspired to be involved with since I first saw the show back in April 2004. Seeing the slideshows then made me look at action sports photography in a completely different way. I thought then shooting action sports was just about one thing, the action, and I learned that day I was very very wrong. Seeing the lifestyle images and portraits that tied together the action to the people, the people to the sport made me realize that there was more to it, and that I wanted to bring more to the plate. Out of all the shows that night, Embry Rucker’s work stood out the most to me as inspiring both on the action and lifestyle side of things. Everything changed for me that night and I set a goal to be a part of that show at some point.
Last April I entered a three minute slideshow to be considered for the finals of the Pro Photographer Showdown. I finally felt I had enough to fill the nine minutes of photos that was required as a finalist. I then spent nine days straight working on my show. There’s nothing harder than trying to put together a show of your own work. To pick out only the best of the best and leave the rest on the cutting room floor is extremely difficult. There are so many photos I wanted to put in, and so many that I thought were hammers but after discussing with peers, realized some just held a high emotional attachment for myself for one reason or the other. Cutting those are the hardest. Nine days later I was finally finished and made the drive to Whistler to be a part of the biggest showcase for ski and snowboard photographers that currently exists. To show nine minutes of my life’s work to over 3,000 people at once. I was unbelievably stoked and nervous and kinda choked on stage actually. Had to cut it short and get off the stage..haha. Oops.
I did not win. Surf photography legend Brian Bielmann took the crown with over 30 years of surf and lifestyle photography packed into 9 minutes. Everyone else really didn’t stand a chance with 30 years worth of amazing work to pull from. So, in four years I will be able to re-enter. I can’t wait for it, and hope to make finals again.