Lots of people talk about their lucky break, that one fortuitous event that pushed them over the edge of oppurtunity. I had a lucky brake too but mine was broken and belonged to a pair of Dynastar PX 12 bindings.
Exhibit A: My lucky brake
Browsing the Sell/Trade forum I found some kid from my home mountain who had the extra brake I needed. He didn’t want anything for it, was just happy to hook a fellow skier up. I think I gave him a bunch of random stickers anyway. I put his contact info in my phone as “Caleb Bindings.” Little did I know that brief meeting over a ski brake would push my next ski season in to high gear.
One of my first ski photos, Caleb is still slaying Japans on those same skis.
We shot a few times early in the 13-14 season as I figured out my camera and realized that shooting skiing was actually pretty fun. After an edit or two and some photos three of us decided to take a weekend trip up and stay with Caleb’s parents for the night. In those two days we shot three POD’s and a bunch of video. The next week I got my first two POD’s and I was hooked. That chance meeting over a broken brake had pushed me in to this skiing and shooting madness. The rest of that season was insane. I wrote this article about how I wasn’t a photographer. Then I got in to the NS photographer program. I started covering some events, writing more and compulsively chasing the shot.
Finally at the start of this new year we kicked off the trip we though would never happen. I guess it was a little appropriate, the two guys who got me in to skiing, Ian and James, along with Caleb and myself all jammed in to Roxanne in a wild jaunt from resort to resort, madly gathering content. A year ago when we shot that first fateful photo I would never have seen any of this coming.
Maybe that’s the magic of NS though. We are embedded in this incredible, likeminded community that is much more full of opportunity than we can ever imagine. So many kids are picking up their cameras, opening their laptops and starting to create content. At first most of it will suck. Stick with it though and who knows where it will take you.
I was reminded of this while skiing Timberline where we met up with BeefiestExpert and his crew. The first thing that hit us was their stoke. Halfway through a slushy day with a lot of miles ahead of us we were dragging a little. Their enthusiasm kickstarted our afternoon. These guys were right where I was last year, just starting out, experimenting, trying not to suck, filing every lift ride with questions.
My biggest advice for them, and all of NS? Don’t take it too seriously. Don’t get caught up on gear and experience. Seek out people who’s work you respect and ask them for advice. Chances are they’re still learning and would be happy to share what they have. Media and Arts is full of incredibly talented photographers, videographers and writers, all happy to help. Don’t be scared off by colored names or shots of pros, everybody started somewhere and everyone is just trying to grow and progress
Newschoolers offers a powerful platform to share your work. Where else can you get this many likeminded eyes on what you have done? Sure, bad work might be down voted and ridiculed but that’s an important part of learning. I’ve been taking skiing photos for a year now and at every turn I find new possibilities to grow and new opportunities for my work.
Success won’t come looking for you, it’s not like anyone is putting up “Ski Journalist Wanted” signs. Instead you need to invest yourself, be motivated, be aggressive and maybe even make some sacrifices. The opportunities are there, sometimes you just need a brake.
P.S. I broke that brake again landing my first backflip on this trip, and Caleb is still in my phone as “Caleb Bindings” Huge thank you to Caleb, James, Ian, and everyone else who has pushed me to ski and shoot.