Andy finally came through with his Real In The Field Answers so I thought I would give him a proper intro. If you don’t know who he is and you look at snowboard magazines you are sleepin’. If I had to guess I would say he is one of the most published photographers of banger snow action in the last decade. The dude grinds.
How has your perspective of snowboarding and snowboard photography changed over the past 10 years?
The simple answer is that the impossible has become possible. It’s seriously crazy to me to think how far things have come in the last decade. It’s crazy just season to season how much better people get, but man if I look at where things are now compared to back then, I don’t think even if I was a consultant for a snowboarding video game would I have the characters in the game doing what people are doing now. Just to be clear though, most of what I speak of is happening not on the mountain. Yes, jumping has progressed, but only slightly. it is limited to how far it can really go besides bigger. If you watch videos, “cheese-wedge boarding” is pretty much the same old tricks being done in the same spots, maybe a little bigger and sometimes with slightly better style (but not often). Of course the stuff that guys like John Jackson is doing is unquestionably taking things to another level. He’s doing new tricks, but going huge and actually making them look good. There is a handful of guys that use the natural terrain of the mountain to do freestyle-based tricks. that stuff is amazing to me. In a lot of ways what they are doing is closer to what is happening in the streets, just in that they are adapting and using the natural terrain. This is so much more interesting that building an 8 foot high wedge in front of steep landing, which is essentially park riding in the back country but because there is no snow cat helping you, it is somehow legit?
Are you jaded?
I think I might be a little jaded at times, in that I really don’t want to keep shooting the same old shit over and over. I like new stuff or old classic tricks in new environments. Also after so many years it’s easier to spot trends and gimmicky shit that isn’t going to last, so it’s hard to get too excited about that stuff that gets everyone’s panties in a wad for a season. I’m also becoming less and less enthused with competitive snowboarding. Halfpipe riding is enjoyable to watch when done proper, but it’s so far are the fringe of the snowboarding now, there is probably less that 1% of snowboarders who actually ride halfpipe, yet it’s what represents us to the world in the Olympics. As far a actually going snowboarding though, the passion is still there, and going strong. If it wasn’t there is no way in hell i could do this job, it just wouldn’t be interesting to me. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not easy money. I’m not complaining, but if you don’t really love snowboarding, than standing out in the cold for hours on end can get old really quick.
Would you rather watch a Steelers super bowl win or shoot a photo that would be a guaranteed cover?
Believe it or not, I would take the cover shot, even if it wasn’t guaranteed, any day. That’s my personal Superbowl getting one of those and it isn’t easy at all. I have had so many “sure things” slip away over the years that I’m not so sure I even know what a cover shot is anymore.♦