I always enjoy watching how people interact with my work, discussing what they like and don’t like about individual images. This week I was showing a potential customer my snow related portfolio with the aim of them choosing an image to purchase as a large format print. Making images that cater to all tastes is an impossible endeavour. When a person is critiquing your work, with a view to purchase a print, then this becomes even more apparent.
“No, no, not this one, umm maybe this one, this is on the shortlist, too safe, next…, wait there, this one!”
The image above is the image they chose (they actually bought two, with them also taking this one). With many of my images focusing on the beauty of the sport when everything goes right, it’s great to see that both the images they chose originate from when everything goes wrong. I can’t wait to see the finished result and i’ll post a shot up on my Facebook page once they’ve arrived at the office.
In terms of dissecting this image for this ‘behind the shot’ series, this image optimises two things to me: when things go wrong and the exuberance of youth.
It’s plain to see that something’s gone wrong here. A cliff drop is the culprit on this occasion, sending the skier crashing to the ground and ejecting both skis in the process. On a list of things that you really don’t want to happen whilst skiing, this has to be right up there at the top. The youth element revolves around the context this image was shot in. For the last two years i’ve worked alongside the Freeride World Tour (FWT), photographing the athletes as they tour across some of the great freeriding resorts of Europe: Chamonix, Courmayeur, Fieberbrunn and Verbier. Running parallel to the FWT is the Junior Freeride Tour (JFT), with this image being from the Verbier stop on the tour.
I’ll be the first to admit that I thought that shooting the juniors was a raw deal. It was far to easy to make assumptions on their level of ability and aesthetic quality of their skiing. All of these assumptions were completely levelled once i first saw them ski. These kids rock! The process of capturing images during the JFT fits in well to my style, as i’m able to work my way up and down the face, find a shooting angle and try to get some solid images before moving on.
This Particular cliff appeared to be in the eyes of a few of the juniors, and they were all getting pretty roughed up by it. Committing to the line was an all or nothing move, with the winner of the event landing this drop, while others fell by the wayside. I look forward to working with the juniors again this season and can’t wait to see some of their antics on drops like this.