So after my season in Meribel I knew what I wanted.........
In fact it started in Australia, the dream of taking photos and travelling whilst doing it was something I knew I was passionate about. This became more of a reality when I started to push my snow sports photography in the French Alps. I came away from the season with the motivation to push this in to a career, least of all, a job on the side of my full time work for now.
First of all was to plan the summer ahead, what competitions to head to and where to go. Living in the Lake District its easy to get a beautiful landscape shot, but I wanted bigger and better! So before I went anywhere, Iceland got booked!
Firstly I had Kjam 2016 to shoot! The local comp attracting riders from around the country is a feel good vibe and chilled atmosphere. The day went well and the afterparty was a good old fashioned barn party, mixed with some heavy drum and bass and some crazy dancing!
Next was a a trip up to a slope I've always wanted to ride....... Bearsden. The freestyle aspect is pushed in every way at this location, and it shows in the level of riding talent they keep producing! The likes of Matty McCormick and Marc McClement are making huge dints into the snowboarding world! The whole day was fun to shoot, with all the best riders from around England and Scotland throwing down their biggest and best tricks to impress the judges! Tricks that started to take my photos to the next level, with 540 japans and some seriously styled out backflips, the riders were making my job easy! I came away from Bearsden happy with my shots and the passion to go back up there and do a private shoot with some of the riders!
After getting back from Meribel I had been in contact with James streamer about teaming up for a bit of a combined shoot, a few weeks later James had arranged a Media day, where 3 photographers and 3 filmers would have full privacy on a slope full of riders! So a 4 hour journey down south, with a nights sleep in the back of the van, I was raring to go! The level of riding, was once again at a high standard to keep us all entertained, but yet I came away a little disheartened with the photos I had got. Maybe 3 photographers and 3 filters was a little to crowded, or maybe it just wasn't my day, but I found out recently that it was this day that got me noticed for job I have dreamt about!
Once again I set off up north on the M6 heading to Bearsden again, this time for that arranged shoot with a few of the best British riders around! I was super excited for this one even if the weather was miserable on the way up! Having met Matt and Marc at Go big or go home I only had the introduction of Angus Malloch. Being a big follower of no home like a dome I had seen the standard that Angus rode at so I was pretty excited to start shooting! Little did I know I had already met Angus at the top of Area 43 in Meribel!!!
Introductions over and the first warm up 720 got thrown, after Angus proceeded to tell me he didn't like dry slope, the photo of the night came from him throwing a lazy 360! This is just after the sky decided to dazzle us with a light show turning it into a different kind of sunset shoot! Not only did I come away with some amazing shots but I also gained so much experience from doing this shoot! I can't thank the dudes enough for helping me with this!
Throughout spring and summer, and between comps and shoots my friend Scotty and I were doing a little project filming Scotty Walsh. The idea was for him to travel to as many of the dry slopes around the north and filming him throwing the double front flip. We succeeded in doing Kendal, stoke, Rossi and Halifax, all got a double front thrown by the little dude! Scotty is clearly one to watch now and for the future, with him competing against some of the best at Rock a Rail later in the year! Thanks to Scotty for doing a lot of the filming and all the editing!
Confident that my level of photography was improving, I messaged the organisers of the BRITS to see if there was an opportunity to shoot the indoors. To my surprise they offered me the job, so thermals on and batteries ready and charged, I headed to the Chill Factore. The day was super entertaining with tricks getting dropped from everyone, with my boy Angus throwing the hammer of the day with a transfer method from the jump to the big gasser! I loved shooting the Brits, I love the whole atmosphere and being within the whole scene! Friends that I had got to know through the comps were becoming family, and it was a great feeling! I want to thank the dudes at Soulsports forgiving me the opportunity to shoot the day.
Throughout the summer Chill Factore was a regular jaunt for me every other Friday. I managed to hook up a private shoot with the Traplord him self John Weatherly. Throw some Corey Copeland in there and the photoshoot went off! Ive been watching these dudes ride for a couple of years and it was a pleasure to be involved with them! Not knowing that bigger and better things will come from this!! Huge thanks boys appreciate the time you gave me!
Charity day was an event I was more then willing to help out and shoot. All for a great cause and to help out the family I have made from being in the snow sports scene. Justin Taylor Tipton is one of the best up and coming riders in the British scene and to watch him and the likes of Row Emry (arrived late) and the Bancroft twins the day was going to be entertaining none the less! The chilled out vibe and great atmosphere made for a fun day out at Stoke ski centre.
The place is amazing, its every photographers dream with picturesque landscapes that I've wanted to visit since I took up photography! Visiting beautiful waterfalls and dramatic scenery my camera was working around the clock! Seljalandsfoss was the focus point of my trip, I've dreamt of shooting the sunset here for years! I was in luck, the timing was right and the weather was perfect! even the amount of tourists wouldn't put me off!! Capturing this near perfect shot put the biggest smile on my face! Even if it was in-between wiping the water spray off!!! There's no better feeling then walking away from shooting knowing you have a good one. Along with Vik and Jökulsárlón beach the whole island was a dream to travel around! Another trip will definitely be getting booked, less planning and more spontaneous adventures next time, thats what travelling is all about after all!
With the disappointment of not going on a season again, I had to keep myself busy throughout the winter. Firstly I booked a trip back to Meribel, a holiday to catch up with all my friends from the season. Sadly the snow wasn't the best, but anything is better then dry slope! So I took full advantage of being on a mountain again and shredded hard and drank even harder! The catch up was just what I needed, and the season life is definitely still in me.
I then got myself involved with something a little different........... mountain biking.
My good friend Ben Gerrish asked if I wanted to be involved with a project based on the winter mountain biking scene and the aspect of having just "one more brew."
I jumped into this full of enthusiasm and had ideas flying all around my head! The main one was being to tell a story of a day in the life of. This was to be with not just one rider but 3! I want to thank Luther, Danny and Lucy for being a huge help throughout this project! I couldn't of done any of this without you guys.
So after doing the after hours shoot with john at Chill Factore, he gave me the opportunity to travel with the Boobytrap dudes to Flachauwinkle. Basically a dream come true for me, following snowboarders around this beautiful resort shooting them all day! The trip was a huge success, with the adults coming the first week, the coaching got underway splitting into different groups focusing on different aspects of boarding! It was extremely interesting to watch and even better to shoot! Sadly one of my Lenses got smashed with me getting too close to the action, but a quick order back home and a very lucky order of events got me the 14mm lens back in my hands within two days! The second week was the kids, a little bit faster and a little bit harder to shoot (they wouldn't slow down!) On the first week I scoped out the stash park, especially the rainbow. Straight away I knew what shot I wanted all I needed was the weather! As soon as the sun came out I got John and Rob to hit it, and in my eyes getting one of my shots of the year! Walking away from that day with a huge smile my face, thank god for the 14mm lens! A HUGE thank you to John Weatherly for the hook up, your helping me live my dream, and I couldn't be more grateful!
Since shooting snow sports I've always wanted to head to the BRITS. The iconic British competition held out in Laax, Switzerland. I was set up for shooting the skiing all week, so ski cross on the first day in-between the cloud and low fog we managed to get through the runs with barely a hiccup. The speed these dudes picked up was something you very rarely see on the normal slopes! Day 2 was slopestyle and day 3 was half pipe both affected by the low cloud over the valley, but the awesome organisation of the comp got through it and the days were a success. The half pipe was super exciting to shoot as it was a new test for me! Getting the low shots with the wide angle and the sharp ones with the 70-200mm. The next day I got asked to do the half pipe snowboarding, for some reason I felt more at ease and the atmosphere was bouncing. With the experience from the day before I went out full of enthusiasm, managing to capture some awesome shredding from groms as young as 5 up to the masters category (age not known!) The whole week was super fun, topped off by shredding the last day and shooting my boys Angus, Jamie, Collum and Mike. I couldn't of come away any happier then this week, very productive and meeting and shredding with people that can progress my dream! A massive thank you to Stu and Spencer for the invite, you will never know how much this meant to me and how grateful I am!
The last year has been a dream to me, thank you to everyone that has helped me in every way possible I'm truly grateful!
Time for BLUEBIRD PHOTOGRAPHY to start looking to the next year..................