If you look for snowboarding on the web, you get hit by thousand of images and video of riders, produced by a variety of  photographers and video makers; and most of the times, these still and moving images were shot in the very same moment, as a photographer always comes after a video production. The photographer who follows the video production in the trip is going to shoot images for core magazine and for the riders’ sponsors. His main purpose is to create a story, a report that has to be fresh, funny and engaging for a broad audience.

I was lucky enough to be involved in several video productions on an international level and, as you can imagine, I witnessed incredible and stunning situations, unforgettable moments and visited the most isolated mountains. I created strong bounds both with athletes and video makers, and some of them became my best friends. As you can see in the wonderful video The Eternal Beauty Of Snowboarding by Jerome Tanon, we are driven by passion, not by high paychecks. Passion is key of these situations and the friendships created around a snowboard video project. Most of the people involved are 100% passionate about snowboarding… Yes, there is some money, but we struggle to survive: it is only thanks to passion that snowboarding will never surrender.

Thanks to Monster Energy, in winter 2016 I was staff photographer for Searching For by Different Video Production. All the images you see here were shot during the trips with Simon Gruber, Ethan Morgan, Marco Grigis, Tom Klocker, Halldor Helgason and filmers Marco Morandi and Massimo Caldara. To help you understand how to work with top riders in a video production, I am going to reveal ten little, practical secrets:

  • Black is the new black! Dress in black, always: if you accidentally get into the frame, you can easily hide behind the trees, or just lie in the snow and look like a rock;
  • Stay fit! You are going to chase top athletes down the slope or up a steep cliff. They are not going to wait for a coach potato, and you can’t use the heavy photo backback as an excuse to slow them down. At least, you are not asked to perform their tricks.
  • Stay alive! Learn how to use Artva, shovel, probe; I mean, get into a course and learn how to. Get into a first aid course too. Hopefully, the only times you are going to use a shovel will be to build jumps, not to dig someone out of an avalanche. I ant to be honest; I don’t like to shovel, but when the crew is building big kickers, everyone works.
  • Kill the time! Hit the road with a TV series in your laptop, two series are even better. Get passionate about board and card games (my favorites are Dixit and Uno). Anything that will help you during bad weather days. They seem to last forever, but at least I learned how to play the ukulele.
  • Talk several languages! Video productions gather athletes from different countries: yes, English is everyday spoken language, but people from same nationality will tend to talk in their language, and you don’t want to get lost in translation in a car packed with Germans, during a 10 hours drive. It is also good to know if people are talking shit about you!
  • Spend money! If you are a photographer, you are already spending a ot of money in equipment. So be sure to spend a little more for environmentally sealed cameras and lenses. And for some extra battery. You are going to work in the cold. You will be wet. Forsure it will snow.
  • Bring extra socks! Bring a lot of them, and don’t even think you’ll have the luxury to do a laundry during a snowboard trip.
  • Less is more! You might posses a lot of photo equipment, but you don’t want to bring it all on your shoulders, so take with you the minimal essential. You will find new ways to compose and shoot your pictures.
  • Breathe! Listen to the silence. Yes, these sound like motivational poster advices (they are), but there is no place like high mountains to breathe such clean and pure air, and to listen to the absolute silence.
  • And finally, have fun! If you are following your passion, if you are stuck in a snowboard trip to follow your dream, while giving up things that everyone else consider important, you’re on the right direction. You will get unforgettable memories, the ones not easily reachable by anybody. Good memories, funny memories.

If you are a photographer or a video maker, snowboarding will give you fun, smiles and joy. If you don’t feel em, then probably you are not cut for this job. Or you’re not doing it with the right passion. Have fun, smile, never surrender!