Whistler people love their winter sport photographs, like, A LOT and that's why this year's Olympus Pro Photo Showdown sold out five weeks before the competition date. It's the first time in the competitions 14 years that this has happened.
"You're looking at some of the best in the world of action sport photography, doing a worldwide call and we're bringing these people in from anywhere in the world," says Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival executive director Sue Eckersley.
"If you've been to it, it's an epic moment. When (people have) seen it they don't want to miss it. If they've been once they want to keep going back," she says.
For those with tickets, these brief bios of the six photographers should make one thing very clear: they all love their winter sport photographs.
The man has skills, there's no question. His documentation of backcountry excursions has earned him worldwide recognition and the trust of a long list of companies, from Bell to Helly Hansen.
But at the end of the day, he just wants to show his personal favourites for a crowd of people in his chosen hometown of Whistler.
"Mostly everything I do is for someone else," he said.
"Someone else chooses the photos that you see out there, so to put together a presentation that is made by me for that audience in our hometown, I don't know why you wouldn't want to do this (year after year)," he says.
This is the fourth time in 10 years he's been included in the competition and he says his slideshow features images from the past decade, as sort of a 10th Anniversary edition of Blake Jorgenson.
True or false: Wilkstrom is the first woman chosen for the Pro Photo Showdown in history?
Answer: True. And it's as bizarre to Wilkstrom as it is to most others, because she says she has met a multitude of talented female photographers over the years that could have cut the mustard.
"But at the same time it's really amazing," she says. "On any level, male or female, it's great to have your work validated like that."
Based in Salt Lake City, she has made a career of shooting female skiers in ways not previously depicted in the media.
"I took a look around at photos of the women in the media and there were a couple of good ones here and there, but then there were a lot of cheesy dumbed-down ski photos, or there were lots that were exploiting the sexuality of these women to sell gear," she says. "That's not cool! Girls love to just ski too, so why don't we just see more of that?"
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