The perfect shot 

Evolution of mountain biking industry through the eyes of Sterling Lorence

click to enlarge Big Drop Matt Hunter does a tabletop in Kamloops, B.C. Photo by Sterling Lorence
  • Big Drop Matt Hunter does a tabletop in Kamloops, B.C. Photo by Sterling Lorence

With shots capturing the best, brightest young talents in mountain biking over the past ten years, combined with the stunning natural beauty of British Columbia, it’s easy to see why Sterling Lorence’s work has graced the pages of any and all imaginable mainstream sports magazines.

Growing up as an outdoor enthusiast on the North Shore of B.C., Lorence was a gearhead first and foremost, but couldn’t help but be inspired by his surroundings.

“I’ve spent sort of a lifetime in the Sea to Sky corridor, so snowboarding, skiing and mountain biking took us to all of those beautiful places in B.C. and… I wanted to be able to shoot the amazing places that bikes and boards took us,” he explained.

The more time he spent in the great outdoors, the more he became motivated to record the surrounding beauty properly, eventually pushing him to learn about photography so he could capture the incredible moments on the trails.

Now, talented young athletes know the channels to take if they want to make it big – movies and magazines. But back in the late ‘90s, when Lorence was just learning the tricks of the trade, the commercial aspect of biking wasn’t really a consideration.

“That world of adventure sports being in the forefront of magazines today didn’t really exist when we were younger,” he explained. “It was more about just being out there.”

His career really took off when freeride mountain biking and the North Shore style of riding exploded onto the scene.

As an avid rider of these trails, Lorence was in the perfect position to capture the images that everyone wanted to see, working alongside riders like Andrew Shandro and Wade Simmons, when trail builders like Dangerous Dan were getting their start.

“The magazines of the world wanted to show that because it was something so dramatically different than what people were used to seeing,” he said.

He had found his niche.

Today, he works with some huge international businesses like Adidas and Oakley, as well as some of the largest corporations in the province to ensure he can maintain his career and home here in B.C.

“My goal was to sort of anchor myself with a lot of those local companies, knowing they need work, and I want to be their guy,” he said. “And I know where to go.”

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