Initial Reaction: INCREDIBLE! And did I really just get interviewed by MTV Canada? Or did I just get "punked?"
The whole experience start to finish was amazing. What an honor to be a finalist among Blake Jorgenson, Brynn Hughes, Russel Dalby, Mike Yoshida, and Steve Lloyd!
As a young intern with Powder and Bike Magazines I can recall ooogling over slide and print submissions from Blake and Bryn (yes, pre digital takeover). The first year I moved to Utah I remember going to see an inspiring slide show of Steve's. And my first summer out west was spent living in an a-frame with 9 people at the bottom of Mt Hood shooting camp photos for Windells (and High Cascade) with my roommates, one of which was the awesomely funny, talented, and great all around guy, Mike Yoshida who has gone on to work for K2 snowboards and now as associate PE for Snowboarder Mag. And not to leave out Russell... I was not familiar with his work before the show, but his bio was funny, and he's a staff photog for Snowboard Canada, and after his slideshow I am a BIG fan! So... to reiterate... HOW AMAZING to be a finalist alongside them all!
As a young photographer now living in Salt Lake City, Utah and holding down a full time job with Backcountry.com (strangely, I was unable to find work in a restaurant, hmmm....) I have much to juggle in the way of my job with bc.com and my personaal ski shooting, editing, processing, submitting, marketing, invoicing, sleeping (what's that?), and taking time for myself to just ski, or bike, or generally explore this natural world. My budgets are small. The most exotic places I traveled to this year were Terrace and Smithers in northern BC, Canada. The most exotic place I have ever been is Las Lenas Argentina and that was 5 years ago, and we didn't much leave the beaten gringo path. But on this limited budget, I do find extreme joy in documenting what IS unique about the places we would ordinarily brush off as just another North American town and the joy that traveling with and meeting good people can bring. While I would love to explore some far away places, people, and cultures, it is amazing what you can find in your own backyard. So... to reiterate again... HOW AMAZING to be a finalist!