Jamie Walter | Slideshow

12.30.2016

Hey Jamie! How’s it going? Tell us a bit about your week.

Howdy! Life is good. In between trips and holiday madness currently - I am still unpacking from two weeks on the road in Utah and Colorado earlier in December, while also getting ready for a backcountry hut trip in British Columbia on Friday. The constant on-the-road life is new to me, but I’m super thrilled to have opportunities to explore the world and do what I love.

What’s on the schedule for this season?

Haha, I wish I could have my entire season planned out already. The reality is that, if you’re lucky, you maybe know what the next two or three weeks will bring. But that’s a big “if.”

I’m really looking forward to this season though. I just recently left my job of three years at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine to take a dive into the freelance photography world. I’ll still be based out of the East Coast (up at the Loaf) but will be traveling as much as possible during the winter months. My next adventure is a backcountry hut trip outside of Whistler, then I’m hoping to make it over to Quebec to tag along on some urban missions. After that, I’m open (that’s a hint, friends...)

In addition to freelance work in the ski industry, my good friend, Taylor Walker, and I are starting up content creation company here in Maine. So when I'm home, I’ve been working with him a lot to get everything established.

How did you first get into photography? What about skiing? When did you start combining the two?

I’ve been skiing since I was two years old, and grew up coming to Sugarloaf every winter of my life. Photography, however, came much later. It actually all started when I was 10 or so, and got a Canon ZR80 video camera for Christmas. I made a lot of pretty terrible home movies before getting more serious about filmmaking when I was in High School. It wasn’t until I got a Canon T2i for filming that I realized I liked taking photos, too. I bounced back and forth between the two mediums for a little while, primarily shooting skiing, before deciding that photography was more my thing.

That decision was made about five years ago, and I’ve been shooting “professionally” for the last four.

What other types of photography do you enjoy shooting and consuming?

I’ve really enjoyed getting out and shooting landscapes the past few summers, which has definitely influenced my ski photography style. My absolute favorite action photos, whether that action is skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, or mountain biking, all involve a great moment happening in a beautiful environment.

In general, photography has always captured my attention more than other mediums. It’s an incredibly powerful tool - a single image can instantly transport the viewer to a totally different place in the world, where they become part of a moment in time. As a photographer, you hold a lot of power when making a picture; your composition, edit style, selection, etc. all determine the tone and mood for that image. You have the ability to tell an entire story in a single photograph, and I think that’s really powerful.

Outside of skiing and landscapes, I draw a lot of inspiration from skate and surf photography. I really enjoy looking at good portraiture too, because I’m terrible at it and am trying to improve. Haha.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

Haha, shit, I haven’t been asked this question in a long time, so I probably won’t have a very good answer. I think photography will always be part of my life in some way, shape, or form - I find it relaxing, therapeutic, and enjoyable whether it’s for my career or personal pleasure. In five years, I hope to be doing what I love, and loving what I do. Ten years down the road, there might be a family involved, but that objective remains the same.

Honestly, the only thing I really care about is being able to look back on what I’m doing now, or at any point going forward, and say, “I made the most out of the opportunities presented to me in that moment and I had a damn fun time doing it.” I’m not too worried about “success,” and I don’t really care if I make a ton of money or not. That’s not what life's about to me. We’re all only on this planet for a short amount of time, and who knows what the future will bring; it seems silly to work towards a fun tomorrow when you can enjoy today.

“Do what you love, and love what you do.”

What are five things you still have yet to check off the photo checklist?

Oh boy! My photo bucket list is long, way more than five. Bagging a cover is definitely at the top of my list; I’m hoping I can get one this season, I have all winter to create something worthy. Also on the list are a Japan-uary powder mission, shoot Nine Royals (formerly Nine Knights), get invited to compete in Deep Winter, shot a lot of beautiful mountain ranges around the world, and get a photo published in National Geographic. There are a few other top secret goals I had to leave out, but if I got most of those that I listed accomplished, I could die happy.

What advice do you have for aspiring content creators?

Practice, practice, practice. Seriously, the best way to improve your skill set is to just go out and work at it. Put yourself in different situations and challenge yourself to do something you haven’t done before. Sometimes you get in over your head, and that’s ok - I’ve found I’ve done some of my best work while under the gun, in a situation that was new and challenging. As long as you understand that you may occasionally come up short of expectations at first, there’s a lot you can learn from before, during, and after the experience. In short - don’t shy away from doing something new.

I have also learned a ton by working alongside other photographers. Whether it’s a casual situation where a buddy and I are out shooting a sunrise, or during an event where there are several of us running around, there’s a lot you can pick up on just by observing. Sometimes you find yourself saying, “Man, why didn’t I think to do that?” and other times, “Well, I would have approached that by doing this instead.” Both examples show you’re thinking about the task at hand and your personal vision of the image you wish to create.

Follow Jamie on Facebook, Instagram, and via his website at www.jamiewalter.com