Ilanna Barkusky | Deep Winter Slideshow

01.11.2017 Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Born and raised in Vancouver, Ilanna developed a love for adventure and the outdoors at an early age. With the Sea-to-Sky region in her backyard, she was influenced to combine her passions of outdoor activity and creativity together. Relocating to Whistler at first chance, Ilanna began focusing on commercial and editorial projects within the action sports industry.

Last week, she competed at her first ever Deep Winter Photo Challenge, where invited photographers have 72 hours to capture athletes in their natural mountain habitats and edit the best images into a five-minute slideshow.


When I was first asked if I wanted to do it I was actually really taken by surprise. It has been a huge goal of mine to get an invite to this contest, but I imagined it happening a few years down the road from now. After graduating university a few weeks ago, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.

It was a rush to execute my shot list in only three days, and some main ideas I had hinged on pure luck. Due to equipment malfunctions I had to change my vision on certain aspects of the theme at the last minute, but that is to be expected in these types of contests. Luckily, my athlete team was really motivated to get things done from the earliest we could upload until late at night. It ended up being a fun three days!

My video editor [Graeme Meiklejohn] and I stayed up until 3 AM the night before putting everything together, and then came back in the morning to put the finishing touches on it. Seeing what I had storyboarded come together was amazing, it turned out pretty close to how I imagined.

The whole Whistler community comes together for events like this, so it was amazing to be able to present my show with so many of my friends in the crowd. Showcasing my work to a huge live audience was an unreal experience that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. I thought I was going to be a lot more nervous than I actually was, I just tried to enjoy the moment as best as possible.

There is no better location for a contest like this one, and no place I would rather call home. Despite the tough snow conditions during the shooting days, there are always so many amazing zones to shoot in and good snow to be found somewhere. The vast amount of terrain means that the shooting possibilities are endless. The community is also absolutely amazing, this event sells out every year and draws such a passionate crowd. It is really motivating to see that kind of appreciation for photography.

- Ilanna Barkusky