Behind The Cover – 19.1: Ylfa Rúnarsdóttir in Ottawa

Jesse Dawson talks about her new cover with Ylfa!

Filming for Hot Coco, coming later this year, Ylfa scored her first cover riding down the side of a building in Ottawa with Burton photog Jesse Dawson behind the lens! We caught up with Jesse for a quick look into her career and the day up in Canada where they walked away with this one.

Ylfa Cover Jesse Dawson Hot Coco

Congrats on the cover! Give us the details.
Yes! First one. First one for Ylfa as well. Very exciting! Ottawa, Canada, f/4.0, 1/1600, ISO 800, 24-70mm, Canon EOS R5. 

Why the lens choice? 
I actually wanted to show more of the building b/c it’s big! Making this drop from her, even more boss! It’s an interesting looking building even without her sliding down it, but I didn’t want to take away from her. 

For the people that don’t know you, what is your job? 
I’m the staff photographer at Burton Snowboards, I shoot a lot of our marketing content and anything going on at the company. Every day is different, I’m either out there on trips with riders, shooting something for the website/blog or taking photos of anything happening at the office. It’s a dream. 

Cover Behind the scene, hot coco burton snowboards Part of the Hot Coco crew, Nora Beck, Maria Thomsen, filmer Alex Adrian, and Ylfa. p: Jesse

Favorite thing about your job? 
Favorite part of the job are the people. Not only do I love our crew we work with every day; Chaka, Jamie, Alex, Pete, but I love our team (team riders) and all the fun people I get to meet out in the mountains. 

What brought you to Burlington and to Burton? 
The job did. I was looking to move out of Denver and was hunting for photography jobs all over the world. A photo job at Burton showed up on my LinkedIn search and I applied. I had never been to Vermont, flew in to do 7 interviews in one day and got offered the job. I moved to VT and haven’t looked back. I love it here! I started at Burton as a product photographer in the studio. I was there for a few years then started shooting more lifestyle and action (I’ve always been more passionate about people than product) as Burton’s staff photographer. I’ve been in that position for 5 years now. I got asked to join Alex Adrian (filmer at Burton) and head to Ottawa to meet up with some of our team, Maira, Ylfa and Nora while they shot for their upcoming film Hot Coco. It was an awesome trip. These woman and not only incredible street riders, but they are so fun to be around.  

Who did you work for before the Big B? 
I worked as a freelance photographer, but also was shooting for a sporting goods company called Sports Authority. I started shooting sports in high school, studied photography in college and have been shooting ever since. All in all, I’ve been shooting for a little over 20 years. 

Any big shoots that you have a funny story about or fond memory of? 
Ah, my first New Zealand trip will always be my favorite. Such a beautiful place, and I cut my head open on a “Nut Cracker.” If you have ridden at some of the smaller club field resorts there you’ll know what I’m talking about. I also LOVED shooting in Banff. Another magical place, with incredible views around every turn.

Ylfa The climb. p: Jesse

So how was the crew out in Ottawa? 
Swaggy! I have shot a few street sessions before, but this was my first one on a street movie production, and with this crew. SO fun. We drove up early to meet the girls and their filmer. Right when we got into Ottawa we noticed all the trucks. The 2022 Trucker protest had just begun and things were weird. The truckers were holding up traffic everywhere, but it helped us b/c all the cops were preoccupied. The hotel we were at had 100 cops staying there from other cities in Canada. Yikes. 

The whole shoot was incredibly fun, Alex and I were with them for 3 days all together. They had scouted a bunch and Ylfa had this spot in mind. Maria bought a ladder from Home Depot (just to return it later, a clutch move) and she helped Ylfa up 3 different flights to get to the top (pretty sure Maira is terrified of heights but she did it for Ylfa). On Ylfa’s second attempt at the drop a security guard asked Maira what they were doing and if someone was on the roof, Ylfa ducked and he couldn’t see her. He mentioned he was going to call the cops but by the time she dropped and got the clip, we were all packed up! A second security guard questioned us, and we just smiled and said goodbye.      

The lights where on, were there people in the building working haha?
There were people there, it was Monday, January 31st. 

Any busts on that trip? 
No busts, lots of cops, but none that cared about us. 

When is the Hot Coco dropping? 
This winter! 

Plans for this season? 
Going wherever Burton tells me to go! 

Advice for any photogs trying to follow in your footsteps?
Have fun and be nice! If you’re not in it to have a good time, you’re doing it wrong. I just love photography and I love people, so it’s an easy choice. Working hard helps too. 

Thanks Jesse!  
Thanks Mark and everyone at Snowboard Mag! This has been a dream come true!

Ylfa Ylfa enjoying the fruits of her labor. p: Jesse


Up Next

March 24, 2023

Grip It and Rip It: A Filming Update with Miles Fallon

Miles checks in from his first sled trip up in BC.

March 23, 2023

What’s the Deal? Salomon Shadow Fit

In 2005, the engineers at Salomon Snowboards noticed something long overlooked in binding development: lateral flex. Bindings are designed...

March 21, 2023

Lenny Mazzotti and the Heart of Bear Mountain

"Whenever we get a bunch of great riders coming to Bear, I get all excited and nostalgic at the...

March 21, 2023

Blair the Brain is Making Complex Concussion Concepts Easy to Understand

"Head injuries are complex and hard to understand which is why people stray away from learning anything about them."

March 19, 2023

The Maple Syrup Flows Nearly as Fast as the Race Times at Blauvelt’s Banks

The most delicious trophies in snowboarding serve a good cause in Northern Vermont.

March 16, 2023

Peaks on Peaks: Zeb Powell on JBL’s Snow Show at Park City

Zeb Powell gives his quick thoughts on JBL's Peaks On Peaks event.

March 16, 2023

Summoned by the Sidehits: Rome x Snowboy’s Séance at Waterville Valley

photos: Ashley Rosemeyerwords: Mike Basher Ouija imagine hitting the slopes of New Hampshire’s beautiful snow-capped mountains in the early...

March 15, 2023

WATCH: Mark McMorris Full Part from ARK

Easily one of the parts of the year.

March 13, 2023

Burton Releases MINE77 x Underberg Collection

Jake's favorite herbal aperitif on special collection to honor his love of good times in the mountains.