Behind the scenes with Erin Hogue: capturing Deep Winter in Whistler
Up and coming Whistler-based snowboard photographer Erin Hogue turned heads with her slideshow at the Arc’teryx Deep Winter Photo Challenge, presented by GORE-TEX®. Keep an eye out for Erin’s work. She is driven!
Homebase: Whistler B.C.
Years Shooting Snowboarding: 3
Camera Setup: Canon 5d Mark III
What was it like being a part of the Deep Winter Photo Challenge? Have you been to the event before?
I have been to Deep Winter before, but I have never competed in anything like it. It is a lot more intense, and ridiculous than I ever thought possible but it is also a really amazing thing to be a part of at the same time.
What was your approach going into the contest and how did you build your team?
I was the last photographer invited, so it was actually pretty difficult to get a team and concept together in a short amount of time. I asked a number of people who were already on other people’s teams and since Whistler is having a pretty rough season a lot of people I normally shoot with were out of town too. I had to pull together a diverse group of people and was pretty worried how everyone would work together. Luckily, everyone who ended up on my team was awesome, and they absolutely killed it! We definitely ended up with the best team!
Were there any challenges you faced during the competition?
Sticking to the rules and trying to decide what would be allowed and what wouldn’t fly was really hard. There was one spot that we rushed to first thing in the morning because it had good snow, great light, rocks, poppers, texture, pretty much everything you could ask for in a spot. When we got there though it was all roped off with a sign threatening to revoke passes if crossed. We debated shooting anyway but decided not to and lost a lot of time because of it. Later that day we found out another team shot at that spot and it was all good with ski patrol. That was a pretty big let down for us.
How did you choose the song Hearts Like Ours by The Naked And Famous for your slideshow?
Ryan Kenny, who took care of the technical side of putting the slideshow together suggested the song to me the week before Deep Winter started. I had listened to a ton of songs before, but nothing really fit until I heard Hearts Like Ours.
Were you stressed when you found out another competitor chose the same song?
Yeah actually… I had cleared the song with the organizers that night. Then a few hours before the slideshows were due, Sonja Lercher texted me saying another team was using the same song. Then the organizers and judges had to try to decide what to do about it. They decided we could use the song, however there was still debate between a few of our team members on what to do. We even tried re-editing it to another song but we just couldn’t make it work, and we were running out of time fast. In the end we stuck with the original song but it definitely got pretty intense there for a bit.
Can you name your favorite image from the slideshow you put together?
Everyone on my team worked really hard and we were able to get a lot of really sweet shots that I love for different reasons. But there is one pow slash image of Colin D. Watt that was epic. I shot it wide angle so I got completely covered in snow. I couldn’t use that lens for the rest of the day because it would just fog up, but it was worth it.
Where would you like to be career-wise 5 years from now?
I want to still be doing what I am doing now; constantly challenging myself with photography and pushing the limits of what I thought possible before. That is one of the things I love about it. Photography is constantly growing and changing and there is always a new way to shoot something and a new perspective you can take on it. I get bored pretty easily, but since photography has so much potential and constantly challenges me I never get bored with it. I don’t know exactly where it will take me but I definitely know in 5 years from now, I want to be doing bigger shoots, in crazier places and pushing myself to get better and more ridiculous angles than I am now.
What photographers in snowboarding inspire you & why?
Scott Serfas is definitely on that list. He has been shooting snowboarding almost since the very beginning and always seems to produce clean and really solid images. Oli Gagnon is right up there too; the composition of his images are always rad and his use of light always seems to produce something unique. Ashley Barker is on there too, her perspective and the angles she shoots from are always sweet. Oh and the way Mike Helfrich plays with light in his shots is epic… Haha I could go on.
What was it like getting Iced on stage by Colin D. Watt?
I definitely did not see that coming! Apparently, he had been talking about doing it all week but I was completely oblivious. It was pretty awkward too; at first they couldn’t get the bottle open, then when they did Feet just handed it to me and said I could take it and drink it at my seat. I took a step to walk away and thought “that is not how this game is supposed to work”, so I downed it.
Now, I have to figure out a way to get back at Colin for icing me in front of 1200 people…suggestions are welcome…