Tim Peare, Nate Deschenes, Susie Floros & crew get back to nature to create the 2014 Buyer’s Guide

In the snowboarding world, product reigns supreme; quality gear is invaluable to every rider that hits the hill, from the bunny slope to the Alaskan backcountry. With this philosophy in mind, the Snowboard Mag crew decided it was time to set our 2014 Buyer’s Guide apart from the standard, boring product lists that seem to dominate the newsstands; time to cultivate a truly unique method for showing off what we consider the absolute best gear of the season.

For 7 days in June, Photo Editor Tim Peare, Senior Editor Nathan Deschenes, Editor-In-Chief Susie Floros, and a host of helpers lived and breathed the Eastern Sierras, getting back to nature in order to capture the essence of this year’s latest and greatest goods. Days spent wading in rivers, and trekking through the undergrowth proved a worthwhile venture; the 2014 Buyer’s Guide is one impressive SOB.

Tim Peare gives the inside scoop on what really went into making our Buyer’s Guide such a supreme success, while Susie Floros’ photos and captions set the scene.

The "Camp Style" setup. | P: Floros The “Camp Style” setup. | P: Floros

Where did the shoot take place?
We did the shoot in various locations throughout the Eastern Sierras in California.

How was the idea for ‘Natural Selections’ spawned?
I honestly don’t recall, all I know is that we were all on the same page about wanting to have images within the natural environment, so Nate Deschenes led the charge to scout locations and we did our best to match the product to the environment’s colorways. It was originally going to be called something else but Susie thought that this was a good name and I’d have to agree.

Who all was in the crew?
The crew was made up of Susie Floros, Nate Deschenes, Cami Garrison, Jason Tackitt, Nathan Vetter and myself along with many others who gave us a hand in facilitating our vision. Susie and Cami were in charge of the organization for all the product, Nate was the master set designer and Yes man, while the photo crew was the two best assistants I could have asked for, Jason Tackitt and Nathan Vetter.

What was your favorite location? 
My favorite location had to be Mono Lake. It was by far the most difficult shot to get and it involved the authorities. Nate got yelled at and a taser was definitely pulled…Fact.

Women's Platinum Pick, Salt-n-Pepa Burton Lip-Stick Restricted, taking in the picturesque view. | P: Floros Women’s Platinum Pick, Salt-n-Pepa Burton Lip-Stick Restricted, taking in the picturesque view. | P: Floros

Who came up with the idea of shooting the gear in the water?
The original idea was to have them floating above water, which we also did, but once we put Nate in the water, it made sense to experiment with different positioning. It was a process I can tell you but the results were well worth the effort.

Which gear was the easiest to set-up and shoot? The hardest?
The single item images were the easiest to capture. As soon as the product were placed into a group it became more difficult. Add water and the complexity multiplies like a Gremlin. Make it salt water and it goes up even more. Product definitely fell into the water, the wind was howling on some of the days, especially in the afternoon. Rain, Forest Rangers, Sunburns, Mosquitoes, harsh lighting conditions, running water, no place to charge batteries, limited resources, etc. Basically the exact opposite of a studio experience…but it will be a time to remember.

See Also: Snowboard Mag splitboard experience: Testing out 2014′s best splitboard gear

How did you find your locations? The house, for example?
The funny thing about that location is that we had set up our first shot which turned into an absolute disaster. It was fairly complicated and the afternoon wind and thunderstorm came in and completely crushed us. It was a tough start, so we made that cabin our plan B. We’ve all driven by it so many times over our years that it was a logical location.

Senior Editor, Nate Deschenes tweaking the scene. | P: Floros Senior Editor, Nate Deschenes tweaking the scene. | P: Floros

How does camping out and doing this shoot compare to taking product shots in a studio?
We didn’t camp out, unfortunately. That would have been all time. We stayed on Nate’s couch in June Lake at the Villager. We hardly slept anyways so it wasn’t a big deal. I would love to camp for next year’s Buyer’s Guide if we decide to go that direction again.

What was your favorite moment of the shoot?

Honestly, there are far too many moments to list. What I can say is that I am so proud and honored to have worked with such a crew to pull off what seemed like an impossible feat. It couldn’t have happened without every single person’s maximum effort. So, I guess my favorite moment was the bigger picture where we all came together and willed something into existence.

Which photo ended up being your favorite?
I’d have to say:
1. Opening spread for Natural Selections (pg. 78/79)
2. Opening spread for Platinum Picks (pg. 64/65)
3. Women’s Weekend Warrior in Natural Selections (pg. 90)
4. The Dye CLK Goggle in the Weekend Warrior Selects category (pg. 93)


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