Erin Hogue is next up in our Glass Eye series of interviews. After taking home an X-Games Gold medal earlier in the winter we couldn't resist reaching out to see what she was up to. She has a massive archive of banger shots that she was kind enough to share with us and, in a world mostly dominated by men, it's great to see a new perspective on the lifestyle we all so adore. Erin is a shining example of how to commit to doing what you love, learning by doing and taking a few risks outside of your comfort zone along the way. She also shares her secrets on a YouTube blog that is pretty insightful and a great starting point for any young photographers curious about the way the industry operates. Working with people who can sometimes be unorganised, last minute and holding small budgets, Erin takes it all in her stride and makes it work better than most. She tells the story of the whole process and gives it all a much greater context, which is valuable for any narrative. And she has a massive smile on her face all the time, which should be everyone's main goal in life. - William
When did you first pick up a camera and how long did it take you before you started shooting snowboarders?
I have always been into photography, and use to walk around with my Dad’s old 35mm film camera and play with all his lenses. When I was 11 I tried snowboarding and never looked back but I didn’t actually start shooting snowboarding until I moved to Whistler. I shot a couple snowboard photos in high school and university but teachers and professors completely discouraged it.
What gear do you mainly use for snowboard photography?
I shoot Canon so the 1D X mark II, Canon 70-200mm, 14mm fisheye and then I have a Sigma 50mm 1.4 that I love for lifestyles.
Who are your favourite snowboard photographers?
For as long as I can remember Scott Serfas has been one of my favourites. Andy Wright is also a boss, Darcy Backa is incredibly talented, the way Oli Gagnon uses lights and flashes is sick, Chad Chomlack is rad. There are so many it is hard to pick only a few.
What other sources of photography do you follow apart from Instagram?
In terms of sources of photography, I love print and have always been a magazine junky. Large framed prints on a wall or in a gallery are the best thou. Nothing beats being captivated by an image right in front of you.
What other sides of photography are you interested in?
I am fascinated by so many areas of photography; all involve working with people though. I love placing them in sweet locations whether it’s snowboarding, surfing, running, yoga, cliff jumping or just capturing their personality, The interaction with a subject is my favourite part. If there is an epic adventure involved to get there that is a bonus.
What do you think will change about snowboard photography in the next few years? What will never change?
I think the printed image will become increasingly rare and therefore, increasingly valuable. Right now, is it mostly quantity over quality in terms of images online/Instagram because of this when a quality photo actually gets printed, it will have so much more impact and increasing value in the future. As for what will never change - an epic photo will always be an epic photo. And, it will always stand out amongst all the mediocre content out there.
Have you ever missed a shot? What do you do in that situation?
Luckily, it hasn’t happened yet.
Who are your favourite riders to shoot photos with?
Oh man, there are too many.
How do you stay creative when shooting snowboarding?
By constantly challenging myself and breaking all the rules. I obviously get the safety shot first but then I always take some time to experiment with different angles, technic, locations. I also like to go out on all the days other people aren’t into, it is usually on these days that you get really cool and different natural light and have time to really play with different ideas.
What advice would you give to a snowboard photographer trying to get shots in the mags?
Shoot everything, all the time and keep submitting. You will keep growing and developing your style and ppl will notice.
What inspired you to start a video series? Is it hard to get content for that while you’re busy shooting photos?
I always kind of wanted to, ever since I moved to Whistler. I saw what it took to get the photos I grew up admiring and was completely blow away. Being from the suburbs of Toronto, it was so far beyond anything I had ever experienced before, that I wanted to show people the whole story. I also realized there was a disconnect between people that don’t know this lifestyle and the images they are viewing. They have no frame of reference and so, they do not relate or connect to the images in the same way. The ultimate goal of the series it to fill this disconnect so that they can fully experience the photos and are inspired by them.