Hey Emily! How’s it going? Tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to this season?
Hey Jason! Everything is great, getting ready for another socked in morning on beautiful Mt Hood! This has been a crazy season for me. I’ve been trying to find that balance between school, a full time job, and skiing. But it’s been pretty successful! We were lucky enough to have a great season in the Pacific Northwest with some awesome powder days, getting to explore some new zones, and I got to do a little traveling to the Midwest and Italy!
Name one male and one female photographer you take inspiration from.
Male Photographer – Darcy Bacha. A huge inspiration for me from skiing to landscape. He definitely pushes me to capture the absolute beauty of where I live. Female Photographer – Savannah Pitts. I have a lot of respect for her project, The Lion Project, and this girl is putting out some amazing content. If you haven’t checked her out, do it.
Do you consider photography a hobby or a career? Talk to us a bit about the difference between the two?
I would love it to be a career but that is much easier said than done. At least at the beginning here, it’s a lot of balance between a steady paycheck and finding time to travel and shoot for a paycheck that’s a little less secure. The difference between hobby and career in photography seems to be “how hard are you willing to work for some cash?” There are some brilliant photographers out here, who really could pursue photography as a career, but it’s not easy to make that paycheck, and that’s deterring.
How was West Coast Session this year? Was this your first one?
This was my second official West Coast Session (WCS). I’m lucky enough to always live at Mt Hood during that time of the year, and so I’ve had my fair share of sidelines sunset shoots but I love getting to actually shoot for it! This is my favorite event. WCS was amazing this year. We lucked out with weather, had a great sunset shoot on the 85 ft jump, some crazy features to shoot (DFD to S-Rail) and a little side country booter. Stone, Pastucka, Timberline Lodge, and Destoy Labs always make this the best event and the final offer did not disappoint.
#wcs10 sunset shoot 👌🏻👌🏻 A photo posted by emily tidwell (@lynk_nation) on
What makes WCS so special among athletes and content creators?
West Coast Sessions is all about homies who get to ride together! The vibes are always high and it’s such a huge turnout, content wise, of some of the best riders worldwide. Features never disappoint, it is seriously the best time of the year at Mt Hood!
Do you have a favourite memory from a WCS?
That is easily my first sunset shoot I had the opportunity to go to, WCS7. The weather was perfect and that was one of my first time I got to take photos of a solid feature with amazing riders. I was extremely nervous and kept waiting for someone to yell at me that I was in the wrong spot. But instead I got a lot of love from the people around me and learned a lot! Not sure I would be where I am without that one moment in time.
Talk to us a bit about Ethan Stone, one of the masterminds behind the WCS?
Ethan Stone is the man. He was one of the first people I met when I moved to Hood over 7 years ago and he has been one of the most motivational, supporting, and humble people I have had the privilege to meet. He along with Pastucka have put on a killer event, rain, snow, or shine, for the past 10 years. That is no easy feat. And as a photographer, Ethan has always been open to advice me, help critique my work, and has given me opportunities to improve my photography countless times. He is an amazing journalist and photographer, and he deserves so much credit! Major shout out to you! Thank you for all you do!
How important is social media for athletes and content creators these days?
Social media is this crazy component of our industry. How often you post, what time, the content you’re posting, who you tag, how you #hashtag, it all plays this role. Companies, events, sponsors, want to know how far your content reaches and how effectively. As a photographer, I use Instagram as a tool to gain a greater reach to companies and to athletes but, print still rules in my book. I will never get the same feeling from seeing my photo on a website to the feeling of holding a magazine, and seeing my photo in print. I had that privilege last year; I will never forget walking into that Barnes & Nobel and flipping through to see my name in print. I had to ask a cashier to take my photo, a mom standing behind me in line told me she was proud of me, shout out to her.
#wcs10 went off yesterday. Let’s get after day 3! 🎿 @brothabrote A photo posted by emily tidwell (@lynk_nation) on
How was your experience on Tell A Friend Tour?
Tell A Friend Tour was such a great experience. I still remember the first time I met a professional skier, Kristina Koznick ( Alpine Ski Racer) and that moment completely changed my life, and that’s what Tell A Friend Tour is doing but on a regular basis: bringing kids and professional skiers together, to hangout, ski, and have pizza. That’s kind of rad. The last stop of the year was at Hyland Hills in Bloomington, Minnesota. It was cold that day, 10 degrees and windy, and there were still about 70 kids out, following Andy Parry,Will Wesson, Khai Krepela, and about 10 other professional skiers through the park. These kids were so stoked, some even traveled 5+ hours to come out for the event. Those are moments you don’t forget.
How was it shooting at Nine Knights? How did that come about?
Suzuki Nine Knights was an absolutely unreal experience for me. I had the privilege to work forNewschoolers this year as a photographer for their content team. I saw an opportunity to shoot for Nine Knights and I sprung on it. It took months of emails, a broken camera, booking and rebooking flights and hotels, driving internationally for the first time alone but, I finally managed to find my way to Watles, Italy to shoot the world’s “Most Perfect Hip”. Nine Knights is one of the most creative events in freeskiing and the caliber of athletes that come out is on a whole other level. I can’t thank everyone enough who got me there.
🚀🚀🚀 blast off @mrdavidwise @nineknights @newschoolers #nineknights #newschoolers #freeskiing #watles #tyrol A photo posted by emily tidwell (@lynk_nation) on
Who are three of your favourite people to shoot with?
1) I have to give a major shout out to Derek Roy and all the local boys at Hood for letting me tag along on a lot of their adventures!
3) Noah Wallace
It’s hard to pick just three. It’s so huge to hang out with people that have a positive energy and are hyped about skiing and having fun. That’s what makes a favourite for me to shoot.
Who are three people you’d love to shoot with in the future?
Where are three locations you’d love to travel to?
Skiing in Japan is on my bucket list, as well as South America, and British Columbia!
You’re hair is just too awesome not to talk about. What was the catalyst is going full on beautiful rainbow colours?
It all started with a box of cheap semi-permanent purple hair dye when I was eight. My mom let me go wild with it. It looked awful, patches and splotchy, but after that I wanted blue, and green, and orange, and pink. I’ve been dying my hair pretty bright now for about a year, it’s really just a full circle back to being a little girl so happy about her purple hair. Now I just make sure someone makes it look really pretty! Unnatural hair feels a little more natural for me.
Why did you move to Hood seven years ago?
Moving to Hood was this dream I had as a middle schooler. Summer of 8th grade I went to a summer race camp at Hood. I completely hated it. Waking up at 4am to go running did not vibe well with me but, Hood I liked. It stuck in my head until I graduated high school. Then, I moved to Washington State for school, took one year of classes and moved straight to Hood for the summer. It was your quintessential summer, started off car camping, then moving into a studio apartment with eight people and two dogs, trying to work as little as possible and ski. It clicked with me, so I decided to do that every summer after. Now, as a 26 year old my spot is a little less sketchy and I’m raging by a fire pit every night but, I still love it here.
What are you studying right now? What’s your plan afterwards?
Right now I am a “Liberal Studies” major, which is a really broad spectrum major. I have a huge interest in the environment and geography but I have switched my major and switched my schools, a lot, so this is a way I can take classes in whatever I like and graduate in the least amount of time!
What advice do you have for someone just picking up a camera?
Just do it! Really, go out and shoot what you love. And do it all.the.time. Even if it’s selfies of you and your dog. It will probably pay off. Practice is what it’s all about. Always striving to improve. And don’t let your fear of being a beginner stop you! I let the fear of not being good enough put me on hold for years. Don’t be me.
Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish with your photography?
I would love to see a photo of mine on the front cover of a magazine someday, that would be surreal. And really to travel and take photos. That’s all I want.
Where do you see yourself in five years? What about fifteen?
Besides being a crazy cat lady? In five years I would love to see a solid career coming out of my work. Traveling more and serving less (hopefully). And in 15? Oof, I hope I can feel content with what I’ve done. The world is a crazy place and I’m excited to see where I’ve wound up at that point!
A photo posted by emily tidwell (@lynk_nation) on