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Sunday, January 11, 2015

The DOs and DON'Ts of Ski Glamour Shots

ski selfies

Every now and then, it’s fun to have a little photo shoot on the mountain. Maybe it’s a costume day like Santa Ski in Crested Butte or the last day of skiing at any resort anywhere. Perhaps you’ve got friends in town that are more interested in recording their ski experience than actually skiing (in which case, see our tips on how to keep your cool in this scenario). Or maybe you’re just in the mood to strike a pose.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what it takes to make a great skiing glamour shot. Why? Because just the other weekend, my friends and I attempted to take glamour shots and failed miserably. You see, on our way to the bar to take a break, we spied a small temporary half pipe at the base area. At the top of one of the half pipe’s ends, someone had placed a red sofa that was just calling our names.

Even though we didn’t notice anyone else taking pictures atop this sofa, we decided that after our beers, we would have to return, summit this end of the half pipe, sit on the sofa, and take a photo. An hour or so later, we returned and seized this photo opportunity.
My friend Sara asked a guy just sort of standing around at the base if he would mind taking our photo. Meanwhile, Nina, my other friend, and I began to ascend the very mini mountain. This proved more awkward than we anticipated in our ski boots. We dug the toes of our boots into the snow ladder-style until we mantled our way onto the top. I plopped down onto the sofa, only to catch sight of some blonde woman below waving her arms at me and Nina.

“Hey!” she hollered. “You can’t be up there! People are using that half pipe.” Sure enough, within a few seconds, a snowboarder appeared mid-air above my head, so close that it appeared his board was within mere inches of decapitating me. I proceeded to scream louder than I’d like to admit, and scooted my butt down onto the snow below the sofa, ducking my head low.
“Hurry up!” we shouted to Sara, who was now struggling her way up the mound as our volunteer photographer waited patiently with her iPhone below.
Finally, she reached the top, but couldn’t seem to find a stable place to sit. In the interest of taking this stupid photo already before dying by snowboard decapitation, I grabbed onto Sara’s jacket to hold her in place. We shouted to the photographer below to snap away. Then, we slid on our butts down the mound to safety below.
“I’m sure it was totally worth it!” we all said, totally psyched on what surely would be the best ski glamour shots ever. But when we scrolled through the photos, we realized just how epic our fail was. The first photo was snapped before Sara had even made it to the vicinity of the half pipe. Nina looks exhausted and disheveled, while I sort of appear as if I’m trying to hump the snow. In the second, Sara is straight as a board, holding onto the snow behind her for dear life, while I try to lift her up. In the third, we all manage to look extremely awkward. The extreme foreshortening of my legs even prompted me to ask Nina and Sara how much my parents were paying them to hang out with me. It was a sad day for glamour ski shots.

So don’t make the same mistakes we did. Here are a few dos and a few don’ts for getting the money shots on the slopes.
DO take a photo somewhere on the mountain with a great view. For example, if you have access to a mountain’s peak, you are guaranteed a breathtaking view and great caption, too!
DON’T take off your helmet. Even if you’re snapping shots at the bar, your bound to have goggle tan/windburn and matted down helmet hair.
DO have your friend ski below you if you know you’re about to crush the cliff/moguls/steeps below. They can step off to the side to grab a sweet action shot.
DON’T take action shots of you skiing in the trees. You don’t want to be distracted and inadvertently capture yourself running into a tree. Also, you will be hard to see in the photo.
DO take photos on costume days. Ski glamour shots of you wearing the same jacket/pants get old fast. Ski glamour shots of you dressed up like your dad skiing in the ‘70s don’t.
DON’T attempt to take off your goggles or sunglasses for your photo. You will appear squinty, and may even go snowblind, and then you won’t even be able to see your awesome photo.

Good luck! Send us your glamour ski shots or your epic fail ski shots and we’ll post them in the future!