Industry Profile: Photographer Russell Dalby

20 Aug, 2009

Shay: So tell us about yourself?
Russell: I am 32 years old, I have been living in Whistler for 11 years, and shooting photos for 8ish.

Shay: What is your job title?
Russell: Self Employed Photographer

Shay: Did your parents question your job choice?

Russell: Not really. They still aren’t sure exactly what i do.

Shay: What was your first set up?
Russell: Yashica point and shoot i think.

Shay: What is your current set up?
Russell: Canon 5d2, Canon lenses and Profoto flashes.

Shay: What was your first job?
Russell: Dishwasher.

Shay: What’s a great day of snowboarding to you?
Russell: going really fast and spraying my friends, beers at the end of the day on a patio. maybe nachos as well.

Shay: Who are your influences?
Russell: People that are better than me, so there are lots.

Shay: How long have you been snowboarding?
Russell: 19 years.

Shay: How many days do you get to ride a year?
Russell: I am probably on a mountain about 100 days per season, 90% snowmobiling, 10% snowboarding. It’s a good mix, it means the runs that i do take are epic!

Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, what opened up more opportunities for you?
Russell: I went to high school with Matt Houghton, the old Editor at Snowboard Canada, so I wasn’t nervous sending crappy photos to someone i knew, and finally he printed some.

Shay: What magazines have you been published in?

Russell: Snowboard Canada, Transworld, Snowboarder, Snowboard Mag, Frequency, Future, Playboard, Pleasure, Snowboarder MBM, Transworld Japan, a few others i think.

Shay: What are the steps from taking a photo to getting it published?
Russell: Theres only one step, and it is endless hours on the computer.

Shay: Is understanding composition, lighting, exposure important to becoming a photographer?
Russell: Absolutely. Some people rely on their computer skills to make their shots look good, but I’d rather do as little as possible to each photo after i take it.

Shay: Who is your favorite snowboarder to photograph and why?
Russell: My favorite snowboarder is the one who doesn’t mind doing stupid little things when i tell them its going to be a cool photo!

Shay: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about photography?
Russell: To try new things everyday. The worst is seeing all your photos at the end of the season and they all look the same!

Shay: What computer programs do you use?
Russell: Adobe Lightroom

Shay: In what ways do you use social media to expand your photography business?
Russell: I have a blog to keep people up to date on what I’m doing and what I’ve been up to. The usual.


Shay: Any close encounters from taking action shots on the mountain?
Russell: I’ve been landed on a few times because im stupid and i get too close to the action sometimes. Haven’t been hurt yet though.

Shay: How is working as a photographer (any cool work events, work environment, job perks)?
Russell: I get to go exploring all the mountains and (in a roundabout way) get paid for it. Thats the best perk. But also good perks include never paying for snowboard equipment or lift tickets, and writing off everything I do buy as a work expense.

Shay: What education/experience did you have before getting the job?
Russell: Lots of practice!

Shay: What’s the best perk you’ve gotten from your job?
Russell: Trip to Alaska last year.

Shay: Any disadvantages of your job?
Russell: I’m pretty sure I’ll never get rich doing this!

Shay: What’s the busiest time of year for you?
Russell: Its busy all year, but springtime submission time involves the most computer time, thats probably the busiest time.

Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Russell: I think it’s important to read books and stuff, but without lots of practice, education is nothing. In my opinion anyways.

Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to become a professional photographer?
Russell: start off by being independently wealthy and youll have no problems!

*Pictures courtesy of Russell Dalby

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

Related Posts


  1. August 20, 2009

    Q: How do you make a million dollars in photography
    A: Start off with two million

    Good interview, would be a fun job for sure

  2. August 31, 2009

    Yeahhhhh Dalby, nice work!!!!!