Industry Profile: Snowboarder Magazine Associate Photo Editor Mike Yoshida
25 Aug, 2011
Job Title: Associate Photo Editor
Employer: Snowboarder Magazine
Years on snow: 19 years
Days on snow: 150 a year
Currently Riding: Dinosaurs Will Die 158 Genovese
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Mike: I was born and raised up in Alaska, and decided to move south when I graduated from High School. I lived in Seattle for a bit, before moving up the Bellingham, and have lived there off and on for about ten years. I am now living in Orange County for the summer, working for Snowboarder Magazine as the associate photo editor.
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Mike: Snowboarding and the mountain life has been the one thing that I’ve consistently done since I was a child. It is a lifestyle, to me, that I look forward to every year, and it has shaped my existence. So it has changed my life for the better and it keeps me out of trouble in the winter!
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Mike: I first got my start when I started working for High Cascade Snowboard Camp. I got a job there one year, as a cook, and all I cared about was snowboarding every day. So I was shredding Baker in the winter, and Hood in the summers. I had always liked shooting photos, so one summer at Hood I had the opportunity to shoot with all the high profiled riders.
Photo: Mike Yoshida
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Mike: I guess my previous work and school didn’t help me a whole lot, as far as the technical aspects of photography. What helped the most was problem solving skills and a positive attitude. All photography is to me, is a giant puzzle, and you just need the motivation and drive to apply those problem solving skills!
Shay: Tell us about your role at Snowboarder Magazine and a description of the work you do?
Mike: I am the Associate Photo Editor. In the winter, I’m on the road, shooting features and events for the magazine. And in the Summer, I’m down in SoCal helping edit down photos, and shooting “The Goods” column in the magazine, which is all high end product photography. I also help with coming up with web content, and helping Laura Austin, our online editor manage the site.
Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Mike: Carpool to work with Huggy. Check emails, then get into editing photos and making calls to photographers to get their best shots. Then maybe a foosball break (we play a lot throughout the day). Usually win Foosball and then back to shooting product. From day to day, there will be the occasional web post or a meeting with Bridges, to go over future issues.
Photo: Mike Yoshida
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Mike: Just being able to live the life I enjoy and to work with some of my best friends, in some of the most beautiful locations. It’s unreal being out in Whistler backountry or hiking waist deep powder in Japan. The list goes on and on…
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Mike: Well, snowboarding is a rich mans sport, for sure. So it’s tough that the gear, lift tickets, and transportation cost so much, just to do it. I’ve been hearing about these inner city snowboard parks (just jibbing) and that gets me pretty stoked. I would love to go out to Minnesota and jib a free snowboard park. It’s more like touring around checking out all your favorite skateparks for free. We need to find more way to get kids involved, without breaking the bank.
Photo: Mike Yoshida
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Mike: Well for me, it was experience. I never went to school for photography, I just figured it out on my own and definitely had a couple other photographers help out, when it came to questions.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Mike: Be patient, confident and persistent. I’ve seen a lot of photographers come and go, and it’s always the hard working positive ones that stay in the game.
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