I knew absolutely nothing about photography. Exposure, focus, and film was all brand new to me, but I knew about snowboarding and I was having a great time shooting every chance I could.
With every submission to CPM my published photo rate went up and before I knew it I was driving to the office to help with layout. That’s right, the same guy that knew nothing about photography was now helping out with art direction and layout, something I knew even less about. I would photocopy prints, cut them out and glue them to the master book. One big photo on the left, and two smaller ones on the right. Ahhh, that looks good. Ha-ha. Well honestly that's about as real as it was back then. Remember, this was before the personal computer.
So with me basically laying out the mag, or a large portion of it, I found it easy to sneak in more and more of my photography. I was shooting cheap film and processing it at the drug store, with no idea how to properly focus the camera or even what slide film was. But that didn’t matter; I was helping at the mag so I was getting my shots in there.
Now my weekend riding buddies are getting noticed and their photos needed to go to other places. They showed up in different magazines and manufacturers ads and catalogues. I think before people knew what a good photo was I was improving to stay ahead of them. And before I knew it, the guys I was shooting (Devun Walsh, Kevin Sansalone and Rob Dow) were building a large name in the snowboarding world and I was standing there with the shots, leading me to even more published photos. It wasn't long until I had shots published in Transworld Snowboarding Magazine and Snowboarder Mag, the industries largest publications.
Its crazy, I still feel like that kid back in the day, doing what I love and hoping that no one realizes I don’t have a clue what I am doing. Well, I have a clue I guess. I know what slide film is, and I know I don’t need to shoot it anymore and I know how to focus my camera but really I am that same person shooting friends and their progression in the sport all while building some more photography skills. If it wasn’t for CPM, the experience I gained from working there, and all the people I met along the way I really don’t think I would be in the position I am today. I owe a great deal of my success to Richard Neuman and everyone at CPM for all the great help I received along the way. Thanks boys, you helped build a great career for me!
My 13 CPM covers, circa 1993-2001.