Featured Photographer – Mike Berard
Published February, 2003
Camera of choice: There’s many I want but I shoot with a Canon Elan 7 now.
Sports or wedding portraits? Progressive wedding photography…I want to take wedding photography to a new level.
Stirring the pot or tossing the salad? I don’t think I want to answer that!
I’ve always loved photography so when I started skiing 6 years ago I obviously gravitated towards ski photography. After living in fernie for 3 winters and experiencing so many amazing days I decided to get off my ass and finally buy an SLR. After shooting about 100 rolls of film(badly, I might add) I started to get a hold of the craft and it took off from there.
I hear you just got a couple photos published, spill the beans:
I submitted to a lot of mags this past year and, thankfully, I got a shot in the second issue of SBC Skier. That took a lot of weight off me because it was a goal of mine and I had only given myself a certain amount of time to do it. Just recently, I got a double page spread in Ski Canada (SWEET) and a shot in Mountain Biking. I think there’s more on the way but I don’t want to say anything yet.
Right on, and where’s this photography school fit into the picture? Do you have some new tricks up your sleeve or what?
I’m taking a Professional Photography program at Western Academy of Photography in Victoria. I’ve definitely learned a lot since September. School’s teaching me all the things I never knew and would’ve taken me a long time to figure out otherwise. As for tricks up my sleeve…I’m working on it.
Is this a career you have brewing or just a terribly expensive hobby?
I think it could be more accurately described as a terribly expensive career. I’m working on making it a career but I expect to work a few more shit jobs before I can call it a “career”. This damn school should put me behind in finances about 2 years. After that, I’ll be able to afford film again!
Skiing is #1 for sure but Mountain biking is quickly gaining ground, especially living on Vancouver Island for the winter. BMX is a tough sport to penetrate, mainly because I can’t ride very well at all and BMXers don’t have much of an affinity for mountain bikers. Ditto with snowboarders, I’d love to shoot more of it but a lot of snowboarders are still caught up in that whole “skiing is gay” movement. It’s amazing how juvenile people can be….especially in such a gay sport like knuckle- dragging! HA!
Any other sports or genres you have your eyes on for future?
More snowboarding, I’d like to shoot some whitewater kayaking, a lot more nature landscapes and because school is immersing me in absolutely every facet of photography I find myself wanting shoot it all!
What do you wanna catch on film this winter? trips? comps? athletes? action? scenery?
Well, I grew up on Vancouver Island so I want to cover the Van Isle ski scene this winter. I’m curious if there is one. Anyone reading this who knows of rippers on the rock, let me know. I’d also like to shoot more with a couple buddies of mine who defected to Whistler from Fernie…whats up Al and Matt?! Overall though, I want to shoot more backcountry and more jibbing.
If you could smuggle a camera into any venue/vault/location/predicament of choice, where or what would it be? No holds barred.
That’s a tough one. I don’t think I want to get into anywhere but I can probably think of a location and predicament. Let’s see, Tibetan backcountry with several heli’s and all my best skiing buds. I guess my token celebrity ski model would have to be Shane McConkey.
Tips for other photographers trying to get that first shot published? You know, now that you’re the guru and all that.
Buy a lightmeter, read the manual, get up early, ski every day with rippers, always have your camera, enjoy yourself, and be persistent. Do these things and I’m sure anyone will get published.
I would really like to thank all the skiers/riders/people that have modeled for me, mainly Daryl Treadway, Yasha Berg, Neil Meier and Vinnie Spronken from Squarewheel Films. All these guys (and others) have busted their asses and a few bones for me and I can’t say how much I appreciate it. I’d have to thank Blake Jorgenson and Sterling Lorence for inspiration, even though neither of them knows me. Henry Georgi for helping me get started. My family of course, and the person who deserves the most thanks would be Lisa, for putting up with playing second fiddle to a camera and for tolerating my ridiculous way of life for this long.
You can contact Mike at email@example.com for more info on his photos.