Words by – Isami Kiyooka
When did you pick up a camera for the first time/when did you start shooting?
I used to be pretty obsessed with those little Kodak disposable cameras just prior to starting high school. I would pick up 2 or 3 giving me around 85 shots total and bring them with me to school or work at Option Snowboards, and up to Mount Seymour on weekends and just have at it.
Half the fun was not really knowing for sure if I had totally blown every single photo on those cameras or if I’d snapped something I was stoked on,until the film was developed. Other than that, my first real digital camera was a Canon Rebel i got for christmas from my Mom around 12 years ago.
You’ve been working with Cariboo for the past little bit now, what’s your history with the company?
I’m coming up on 7 years with Cariboo Brewing / Pacific Western Brewing and have been handling the majority of our Marketing during my time here. Everything from our Social Media, Events, and Sponsorships,and working with our Athletes and Ambassadors like Devun Walsh, to coming up with our promotional gear for various programs or product releases that you might catch a glimpse of in stores across BC and Alberta, or up on our website.
I’m always extra stoked when we can tie in some of what we are doing in the Winter with boardin’ and I’ve been lucky enough to make some rad colabs happen between Cariboo and brands that i’ve always admired like Salmon Arms, DWD, Airblaster, Wired Snowboards, BeaverWax, Snow Park Solutions, and more, that i am super proud of being a part of. Working alongside a solid team of designers like Jesse Robinson Williams on some of those projects to get the look we want is always a rad part of that process as well. Beyond that, I also handle almost all of our photography and imagery for our family of brands and various products so that keeps me pretty busy on top of everything else.
TJ Koskela Coast Mountains July 2017
Something you keep in mind while shooting?
Usually I’m trying to keep in mind where the best light is depending on what or how I’m shooting. I don’t use my flashes as much as I probably should so I rely on natural light quite a bit when I’m shooting so I’m usually keeping that, and not getting taken out by someone coming in hot, in mind.
What camera setup are you currently running?
I’ve always been really stoked on Canon Cameras and have pretty much always run Canon gear. The last 2 or 3 years I’ve been really liking the new R series of mirrorless cameras and use both the Canon R and R6 for shooting just about everything. The new RF glass that pairs with these bodies produces some really sharp images, and it’s super handy to be able to use some of my older Canon lenses with these newer mirrorless Canon camera bodies, as well.
Best piece of advice that’s helped you through your career?
Don’t take things too seriously / it’s all about who you know / have fun with it / send it
What’s next for you dude?
I’ll be shooting and boarding as much as I can, for sure. The 21/22 winter season is starting to come to a close, but I plan to finish up my resort season at Grouse Mountain and am planning to spend some more time up there shooting next Winter as well. Otherwise, There’s still plenty of snow left in the Coast Mountains for some spring / summer shoots, so I’ll be trying to get after it until it’s all gone.
Thank You to: My Family, The Cariboo Brewing / Pacific Western Brewing team, Nic at Salmon Arms for 10 years of support and tough photo love, Mike Strato and the Vans Canada crew, Crystal and the staff at Intuition, Jeff and Sean at DWD, Baked Salmon Gang ( O.M.B, Scott Fierbach, Horn, Tony LeFroy, JKwon, and D.Watt ) Eddie Wood at Mount Seymour, Marcus and the team at Grouse Mountain, Shelby and the team at Sasquatch Mountain, Any other photogs who ever let me pick their brain ( ECS, Brad Heppner, Rob LeMay, Evan Beer, LiveFastMedia etc.) Russ Lee, Matt Heneghan, and everyone at Steel Sundays Productions, The Buckhunters, N.I.T.P. Crew, Snowboarding in general, and all the diggers, locals, and resort staff out there making it happen. Big thanks also to you Isami, for taking the time, as well as Edwin and the entire Snowboard Canada Magazine team for the love! I’ve been a big fan of the mag since I was a Grom.
Gallery of Rutters work