Let me tell you a little story…
Once upon a time I knew a great guy named Jake Stangel. We studied photography in New York City together and spent endless hours and bottles of wine discussing the “burden of representation” and all other ultra photo-scholastic subjects rarely brought on without the influence of homework. When we graduated, Jake knew he wasn’t happy in the big city and moved to where he could breathe clean air and throw lots of snow balls. To my surprise, Jake and I recently reconnected and I couldn’t be more excited about the work he’s doing. I bring this story and his work to all of you not only because I am simply in love with his latest portraits, but also because I feel there is a misconception that to be a photographer, you have to live in New York or LA. On the contrary, NOT being in New York has fueled Jake as a person and certainly, in turn, as an image maker.
While he is still a young photographer, I feel these photos speak from a surprisingly seasoned and a visually truthful voice. While there is of course the cliche that you should love your job and, as a photographer, be invested in your subjects, it is rare to see both come through so convincingly. Bravo to my dear friend Jake and I can’t wait to see your next project! Jake is also the founder of Too Much Chocolate, a forum and community building website for photographers…. so check it out!
I’ve included Jake’s words about the project below as well as my favorite layouts and portraits. Enjoy! See links below.
– Jacqueline Bovaird, Assignment Rep, Glasshouse Assignment
“The Legendary Banked Slalom is a snowboard event that operates just as it sounds: riders race down a slalom course flanked by banked walls on either side, harking back to the days of skateboarders carving down bone-dry drainage ditches in the 80’s. Held at Mt. Baker, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most rugged and illustrious resorts, the slalom is now in its 24th year, almost concurrent with the birth of the sport itself.”
“Over the years, the LBS has earned a status as one of the most famous and storied snowboard events in the world. Much of the Banked Slalom’s legacy comes from the legendary riders- past, present, and future- who return to the event time and time again with a Christmas-like consistency, as well as countless Baker locals who contribute the real flavor of the Pacific Northwest snowboard scene. These people are the personalities that give the Banked Slalom the energy, legacy, and integrity it has come to represent in snowboarding.”
“Despite snowboarding’s recent explosion in mass popularity, and as corporations from Target to Playstation attempt to latch onto the sport with dubious intent, the Banked Slalom remains true to itself and the riders. It’s as accessible, original, lo-fi, and unabashed as snowboarding gets; the three-day event is akin to seeing a rock concert at a house party.”
“Given this back story, it was only fitting to profile some of the riders at the event this year: the sport’s forefathers, current rippers, and newjacks- the roots and the future of the snowboarding- and find out what the event means to them personally as well as how it represents the sport.”
For portfolio requests or questions about Jake’s work, email him at email@example.com. You may also leave comments for him or about his work here.