There was a time when I snowboarded. Literally, a time. It was a disaster. It was night, the slopes were pure ice, and the only instruction my friends gave me was, “Don’t die.” I battered my body, twisted my wrist, and slammed my coccyx more times than I care to remember. In one unfortunate moment, I slammed into a light pole. Two attractive girls quickly stopped and asked if I was okay, and I half-honestly told them I was. Upon recounting the incident later that evening to a friend (who has since tragically passed), he said, “Ah, man! You shoulda just laid there and screamed, ‘Nooooooo!'” I was only 15; my cunning was not yet fully developed. I since switched to skiing with much greater success.
Yet, despite that night of terror, I was excited to connect with Gilson, an innovative snowboard (and now ski) manufacturer, rapidly gaining market share on slopes and terrain parks around the globe. Based right here in Central Pennsylvania, perhaps one of the things I appreciate the most is their love and appreciation for the local area, including all of its quirks and idiosyncrasies, not to mention their dedication to sourcing their materials from within the greater community.
When presented with the opportunity to artistically photograph their facility and production process, I naturally agreed. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?
The images we created turned out spectacularly, accurately showcasing the dynamic of this young-yet-strong startup in the rolling farmlands of Pennsylvania. Having produced their first snowboards in a donkey stable not far from their current location, it’s very evident that the team isn’t afraid of creative problem-solving, which was an subtle, underlying aesthetic we were hoping to convey.
The photos have since been used in a variety of marketing outlets and appeared in multiple publications, including Johns Hopkins Magazine and here, as the background images for Snowboard Magazine’s 2017 brand guide.
Gilson founders Nicholas Gilson and Austin Royer, along with the rest of the team at “The Snowboard Farm” (located just outside New Berlin), are simply wonderful, and it’s been an incredible privilege to work with them.