Truckee, California-based photographer Court Leve, contributor to national and international magazines, says he’ll never loan his gear again. After lending an athlete a pole on shoot, Leve found himself stuck on a you-fall-you-die line with only one pole and a camera. He might dangerously lend his gear and occasionally lose all the data on memory cards, but Leve says if he wasn’t a photographer, “I’d be sad and unemployed.” Skiing Magazine contributor Katie Matteson spoke to Leve about his style and this shot of Jamie Burge in Cordova, Alaska, which made it into the magazine's annual “Best Shots of the Year” photo gallery (December 2008).
SKIING: What is your style of photography?
I shoot like a photojournalist. I prefer to capture subjects in their natural state. I’m a photographer of opportunity.
SKIING: Where is your favorite place to ski?
Points North Heli Adventures, Alaska. One run there is worth 10 of your best days at a resort.
SKIING: Where exactly did you take this shot?
Actually this shot is from Points North. In a part of a run called “Whatchamacallit.” It was taken from the “Barbie” angle, meaning there’s enough time to setup and theoretically have a bbq. I wasn’t standing in skis, rather hanging out on some random peak which I skied after shooting—a perk of my job.
SKIING: Where there any challenges with this shot?
This shot was easy because we had a landing zone the size of a football field to work with. Easy access for the athlete and for me.
SKIING: What do you like best about this photo?
Jamie skied this fast and it shows. She skied this run as if she’d skied it a hundred times. Zero hesitation and I think that translates to the shot.
SKIING: Is there anything you wish you could change about this photo?
I wish it were of me…