Gian Paul Lozza’s winning shot in the Illumination category from the 2007 Image Quest was a perfect fit to the competition. It’s nighttime, and professional snowboarder Travis Rice taps his board on the top of a brightly lit box that makes up the upper half of a small quarter pipe.
The cleanliness of the shot doesn’t give much idea of the work that went into its creation. Lozza began building the acrylic light box months in advance, and had to work closely with Laax’s ski resort owners and park shapers to get the finished picture.
However, Lozza himself does not categorize himself as a snowboard photographer. “People think I’m a snowboard photographer, and yes I also shoot snowboarding, but I would get bored if I only shot snowboarding!”
“Snowboard photography is now just a small part of my business – it’s more the fun part.”
So, what have you been up to since winning the Illumination category at the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2007?
Working as a photographer on different jobs and my own projects. My new website will come out soon - there you will see what I've done.
What have been your most memorable shoots in the past couple of years?
That's difficult. For me I usually feel it’s the most recent one. What I did find really interesting was when I did some work with animals like horses and wild birds. I’m still impressed about the beauty of these animals.
What is it about snowboarding that you particularly like to photograph or try to capture?
I’m not only a snowboard photographer, I’m a photographer, period, and want to make interesting pictures, so I don’t care what I photograph. My goal is to break boundaries in what I do and this is possible with a lot of different things.
I grew up in the Swiss mountains and I love to ride, so it was natural to start with snowboard photography. Today I still love the sport for myself and I will shoot it sometimes, because it is a wonderful sport and with my surroundings I can do interesting things, but that's it.
What do you see as the future of snowboard photography - how is the industry changing?
I think there will be not a lot of changes, maybe there is less money for jobs in it. There are always a few snowboard photographers who make new and really interesting things in snowboarding. But these guys will leave snowboard photography always really fast and shoot also different stuff, because there are too many boundaries in the snowboard scene. I often saw that in the last few years. In my mind the interesting thing in photography are all the different chances you have, so it would be boring to do just one thing.
What interesting shoots, projects or book ideas do you have coming up?
I’m working on different projects at the moment. The pictures I’m working on are very work-intense, so I need a lot of time to get one picture. Therefore a book is quite some time away. But I don't know what will happen in the future. Maybe if a concept will come along that cries out to be a book, then I'll do it.
There are a lot of other projects in my sketchbook. At the moment I’m totally into landscapes, objects and architecture. On the other hand, I’m looking to work more with animals and I’m trying to make new portraits. And of course I’m working on some action projects.
You've got some pretty interesting projects on your website portfolio - what else do you like to shoot?
I have to be honest. I didn't update my website since around 1 1/2 years, so everything that’s on there is old! I’m working on a totally new website, which should come out beginning next year, with a lot of new stuff!
Will you be submitting to Red Bull Illume this time round?
We'll see, I guess yes!
Check www.lozzaphoto.com for more information