The Athlete's Perspective: Eero Ettala Photographers rock. Below, Red Bull snowboarder Eero Ettala gives it up for the guys working behind the lens – and explains why they’re so important for the sport. 06/07/2016 © Heikki Sorsa “I grew up in an era when the biggest thing you could achieve was a featured interview or cover in a magazine. So I always loved shooting photos and working with photographers. It still is important but everything is going to Instagram and Facebook immediately so doesn’t have quite the same impact as it used to.Photography has definitely been huge to my career. I always filmed video but getting good photos was as important as having good video footage. And there have definitely been a few ground breaking photos that I got over the years working with my local photographer Pasi Salminen. I wouldn’t be here without him, without his photos. He’s the guy who has all the gear – the big van, the generator, the lights, the winch. So if you’re coming from the US, you just got to bring yourself and your snowboard and you’ll be fine with Pasi. On top of that his photos are amazing.There was one that definitely made my name bigger. It was the second day I shot with him and the image was used for an ad for Nitro, in TransWorld photo annual, and it ended up being in five or six different mags. Was a breaking moment for Pasi as well, a really good thing for both of us.Sometimes you work with photographers who don’t want to help with shovelling, they just look for angles for two hours – anything but help build! But Pasi’s the kind of guy who helps out building first and only ten minutes before does he starts looking for angles. Having a photographer that helps makes the team stronger. You really need to understand the sports. You have to shoot at the right time and right angle to show the trick the best. The way you spin and slide down the rail – there’s always that one angle that makes it look the best. There’s a huge advantage to being a boarder from before. A lot of local newspapers’ photos end up being just of a guy in the sky and that doesn’t make any sense.Red Bull Illume is awesome. A lot of time photographers don’t get enough credit as they deserve. They’re behind, making the magic. So it’s rad that the photographers have a contest. But it’s not easy. There are so many great photographers out there, I’m blown away. It’s a tough battle! But its reputation encourages photographers to submit more of their photos and it makes the whole contest bigger and more respected. It’s the olympics of extreme sports photography!” For more about the man himself, visit Facebook and Instagram. Keep coming back to redbullillume.com for your weekly dose of action and adventure sports photography and galleries of inspirational images.For more regular updates, head to Red Bull Illume on Facebook and Instagram.