I'm proud to say that I'm the editor of Method Mag, one of snowboarding's longest-running independent magazines. I'm also a freelance photographer working primarily with snowboarding and skateboarding. It still trips me out that it's sort of my job to document and curate the action and culture of two of my favourite activities. That work can range from my own photos and articles for Method (which is still far too much fun) to curating other photographer's work for Method (I'm lucky enough to get to see and hear the amazing shots & stories of snowboarders from all over the world) to working as a freelancer (winging it, but I'm my own boss, mostly) or just shooting photos because I really like doing it.
My advice to photographers is simply to go out and shoot as much as you possibly can. You kinda have to be obsessed with it and be genuinely hungry to do it and make it happen. You have to be willing to work shitty jobs and run second-hand gear. You have to be willing to drive across the country just for the chance to shoot something cool. You have to be willing to shoot until your fingers are freezing and it's too dark to see. Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic... But, basically, you should always be 100% stoked on what you're doing, or at least pretty happy and genuinely down with it. Does that make sense? I think you know what I'm trying to say. If you're in it for the right reasons, if you put the time in, if your work is on point (and if you're a nice human being), then your photography can take you in directions that you'd never imagined. It's just rad!
What makes a great image for me is kinda hard to define... Photography doesn't really have rules or formulas for success, but that's pretty cool. Some photos just hit. We don't always know why, but we know it when it happens. If I had to define it, I'd say that I seem to like shots that are in some way funny, interesting, beautiful and/or gnarly. I know that's pretty vague and could apply to pretty much any scenario, but I usually just follow my gut, and that's the best response that I can come up with right now anyway, so you'll just have to take it :)
The international judging panel consists of 50 renowned photo editors and photo experts who will base their decisions on a mix of composition, technical superiority, creativity, impact, artistic flair, and the overall qualities of photographic excellence within that image’s category. Voting takes place in three rounds; first the finalists are chosen, then the category winners, and finally, the overall winner is selected.
Keep an eye out, more judges for the 2021 edition will be announced soon!