When it comes to documenting snowboarding, the name Dean “Blotto” Gray is synonymous with everything creative, iconic, and progressive. Sitting behind a camera shooting a slew of the world’s most talented isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when one has been doing such for almost twenty years. Photography is a creative outlet in which one digs deep to find new material and angles, and Blotto hasn’t lost one bit of stoke or passion to redefine his images and keep moving forward.
I remember coming down to visit Huggy at SNOWBOARDER back when I was a lowly contributor, and I came across a very high quality book that Blotto had put together as his photo submission. Most photographers at the time would send in sheets of slides, maybe a DVD with a contact sheet, but of course Blotto made an incredible one-off book as his sub. This was the first time that I got to see the passion firsthand and the willingness to take things a step further in hopes of being rewarded with more photos in the magazine. These are the types of things that Blotto brings to photography and his every day life, and because of this, we are all very eager to dig deep into his photo submissions every year.
As a collaborative effort, a snowboard photo is a combination of the vision of the photographer and also what the rider has imagined the picture to look like. Read up on the handful of snowboarders that have influenced how Blotto captures images along his journey. – Mike Yoshida