National Brotherhood of Skiers for Powder

Last spring Powder’s Director of Photography came to me with the opportunity to shoot a portrait heavy feature in Lake Tahoe. The magazine wanted to do a feature on the National Brotherhood of Skiers, an all African-American organization comprised of various ski clubs from around the U.S. which got it’s start in 1973. 

The goal of the National Brotherhood of Skiers is to come together at a yearly summit while funding talented young black skiers who have the potential of making it to the U.S. Olympic Ski Team. Attendance at these summits has exceeded 5,000 members in the past.

I couldn’t wait to get started on the shoot because of how flattering and exciting it was to be given the opportunity from Powder to showcase the NBS’ love for the sport of skiing.

The week-long event at Heavenly Mountain included everything from photographing a Sunday morning gospel service, to races and runs with ‘bro pros’, to nightly theme parties and of course lots of portraits.

Each morning I would wheel my portable-ski-bag-sized-portrait-studio through the Hard Rock Casino and set up in the hallway of the hotel, so I could photograph as many NBS members as possible before they took off for the day to go ski. I’d quickly drop off my gear to my room after each morning’s portrait session and review the images, before heading out to the hill for the day too.

Throughout the week I met so many fellow skiers, coming from areas like Detroit, Atlanta, Oakland, Florida, and elsewhere for the chance to take in some of Lake Tahoe’s legendary views while celebrating the sport.

After everything was wrapped up, the last theme party had been thrown, and the last run taken, I headed back to Denver with sore legs and a laptop full of portraits I was really pleased with.

Look for the full feature on the National Brotherhood of Skiers out now in the October 2016 issue of Powder.

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