Conquering Mountains: Follow these 5 badass female ski photographers

Conquering Mountains: Follow these 5 badass female ski photographers

Do you ever wonder who shot that photo you saw in the magazine, the image circulating the web or the poster hanging on your wall? Ski photography is an adventurous, demanding job that oftentimes requires individuals to get uncomfortable in order to bag a stellar shot. The female ski photographers listed below have proved that they will go to the ends of the earth to achieve the perfect picture. From faraway mountains to the parks of Colorado, these babes are snapping away, day in and day out. We’re giving you a behind the lens look at some of the leaders in the game, as well as the next generation of ladies who are documenting the sport we all know and love.

Zoya Lynch

Lynch began ski touring at a young age, in the land surrounding her family’s remote backcountry lodge on the border of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. She grew up as a nordic ski jumper and transitioned to big-mountain skiing. Nowadays, she spends ten months a year shooting photos around the world; in the off-season, she runs a tree planting op. in Golden, BC.


Photo: Isaac Kamink

Lynch tells us, “I’m not all about the action. I’m into those whimsical moments in between, when nature is doing its thing. I want things to be beautiful and dreamlike, big jumps and rad lines don’t always do it for me. I seek to capture moments that make my heart sing. I’m in love with crazy, sparkling light, cool clouds, huge trees and the list goes on.”


Photo: Zoya Lynch

Instagram: @zoyalynch
Website: www.zoyalynch.com

Emily Tidwell

Tidwell was raised along the shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota, but now calls Mt. Hood, Oregon, home. She’s got a knack for park shoots, beautiful cascade sunsets and snaps of her Australian shepherd rightfully named “Cora the Explorer.”


Photo: Emily Tidwell

Tidwell notes, “I’ve been an artist my whole life. I shared my bedroom with my dad’s art studio as a little girl, literally growing up around art and constant encouragement to find my own voice in what I was passionate about. Photography really became my interest in high school. My best friend and I used to talk about being ski photographers and filmers, eventually having our own production company. You could say that thought stuck with me.”


Photo: Emily Tidwell

Instagram: @lynk_nation
Facebook: Emily Tidwell Photo
Website: www.emilytidwellphoto.com

Savannah Pitts

Pitts is a 6th generation Idahoan from a tiny ski town—Sandpoint, ID, near Schweitzer Mountain. When she was 16 years old, she found her passion for photography and was taken under the wing of the late photographer, Patrick Orton. Since his passing, she has created the Lion Heart Project, in his honor. The 19-year-old lives in Colorado during the winters and has captured photos from X Games to Dew Tour, and even assisted with FREESKIER’s most recent park-specific ski test, in April of 2015.


Photo courtesy of Savannah Pitts

“When I was 17, Patrick [Orton] passed away at 24 from an accident,” Pitts explains. “Feeling stripped of my guide, I felt like photography, too, had slipped from my grasp. I didn’t think I’d make it without my mentor to show me the way and teach me as I went. One of my older sisters sat me down and gave me a speech that made the fire Pat had set in my heart burn so furiously, I picked up my camera and came up with a plan. That day, The Lion Heart Project was born. I would follow Pat’s path—I would go to the places he had planned to take me. I would photograph the things he did. I would hold on to the potential he told me time and time again I had. Patrick wouldn’t be gone from my world because from that moment on, all that I accomplished would be for him and all our shared friends who believed I could.”


Photo: Savannah Pitts

Instagram: @lionheartproject
Facebook: Savannah Pitts & The Lion Heart Project

Ashley Barker

Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Barker is no stranger to the mountains. She currently lives in Whistler, BC and when she’s not snapping shots of skiers, she’s barreling waves, hiking mountains and enjoying every minute of her life, of course while capturing it all behind her lens. Her photos are regulars in the pages of FREESKIER and she’s definitely graced a cover or two.

“I grew up with two older brothers and always wanted to be just like them,” Barker says. “This attitude has shaped me into the girl that likes hanging with the boys, pushing boundaries, hanging out of helicopters, snowmobiling, climbing trees, racing to the top of mountains, jumping off things, getting dirty and working hard to be different. Photography is empowering and rewarding to me. I love the diversity and travel it brings me and getting to live believing you can do anything if you really want it.”

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Photo: Ashley Barker

Instagram: @barkerfoto
Website: www.barkerfoto.com

Ilanna Barkusky

Barkusky is an up-and-comer in the world of ski photography. At 21 years old, this Vancouver, BC native is getting to as many events as possible—West Coast Session, World Ski Invitational, the U.S. Grand Prix and more. She attends university during the summertime and fall, while spending the winters snapping photos and traveling, balancing it all.


Photo: Ilanna Barkusky

“This photo of John Kutcher and Matt Walker from this year’s West Coast Session was taken on the final day,” Barkusky says. “I was so incredibly stoked to be able to be a part of that event, it was amazing from start to finish. Sunset sessions always deliver… good times and great shots.”

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Photo: Ilanna Barkusky

Instagram: @ilannaemily
Facebook: Ilanna Barkusky Photography
Website: www.ilannabarkusky.com

Related: Stylin’ Swede Emma Dahlström reveals her favorite pics of the season

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