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Carlos Blanchard

Date of birth: October 28, 1982

Place of birth: Zaragoza, Spain

Place of residence: Innsbruck, Austria

Years snowboarding: 14? 15?

Years taking pictures: 12

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Tell us a little bit about what life was like growing up for you. Where you come from, what life was like growing up, your family and all that kind of stuff…

Well, I come from Zaragoza, a city located not far from the Pyrenees. That’s where I went to school and where most of my family is located. Although my origins are not from there, since three of my grandparents are neither born nor raised there. I was raised closer to the mountains than to any other thing I will say; as long as I can remember, my family has been taking us to the mountains, showing us the tradition our grandfathers brought us and the respect and love to this magnificent environments. Other than that I went to school and grew up as a normal kid.

Now, years after all this, I look at my present day, my recent past and the immediate future; also the decisions and challenges to be faced and done, and I can totally see the important values our parents gave us. That’s actually the most important thing I save for myself from those years.

Did you take any formal training? University or the like

Yeah I did the normal school and right after I went to University for four years, finishing the studies on Business Administration.

How do you work? Planned or un-planned shoots?

Both, more and more actually. The base is maybe more spontaneous than anything, but based on the job and what I want or have to do, I just organize myself, as good as I can, to do my best and enjoy while doing it.

Best work happens when…

You don’t have high expectations… But sometimes you also can get it good when you have high expectations I guess…

Proudest accomplishments in photography

Being who I am today, at this exact place and moment in my life. I look back and I am proud that I took the chance of moving away, gave it a try of starting from zero and well… it worked out. So that’s pretty much it, my photography is pretty close to my life in general, feelings, goals, rewards, challenges…

What’s your take on post photo manipulation? Do you do much of it?

I can’t say I’m not doing it, although I’ve been working on projects that came out pretty good to the final product with just analog raw photos straight from the scanner, but nowadays all my photos go through some postproduction, I’m just trying to do it in a natural way and not to abuse or rely much on it.

Tools. What equipment do you use for shooting?

My cameras and natural light, that’s pretty much it.

Tips for people starting to shoot snowboarding

I think for me it has never changed, if I would start from zero again I’d do the same kind of photos, same approach and would follow the same instincts. That’s it I guess, follow your instinct, listen to it, believe in it, learn from it! And don’t be afraid of taking as many photos as you want.

Question you wish someone had answered you when you started

Is it always going to be that cold?

You still shoot a lot of film. What is your reason? What does it give you that digital doesn’t?

To me, it’s a whole different approach and way of working. I can’t really explain, but I just feel it when I’m having my analog cameras in my hand, my eye changes, my mind changes, and to me, the result is for sure different. There are more feelings, more memories, more thoughts involved. Analog photos remain longer in my memory and even in my heart than digital does.

Shooting snowboarding professionally is tough, specially getting into the industry. What do you think separates you from the rest and made you successful?

Well, that’s maybe hard to say. I guess more than yourself, your work is supposed to speak for you most of the times, so I guess that took me to where I am today. Different? We are all different in many ways.

Do you shoot only snowboarding? If not, what else do you shoot and why?

I’ve always had other thoughts and excitements in life and photography. Always new inspirations and styles come along, from inside and outside snowboarding. With the years I think this for sure developed and influenced much of who I am when I take photos. And I want to think this is a non stop process, always on the move giving me new perspectives on things. Generally, other that snowboarding, I’m feeling really attracted to all outdoor sports and activities, always with the goal of documenting and sharing what that sport, activity or place can give you or mean to me at that exact moment. At the same time, I’m working on some other personal projects that stand far away from all this, so I like to mix a lot and both things compliment each other all the time too.

How do you level the work / life balance with all the traveling?

Both life and work compliment each other, they supply the other one with the things needed to go forward, either personally or professionally. This sounds like an obvious thing, but I think is not so easy to get when you are that much on the move. You can for sure ask many other people, since I’m not the one traveling the most, by far… Anyhow, at the moment this is not much of an issue to me, when I travel, I recharge my batteries, it’s so good, it just gives me the energy I need to then get back home and do all the office work, move on to the other job, or just pack and leave again. Can’t complain at all I guess.

How do you manage creative blocks?

It all usually starts at some point where inspiration, that mix of the right moment and ingredients get together to see how that input can be used. Of course excitement and motivation to go and do something new are there too. But also often happens to me that I just need to be on the field, in the middle of the action, documenting, living, experiencing… To really figure out later, taking my time, what really happened and how all that affected me. From there I usually create also bunch of stories and personal projects of my experiences.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I will simply like to thank whoever has been more or less involved in my way of life, for good or for bad it all comes to its place and plays its role. I still try to learn to be more happy, satisfied and thankful to everyone and everything around me, I do believe in building a good kharma around ourselves, a better place and world to live in, and my life through photography with its uncountable experiences has teached me and shaped me in a way I just can feel I have to also give something back to it. Therefore, and to get started, I can only but be as thankful as I can to it all, together with the task I give always to myself of doing my best and enjoying it as much as I can. You are pretty much included in this Gonzalo, and I will of course like to thank you first for this chance you just gave me to present myself and my work together with these other amazing photographers in such a great project.

Where can people follow what you are doing?
Website: carlosblanchard.com
Blog: carlosblanchard.tumblr.com