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Guest Editors, Photo Annual

Ahhh, the Photo Annual.

This is far and away our favorite issue of the year, and not just because we’re Gen-X post-literates, and not just because it’s nowhere near as much work as a typical issue. No, we like it for the same reasons you do: Pictures take us skiing in ways that words can’t.

As you probably know, this was a really different Photo Annual for us in that we invited three guest editors to help us construct the magazine. (We originally were going to select just two, but one of the winners was a joint entry.) For two days, we reviewed hundreds of images together, easily rejecting the second rate shots and then struggling as we had to make more difficult choices, until, finally, the 400 slides were down to 30 or so, and we came up with what you have here.

I suppose you could call this guest editor experiment a success. I mean, none of the guest editors spilled beer on the slides, and a thorough search of the premises showed the only thing they stole was a box of my business cards. (How they managed to sneak the cards out remains a mystery—Rob Story, a meticulous man if there ever was one, conducted the strip-search himself.) Well, there was that little incident with Micah’s cigarette at the light table, but the problem was quickly extinguished and none of the photographers are the wiser…

I don’t even mind that they ripped the business cards. At first, I wondered what they were going to do with them, but then it dawned on me, and as a longtime scammer, I admired their foresight and determination to squeeze a few freebies out of this cold, uncaring world by pretending they were someone they weren’t. It didn’t even bother me when I started getting the phone calls from the places they’d scammed: “Steve, it was our pleasure to give you and your friend a free week of heli-skiing. I never pictured you to be so young or having dreads. By the way, when will we be seeing that story?” “Great to meet you, Steve, I hope all the skis we gave you do well in your test. Send me a copy when it’s printed, will you?” And from a girl with a teenage sounding voice, “Why haven’t you called.”

Like I said, I don’t mind. It’s nothing that lawyers, guns, and money can’t take care of. And hell, we got our money’s worth out of the guest eds—they did our job for a few days and we got to sit back and eat bon-bons.

Actually, the whole guest editor thing was awesome. Micah Abrams, Joe Hanrahan, and Scott Gaffney turned out to be great guys—friendly, funny, eager to work—and they did an excellent job picking photos and writing about them. Just as cool as meeting these guys, though, was the whole process of sharing the hundreds of amazing ski photos with them. We are truly blessed with the best ski photography from the best ski photographers in the world. It was gratifying to sit in a darkened room (safely out of reach of Joe’s wandering hands and with my back to the wall, I might add) and watch their faces as image after glorious freakin’ image flashed on the screen. If I could, I’d have every single one of you join us in picking the Photo Annual. And hey, why not?

Just give me some warning before you show up so I can lock up the business cards.

First published in Powder Magazine, issue 23.5, January 1995. Copyright Steve Casimiro 2001. All rights reserved

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