The Best Action Sport Photographers In The World Compete For First Ever 10k Prize Purse At The Pro Photographer Showdown

Whistler, British Columbia—The recent worldwide call for entries forthe 9th annual Pro Photographer Showdown has produced an incredible line-upof some of the planet’s most prolific action-sports & lifestylephotographers. On April 19 at the TELUS Conference Centre in Whistler, B.C.,five talented finalists compete for the first ever $10,000 prize purse inthe gala Showdown. Recognized as the “Sundance Festival of actionphotography”, this action arts showcase is part of the TELUS World Ski &Snowboard Festival, the legendary 10-day celebration fusing music, arts andsports from April 14-23.

This year’s Pro Photographer Showdown is poised to take the world-renownedevent to the next level with a new selection process, new presentationformat and a new cash prize incentive of $10,000 for the winningphotographer. Along with the talented and diverse line-up of finalistphotographers, this year’s Showdown has all the makings of becoming one ofthe best shows yet.

“We’ve always had big dreams for the Pro Photographer Showdown, but no onereally expected that it would become the iconic event it is today,” remarkedJack Turner, Commissioner of the Pro Photographer Showdown. “This event isn’tjust a collection of great photography. It’s really about the passion andcommitment it took for each artist to capture their images and transformthem into a show worthy of the Pro Photographer Showdown.”

The popular photography exposé opened up for the first time to submissionsfrom all action-sport & lifestyle photographers in the world, and close to60 entries were received including from Sweden, Switzerland, France, UK,throughout the United States and Canada. Organizers of the event wereparticularly impressed with how the photographers pushed the bounds ofcreativity with the new digital presentation format, encouraging a whole newlevel of creative choreography. For 2006, established pros will competealongside new Showdown presenters. The five finalists are:

Blake Jorgenson—Awards and accolades for Blake’s inspiring photography hasbeen steadily mounting, including winning both the 2001 Pro PhotographerSearch and Showdown, Best of Show at the Andes Photo Challenge in 2002,Powder magazine Photo of the Year in 2003, and recently, Whistler’sPhotographer of the Year for 2004. Currently he is based out of Whistler,B.C., and has senior photographer positions at Powder, Skier and Freeskiermagazines.

Kevin Zacher—With a degree in photojournalism from Northern ArizonaUniversity, Kevin now lives in Santa Monica and has shot for such industryleaders as TransWorld SNOWboarding Magazine, Burton Snowboards, Coca-Cola,Quicksilver, K2 Sports, and MTV. As a previous presenter in the 2002 ProPhotographer Search, his photography serves as a commentary for the popculture of snowboarding, and he has become an essential figure indocumenting the spirit of this lifestyle.

Corey Rich—From South Lake Tahoe, California, Corey is a climber,adventurer, and photojournalist and has traveled the world on assignment formany of the best clients in the industry, including Sports Illustrated,Outside, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Nike, Patagonia, andThe North Face. He has just finished his first coffee table book, MyFavourite Place: Great Athletes In The Great Outdoors, which will be inbookstores beginning April of 2006.

Scott Pommier—Scott is a local Vancouver photographer/writer who wasrecently honoured as the 2005 Freesports Photographer of the Year. He hasserved as the field editor at TransWorld SKATEboarding Magazine and a senioreditor for SBC Skateboard, and has also contributed to almost every majorskateboarding magazine in North America, including TransWorld, Thrasher,Skateboarder, Slap, Heckler and Concrete Powder and popular advertisers suchas Vans, Circa, DC, Volcom, Billabong, and Element.

Jeremy Koreski—Based in Tofino BC, Jeremy has become one of the moreprominent recorders of the West Coast’s current environmental and culturalmilieu. His images have appeared in Outside, The Surfer’s Journal, SurferMagazine, enRoute, The Surfer’s Path, Explore Magazine and many more.Koreski is also the creator of Numb, an acclaimed Canadian surf video thatdocuments the surfing and snowboarding of his core group of friends – Raphand Sepp Bruhwiler, Peter Devries, Ryan Erickson and Paul Henderson.

The artists are now putting together a 9-minute choreographed slide show setto music for the infamous Showdown in Whistler, where one will be voted”Best of Show” with a winner-take-all $10,000 cash prize, and internationaltelevision screenings. Finalists will feature the best work of their careersin front of an audience of 2000 at the Showdown, and if you’d like to bethere to witness the best action-sport & lifestyle photography in the world,tickets for the gala evening are $20, and available online athttp://www.whistler2006.com/estore/ More information on the Pro PhotographerShowdown and the presenting photographers can be found athttp://www.wssf.com/photo

The TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is produced by W1 Inc., anaward-winning sports & entertainment marketing company with offices inWhistler and Vancouver, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistlerand Whistler Blackcomb. W1 is best known for founding and producing thelargest annual winter sports and music festival in North America – the TELUSWorld Ski & Snowboard Festival, featuring major professional skiing andsnowboarding competitions, the largest free outdoor concert series inCanada, the legendary Pro Photographer and Filmmaker Showdowns, and manymore unique art and cultural showcases. Founded in 1993, W1 has staged over400 concerts and produced television specials for distribution in 120countries. Please visit w1.ca for information on W1, and whistler2006.comfor details on the 2006 TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, this yearfrom April 14-23.